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Gallery shows whatever comes up

A residency in the summer has turned into a gallery exhibit in the fall.

The exhibit, titled “Whatever Comes Up, I Will _____ It,” by artists Milla Oliveira and Johnny Beaver is a perfect example of what can be done through Chemeketa’s artist-in-residence program.

“About five years ago we decided to start doing an artist-in-residence program,” Kay Bunnenberg, coordinator of the art gallery, said. The program began occupying the space during the summer of 2012.

Beaver and Oliveira applied to the program together. Their works are intended to be in conversation with each other.

“Johnny’s work is typically what we consider abstract work because in most of them there’s still some sort of recognizable subject matter that he’s basing things off of,” Bunnenberg said.

According to the artist statement accompanying Beaver’s work, personal experiences play an important role in his creative process.

“Within that space I explore self-study, often interweaving personal narrative of mental illness, memory, social juxtaposition, loss, and unification with compulsive indulgences in intuition and modulation,” he said in the statement.

Bunnenberg said that the dark, colorless figures in Beaver’s work are an aesthetic choice.

“He didn’t mix skin tones very well, so he just sort of went ‘Okay, I’m just going to make them black,’ and then he liked the contrast because he could put on all the internal organs…which is really what he was interested in,” Bunnenberg said.

Oliveira’s work has similarities to Beaver’s, but differs in style. According to her artist statement, she sees a correlation between painting and another craft.

“The construction of the paintings is like the mixing of perfume, which is perceived attractive for its floral notes, but contains small doses of rot,” Oliveira said in her artist statement. “Elements of flora and fauna enter the works as fragments. In forgoing their real-world specificity, they become tools for new propositions in how I relate to surrounding environments today.”

Oliveira’s work has a side of mystery to it.

“[It’s] non-objective, there’s not a tangible subject matter,” Bunnenberg said. “There’s colors and there’s action, and there’s a lot of movement with her brush strokes. In some of them there’s a rhythm in there and a ton of energy, and there’s a sense of quasi-foresty landscape in a way, but again, she’s sort of interested in those dualities and mark-making.”

Bunnenberg describes Beaver’s work as grid-based and computeristic, and Oliveira’s as energetic and textural, focusing on brush strokes.

“One’s more sedate and ones more expressionistic,” Bunnenberg said.  

“Whatever Comes Up, I Will _____ It” will be on display until Dec. 10 in Chemeketa’s Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery in Bldg. 3-122.