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LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Nightingale Gallery of Eastern Oregon University presents the first of two art capstone exhibitions of 2023, Perceptions & Illusions. This exhibit will include works from senior art majors, Koedi Birmingham, Jessica Hitzman, and Corrina Stadler. The work explores the artists’ varied experiences of reality and how it has shaped their own perceptions.
The exhibit will run from April 7 to April 21. There will be an opening reception on April 7 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. All are encouraged to attend.
Perception is the process by which we interpret and organize sensory information from our environment to create a meaningful understanding of the world around us. Illusions, on the other hand, are false or misleading and can be used to create perceptions that may not correspond to our reality. Each artist challenges the understanding of reality by revealing the limitations of perceptual systems; Birmingham does this through the use of florals in relation to human organs, Hitzman by highlighting the underbelly of the food service industry, and Stadler by reflecting on her romanticized childhood expectations of life-based off of what was portrayed on television. The works in the exhibit will consist of a variety of mediums from digital drawing, photography, screen printing, mixed media, installation, and sculpture.
Koedi Birmingham was born and raised in Oregon and has always had a love for art. Enrolling in Eastern Oregon University right out of high school, she began to expand and work towards refining her art skills. She learned printmaking and screen printing in her first few years and has taken to them as her preferred mediums. These mediums allow her to demonstrate her attention to detail and crisp, clean-line work.
Birmingham’s work in this exhibit continues to push and explore her signature theme of connecting plant and human life through abstract/hybrid images of the two species. One series of prints focuses on the fragility of the human body through the imagery of flowers in the form of human organs. These works are used as a way to get the lingering thoughts and experiences of life and death out of her head. She wants to create art that makes these concepts less frightening and more accepting for herself and others.
Jessica Hitzman works conceptually, her work is heavily influenced by a lifetime of navigating the standards placed on women by society as well as what it means to grow up in the age of the internet and social media. She has worked in the food service industry for 18 years, and during that time, faced numerous instances of sexism and harassment. These experiences have shaped this body of work from the themes explored to the techniques used.
Hitzman’s work in this exhibit explores the power dynamics of gender and class, particularly as it relates to working in the food service industry. It is based on her experiences of sexism as well as the conflicting pressure to create the illusion of sexual availability to appease customers and increase earnings. She uses objects and materials associated with restaurants and bars to create work that challenges viewers’ assumptions and brings attention to the way in which gender inequality affects those working in the industry.
Corrina Stadler was born in 2001 and raised in northeastern California and Baker City, Oregon. Her parents chose to homeschool her using Waldorf-style methods, art had a heavy emphasis until sixth grade when she switched to public school. Growing up her family only used Netflix and she consumed shows mostly from the 1960s-through the 90s which displayed successful families, abundance, and leisure.
Stadler’s current body of work explores the ideas of generational expectations using the language and imagery of nostalgia, golden age Hollywood glamor photography, and play. Her work for this show consists of large-scale photographs with drawn elements, screen prints, and installation. She uses her work to address the romanticized expectations and rose-colored promises given to us by previous generations versus the current reality that young people are living today.
The Nightingale Gallery is located in Loso Hall. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit eou.edu/art or follow the Nightingale Gallery on Facebook and Instagram.
To request images of artwork for publication or to schedule an interview with the artist please contact Gallery Director Cory Peeke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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