Artist engages topic of overconsumption, encourages public dialogue with “It’s Getting Hot Out Here”

Contact: Cory Peeke | Director of the Nightingale Gallery
541-962-3584 | cpeeke@eou.edu 

“Oil Field" by Roscoe L. Wilson, graphite and oil on panel, 24in x 24in, (2011).

February 6, 2012
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – The Nightingale Gallery at Eastern Oregon University presents the solo exhibition, “It’s Getting Hot Out Here,” by Ohio artist and environmentalist Roscoe L. Wilson.

A reception for the artist marks the opening of the exhibition Friday, Feb. 10 from 6-8 p.m. in the gallery located in Loso Hall.  The show will run through Friday, Mar. 2. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Wilson’s installation work engages with the dilemma of consumerism and waste in contemporary society.  Consumerism is a natural attribute of the human condition. Societies buy and sell, save, collect and ultimately discard practically everything in temporary possession — a throwaway culture that values the quick and easy over the re-useable. Desirous of the next great invention, planned obsolescence is propagated instead of sustainable products.

It is this paradoxical dilemma of consuming and wasting that provides the impetus for Wilson’s work. He sees it as his responsibility as an artist to engage with the topic of overconsumption and to encourage public dialogue on the issues surrounding it.

“It’s Getting Hot Out Here” consists of several sculptural installations, and several drawings and prints that explore the concept of overconsumption, especially as related to the fossil fuels coal and oil. The installation revolves around society’s addictive use of these fuels and their significant affect on climate change. As the artist himself states, “The abuse of these technologically outdated fuels, the structure of our current society and political system, and the unwillingness to change are all factors that can and will be devastating to our environment and our lives.”

“It’s Getting Hot Out Here” investigates these ideas and challenges viewers to reflect on their own relationship to, and place in, contemporary society’s ongoing cycle of consumerism and waste.

Wilson was born and raised in northern Indiana and southern Michigan, and his environmental values were shaped in this mostly rural Midwestern setting. Growing up in this region enabled him to experience nature and discover an awareness that only a forest, lake and field can offer.

He went on to receive a bachelor of arts from Wabash College in Indiana, a master of arts in painting/printmaking from Purdue University in West Lafayette Indiana, and a master of fine arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at UW, Wilson studied the history of environmentalism and drew inspiration for his artwork from former Wisconsin residents and environmental pioneers like John Muir and Aldo Leopold. He now resides in Ohio and is currently an associate professor of art at Miami University Hamilton.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Wilson will present a public lecture on his work Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. in Huber Auditorium in Badgley Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information visit www.eou.edu/art/nightingale/index.html or find Nightingale Gallery on Facebook.