Eastern Oregon University > Academics > ‘Homecoming’ exhibition opens Nightingale Gallery season

‘Homecoming’ exhibition opens Nightingale Gallery season

‘Homecoming’ exhibition opens Nightingale Gallery season

abstract painting by Josh McDonald
Josh McDonald THROUGH THE TOUCH OF THE FULL MOONS LIGHT Oil and cold wax on panel 72 x 48 inches 2021

Oct. 1, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Nightingale Gallery at Eastern Oregon University opens its 2021-22 exhibition season with “Homecoming,” an exhibit that welcomes EOU alumni—or at least their creative works—back to campus. 

“Homecoming” presents a selection of work by 17 EOU art alumni and runs Oct. 8 through Nov. 5. There will be an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 8 in the gallery, located in Loso Hall. The public is encouraged to attend. Face masks are required of all gallery visitors and social distancing is encouraged.

The work on exhibit encompasses a variety of media, from drawing to painting to mixed media to sculpture. The artists included represent a span of over 20 years of art program graduates.

One of those is Josh McDonald, a 2014 graduate and native of Powell Butte, Oregon. McDonald’s paintings combine abstraction and symbolism to create a narrative described through geometric forms and inspired by early Modern art movements such as cubism. His works are high in contrast and depth, shadow and light, and presented with a limited color palette. McDonald uses oil and cold wax medium to build up the surface of his paintings and then drags a comb through the paint in angular lines. This interrupts the initial paint application and breaks through the hard edge to obtain a softness and a mixture of unique blends and texture.

McDonald, who now makes his home in Seattle, works for the prestigious Greg Kucera Gallery and has an active studio practice with several recent group exhibitions featuring his paintings at SEASON Gallery and J. Rhinehart Gallery in Seattle. McDonald’s solo exhibition “Carry Me Through the Field” opens this October at Seattle’s SOIL Gallery.

2020 graduate Meredith Matthews will present her mixed media Installation “i am not what i might be.” Using bird feathers, faux fur, painted duralar, bones and other materials, she attempts to capture the landscape of her lived experience with chronic pain. The processes of the external, natural world—sedimentation, metamorphosis, sublimation, moulting, decay—become signifiers, descriptors for this internal world. Connected not only by process, but also by form, texture, and sensation.

Matthews is a lifelong resident of the Grande Ronde Valley and is pursuing a master’s degree in film at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is currently working on finishing her first short film, “Blood and Memory.”

Other exhibiting artists include Bill Atwood (2006), Kevin Boylan (2003), Mariah Boyle (2009), Addie DeLong (2014), Annie Eskelin (2004), Devin Farrand (2009), Madeline Ford (2016), Genevieve Gaudreau (2016), Auburn Isaak (2012), Erica Hitzman (2016), Audrey Lind (2019), Andrew Myers (1995), Dawn Norman (2006), Hannah Smith (2020) and Henrik Soerensen (2013).

“These artists present us with a varied collection of works exploring everything from abstraction and intimacy to feelings of loss and the intersection between production and aesthetics,” said Cory Peeke, Nightingale Gallery Director. “The Art Department is pleased to have such a diversity of thoughtful and visually skilled artists out in the world representing the strengths of our program and this University,” “We are even more pleased they have chosen to come home to where they began their careers to share their creative work with our current students and the regional community.”

The Nightingale Gallery is located in Loso Hall on the campus of Eastern Oregon University in

La Grande, Oregon. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. For more information visit eou.edu/art or follow The Nightingale Gallery on Instagram and Facebook .

To request images of artwork for publication or to schedule an interview with one or more of the artists, contact Gallery Director Cory Peeke at cpeeke@eou.edu.