Eugene Contemporary Art is proud to present Architecture of Dreams, a group exhibition that draws on surrealism as a mode of artmaking in response to everyday life. The artwork presents forms that arise from the unconscious to elicit a dream-like state, externalizing internal realms. The seven artists of Architecture of Dreams reflect on spaces they’ve constructed in the dreamworld and in waking reverie. Each artist works in a different visual medium, and the show also includes a writing component—with surrealist artist statements, collage poetry, a zine, and a day of surrealist games hosted by Kesey Farm Project.

Surrealism, in the context of this exhibit, is not a specific visual style. Rather, the artists embrace the philosophy of Surrealism, which exalts a liberation of the imagination and calls for perceptions to be expanded beyond the ordinary. The group also found inspiration in the philosophical text, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, which describes the house as a metaphor for the inner workings of the self. Surrealism has been called the language of the unconscious; these artists add to its vocabulary.

Architecture of Dreams is co-curated by ECA members Vicki Krohn Amorose, Jill R Baker, and Noelle Herceg. Amorose presents a surreal dollhouse, Baker explores a child’s backyard fort in video and drawings, and Herceg exhibits dyed images of curtained windows that fade like daydreams. Wendy Heldmann’s paintings pull in the viewer with images of shared rooms and full drawers, while Tallmadge Doyle works a similar detailed magic with drawings and a projection combining star charts and underwater creatures. Mary Evans’ installation includes a mystical twin-size bed and a tidal pool bedside table that doubles as a wishing well, and Leah Howell’s ceramic pieces transform common household objects into uncommon revelations.

Amorose states, “Architecture of Dreams actually began with those three words; the title popped into my head when I started to think of all the rooms and buildings I visit while dreaming. This group of artists expands on the idea that shelter is rooted in the unconscious. Our interior worlds have become more important over the past year—“interior” meaning both our homes and our thoughts.”

The exhibition will be on view at ANTI-AESTHETIC, 245 W 8th Ave, Eugene, OR, from May 21 through August 21, 2021, with open hours on Saturdays and Sundays, 12–4pm.

Viewing appointments can be made at

︎︎︎ Artist statements and works on view

Installation views, all photography by Jonathan Bagby