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What Heaven Brought You and Me; A Solo Exhibition by Andrea Alonge

Nov. 1, 2023

What Heaven Brought You and Me; A Solo Exhibition by Andrea Alonge

LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Nightingale Gallery of Eastern Oregon University is pleased to present an exhibit by textile artist Andrea Alonge entitled “What Heaven Brought You and Me.” The exhibit title is a lyric from “Southern Cross” by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the exhibit examines themes of love, distance, connection, and the human urge to witness and have one’s life and inner workings witnessed by another in the physical and digital world. The exhibit opens on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. with a gallery talk by the artist and a reception to follow.

“What Heaven Brought You and Me” features a group of works by Alonge that bring together found and sought textiles, kitsch materials like chains and beads, and domestic materials like shower curtain grommets, party tinsel, and drapery rings. With these materials the artist explores relationships and self-discovery, surviving in a world of simultaneous crises, and finding moments of joy. The tactility of her textile art in conjunction with the visual aesthetic of glitch present in her work touches on the experience of the physical person in a digital world. The works are meditative, laborious, and discursive reflections on the inner reality of the self, the external reality of others, and the bridges between them. The work uses connection as its starting place. 

Alonge asks, “How do we connect, how can we begin to know another person, and how does it feel when we reach out and someone reaches back? In the age of digital connection, where does tactility find its way?”

The work on exhibit explores materiality and digital aesthetics, drawing in references to optical illusions, visual glitches, and mixing of past and present textile culture. Always present in the work is the mark of the artist’s hand and the mark of the machine- an imperfect mark reminding the viewer of humans working in tandem with technology, creating the world.

As evidenced by the exhibit title, music also plays a role in Alonge’s work. She sees it as a way to connect with others, be present in time, and experience spirituality. Each work is titled and is informed by lyrics from different songs important to the artist, marking significant moments in the artist’s relationship with others and herself. The show forms a mixtape, a way to connect, to reach out and touch someone, to share an inner world.

“’What Heaven Brought You and Me’ presents viewers with Alonge’s intricately and meticulously crafted works and encourages their engagement in the broader themes addressed by her complex creations,” said Gallery Director Cory Peeke. 

Alonge lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She received her BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and her MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has shown nationally and internationally, most recently at The Museum of Museums in Seattle, and is a member of WellWell Projects in Portland. She has created textile installations for Meta Open Arts in Bellevue, Washington, and Soho House Portland among other projects.

Alonge’s gallery talk and the opening reception for “What Heaven Brought You and Me” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9. Please note that this is a departure from our usual Friday openings. This change is due to the gallery being closed on Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day Visitors may experience the exhibit through Friday, Dec. 8, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The gallery will, however, be closed Nov. 20 through 24 for the Thanksgiving break. For more information, 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 cpeeke@eou.edu.