Nightingale Gallery opens 2017-18 season
Sept. 19, 2017 La Grande, Ore. − Bursts and waves of bright color will fill Eastern Oregon University’s Nightingale Gallery this fall, as it hosts John Whitten’s “Stochastic Resonance” exhibition.
The exhibition opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 29 in the gallery, and runs through Nov. 3. Whitten will return to campus Nov. 1 to present a public talk about his work at 6 p.m. in Badgely Hall’s Huber Auditorium.
In his most recent work, the Portland-based artist and art instructor at Oregon State University explores the philosophical significance of what it means to wander. His drawings and videos involve repurposing flares, smoke signals and rescue dye, dislodging the hope placed in them to embrace uncertainty.
His work has received numerous awards, including a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in support of a residency with Signal Fire. His relationship with the Nightingale Gallery began during the November 2015 “Drawn Together” exhibit that showcased northwest artists who use drawing as a foundation of their studio practice.
“EOU’s Art program has a strong tradition of drawing as a foundation for all our majors,” Gallery Director Cory Peeke said. “Whitten’s work will provide students and others a glimpse into his development as an artist and the fundamental yet increasingly adaptable process of drawing.”
Peeke said he’s followed Whitten’s work as it’s moved toward the abstract. Whitten’s drawing methods combine chance, intuition and structure to challenge a sense of control, producing colorful and monochromatic spectrums of bursts and waves.
Driven by a passion for the outdoors and a fascination with survivalism, Whitten’s drawings and videos ultimately investigate what it means to make one’s way through life.