ECA featured in EW ArtsHound issue
The Eugene Weekly put out their first annual ArtsHound issue focusing on Visual Arts in Eugene. Thanks to EW Arts Editor Alex Notman, who first interviewed ECA last summer, we got some coverage again, this time by Silas Valentino and photographer Trask Bedortha (pictured above with Public Process 4 artist Josh Sands). We’ve posted an excerpt of the piece below, and the rest of the article is available on the EW’s site along with the photographs taken by Mr. Bedortha.
Notman seems to have observed something we at ECA have witnessed for quite some time:
in the past year as arts editor, I have encountered a widespread epidemic in Eugene: artphobia. “I just don’t get art,” people tell me, avoiding galleries, museums, art walks like the plague for fear of being, or being seen as, out of their element.
She goes on to say:
There’s nothing to “get.” Art is life, culture, politics, religion, history, the future. It’s a reflection of society. It’s a reflection of you. There are no wrong answers here. Saying that you don’t “get” art is like saying you don’t “get” life. It may be true, but that does not mean you opt out of the experience all together.
Kudos to Alex for her work in getting this issue out, and the push to the community to go out and experience art. We’ve felt for a while now that Eugene is at the front edge of a wave of change. We here at ECA are doing our best to contribute, and continue to hope this is true.
Creating a Culture of Critique
by Silas Valentino, photos by Trask Bedortha
Down by the railroad tracks that carve through the Whiteaker, graffiti art colors the walls of buildings. A large piece spray painted in white advises its audience to “Read up!” but it’s the paint drippings below that inspired local artist Josh Sands. “I saw the paint under the graffiti and thought, ‘Can I take graffiti paint and make something out of it?” he says.
Sands has collected “found paint” not only in Eugene, but also in L.A., San Francisco and Berlin, and with it he sets to work on his latest project. The artist secures the old paint, which he “excavated like an archeologist,” to a plywood board by applying another layer of paint. After multiple rounds of sanding away the excess layers of paint, beautiful shades of color begin to appear.
These are the kind of pieces that will be featured in Sands’ residency, which began Aug. 19, at Eugene Contemporary Art (ECA). He is meticulously crafting his unconventional brand of art — sometimes under the gaze of the community, which can come meet the artist during open studio. His work is in a state of flux, changing with Sands’ inspirations and ideas.
ECA has made itself the spot for experimenting and developing contemporary art. “They’re more interested in coming from a place of ideas and concepts,” Sands says of ECA’s art perspective. “I don’t know if there are other spots in Eugene that would be open to such a loose interpretation.”
ECA is celebrating its one-year anniversary this fall, currently featuring its fourth artist in the residency program, Public Process, where an artist uses The WAVE gallery as a studio for six weeks. Every Thursday night the gallery is open to the public. “Their goal is to get the public involved,” Sands says.
“Real art-making comes out of a trial-and-error process,” says ECA Executive Director Courtney Stubbert. “We thought, what if we just gave someone a key and residency and gave the public the chance to see how the artist came to be?”