July 14–October 10, 2020
Fridays & Saturdays 12-5 PM

245 W 8th Ave, Eugene, OR

To make an appointment go to eugenecontemporaryart.com/appointments

This exhibition is an extension of the Common Ground programming and features work by Mika Aono, Jill R Baker, Michael Boonstra, Leah Wilson, and Karin Bolender aka K-Haw Hart, all of whom engage with the theme of art and ecology in differernt and expansive ways.

Whether it be through a focus on the materiality of objects and the world around us inhabited by all kinds of creatures, embodied experiences of matter and environment seen through video and imprinted on paper, or working with layers and lines to create complex images of terrain, and three-dimensional representations of measurements and data collected from the forest—the work presented here forms its own web of connections.  

In addition to the work on display, the exhibition also features the Common Ground reference library with publications borrowed from the artists in the show, and from friends and Eugene Contemporary Art artist members. Visitors are encouraged to peruse and gain some insight into the theoretical underpinnings and inspirations of the work, as well as an expanded view of the theme of art and ecology. 

Please consider donating to support this programming and help us pay the artists at eugenecontemporaryart.com/support-eca

Mika Aono is a multidisciplinary artist living in Eugene, OR. Her recent work explores humanness in absurdity and futility through laborious processes, giving meaning to the meaningless. Her fascination for nature has driven her projects and installations utilizing discarded objects. She cherishes serendipitous moments and believes art has the power to solve the mystery and connect all sorts of life on earth. She wishes she were a gentle superhero.

Mika Aono was born in Sendai, Japan, and received a BA in Primary and Special Ed from Miyagi University of Education in Japan, BA in Art from University of Oregon and MFA in Printmaking from San Francisco Art Institute. Currently, she teaches printmaking and works as a studio technician in the Department of Art at the University of Oregon. Her work has been shown at various venues nationally and in international exhibitions in India, Spain, Brazil, Canada and Switzerland; some are in museum/public collections.

Jill R Baker is a visual artist whose work employs drawing, performance, and video to document improvised interactions with the natural world. We are gatherers and gleaners who sometimes mistake a fallen tree limb covered in lichen and moss for the body of an animal. We kneel by the water to return rocks to the creek. If there is no water we look under rock until our hands turn pink. We measure rainfall each morning in the garden beginning in the fall and think of ways to make drawings out of rain.

Jill R Baker holds an MFA in Intermedia from the University of Iowa and is currently a new member of Eugene Contemporary Art. Her work has been included in galleries, project spaces, and screenings throughout the U.S. Her work is also featured in the Common Ground online exhibition Performances for Hands and Desert Floor.

Michael Boonstra’s creative practice shifts between drawing, photography, installation, and sculpture. He is a founding member of Gray Space, a group of Oregon artists based in the Corvallis, Eugene and Roseburg areas who came together in 2016 to develop site-based projects that foster connections between artists, places, histories, and communities. Recent awards include a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission, project funding from the Ford Family Foundation, and Ford Family Foundation sponsored residencies at Playa and the Djerassi Resident Artist Program. Boonstra received his BFA from the University of Michigan and his MFA from the University of Oregon and currently teaches at Oregon State University.

Leah Wilson was born and raised in Southern California. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Art Institute of Southern California (now the Laguna College of Art and Design) and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2008, Wilson moved to Eugene, Oregon. A 2012 artist residency at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascades introduced her to ecologists working on long-term studies in the forest. That experience, and her interactions with the scientists, relates to her current work. Wilson’s interaction with the forest and its associated ecologists led her to realize that science in general, and ecology in particular, seeks to identify patterns (and changes in patterns) over time.  Often, in terms of process and product, the most evident element of her work is repetition, rhythm, and pattern related to water in general, and rivers and streams in particular.

Leah Wilson is a founding member of Gray Space, and her artwork has been exhibited at galleries throughout the West Coast including At Liberty Arts in Bend, Oregon, the Maurie Jacobs Plaza in Eugene, Oregon, the Roger W. Rogers Gallery at Willamette University, Cascade Gallery at Portland Community College and Guardino Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and the Arts Center in Corvallis, Oregon. Her work is in the collections of Oregon State University, Umpqua Community College, Adobe Systems Inc., eBay Inc., and other corporate and private collections.

Karin Bolender (aka K-Haw Hart) is an artist-researcher who seeks “untold” stories within muddy meshes of mammals, plants, pollinators, microbes, and many others. Under the auspices of the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.), she cultivates a homegrown, collaborative living-art-research practice that explores dirty words and entangled wisdoms of earthly ecologies through performance, writing, video/sound installation, and other experimental arts of multispecies storytelling. Durational and site-specific projects and performances, including R.A.W. Assmilk Soap, Gut Sounds Lullaby, and Welcome to the Secretome, have taken place across the US and in Canada, Europe, and Australia. She is currently a remote artist-in-residence at ANTI-AESTHETIC, and you can find this work here.

K-Haw has an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and a PhD in Environmental Humanities from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. A book called The Unnaming of Aliass, exploring nearly two decades of roadside and barnyard living-art practice, is forthcoming from punctum in summer 2020. The R.A.W. family herd lives amidst the patchwork forests of the Oregon Coast Range hills, east of the ocean and west of the Cascades. 

ANTI-AESTHETIC is supported by the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.