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Marylhurst Opens Two New Exhibitions at The Art Gym

Kelly Rauer: Weight and Samantha Wall: Laid to Rest

Preview Reception: Sunday, January 13 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Exhibition continues through February 14, 2013
Gallery talk: noon, Thursday, January 31

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Marylhurst University opens two new exhibitions Kelly Rauer: Weight and Samantha Wall: Laid to Rest with a preview reception for both artists in The Art Gym from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, January 13. The artists, who are both based in Portland, are presenting new work in two separate, but related exhibitions. There will be a gallery talk with both artists on Thursday, January 31 at noon. The exhibitions continue through February 14.The Art Gym is open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

Kelly Rauer's exhibition Weight is a multi-channel video installation. During the past year, Rauer videotaped herself dancing in her studio at different times of day, responding to the changing quality of natural and artificial light.

Samantha Wall makes drawings, which use video the artist shoots as source material. In her exhibition Laid to Rest for The Art Gym, she, like Rauer, focuses on a single female figure. Wall has created a set of drawings that grow out of selected video stills as they explore the emotional and cultural underpinnings of gesture.

More about Kelly Rauer's exhibition Weight

For Weight, Rauer uses the instrument of her body to explore possibilities and limits, using the camera to record those experiments and experiences. Weight grows out of two previous video installations: Shaping Sequence presented at New American Art Union, Portland, Oregon in 2010; and P.O.V. (reflexive) at Gallery 5 at Milepost 5, Portland, Oregon, in 2011. Shaping Sequence was a 30-minute, three-channel video projected as an 18-foot wide triptych on a single wall. Rauer presented close-ups of her slowly moving body—the landscape of shoulder, inner arm, neck—often too close for the viewer to discern exactly which limb or joint was presented and thereby shifting attention to skin and contour. In P.O.V. (reflexive), the artist experimented with attaching a very small video camera to different parts of her body producing distortions ranging from the comical to the grotesque. This work was presented on seven small television monitors on stands of varying heights.

By separating the video footage Rauer shot for Weight into sections, she was able to orchestrate the work in overlapping parts, much like music. With the use of multiple projections and monitors to place imagery at various scales and heights around the room, she is able to prompt visitors to stop, linger, turn, pause, reflect, refocus and move. Weight is Rauer's most complex and ambitious installation to date. The project is supported in part through a grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

In 2004, Rauer graduated from The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington, with a B.A. in Fine Art and Photography. Since then she has had five solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows in Oregon and Washington. She also served as the director of programs for the Portland Art Center, managing director for New American Art Union (Portland) and worked as an independent curator. In 2011, Rauer participated in residencies through Signal Fire and Milepost 5. Rauer's project was supported in part by an Oregon Arts Commission Artist Opportunity Grant.

More about Samantha Wall's exhibition Laid to Rest

Samantha Wall has created six masterful graphite and charcoal drawings for her exhibition Laid to Rest in The Art Gym. Wall was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved as a child with her mother to the United States in part due to Korean attitudes toward bi-racial children born to Korean women and African-American servicemen. In her drawings, she considers and depicts the complex and unsettling struggles of the self to come to terms with conflicting identities, cultural expectations and emotions.

During the past five years, Wall explored these issues through large drawings that combine graphite with charcoal or ink. The work taps her interest in: how women are treated in Asian and American culture; and how they are depicted in art and film, with a particular interest in Asian horror genres. Her 2011 MFA exhibition, Shame On Me was a series of drawings of a naked woman struggling with her own shadowy silhouette (Wall used herself as the model). In the 2012 exhibition Partially Severed, Wall focused on the heads of the figures, including the triptych Furies, which is a direct predecessor to the work the she created for The Art Gym.

In Furies, Wall focused the drawing on the subject's upturned face, hair, exposed neck and shoulders. For the five drawings that make up Five Words in The Art Gym exhibition, she continues this focus on the woman's head and neck, but pulls back to include a barely articulated, ghostlike torso and arms. In a recent conversation, Wall relayed her interest in the Japanese yurei, who are said to be dead souls who remain in limbo due to the circumstances of their lives or deaths. She employs many of the features of traditional drawings of these unsettled ghosts: long, unbound black hair (in keeping with the Japanese tradition of loosening a woman's hair in public only for her funeral rites and burial), dangling arms and hands and invisible legs and feet. Wall's use of this imagery of disembodiment is disturbing and intentional and it underlines the often dark and elusive understanding we have of the body and its relationship to psyche and self, which is the subject of much of her work. Wall's project is supported in part by a project grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

Wall received her BFA in Studio Art from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, and her MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. In addition to the shows mentioned above, her work has been included in exhibitions at the Cue Art Museum in New York City and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in New York State. In 2011, she received an MFA grant award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and this spring she will participate as a resident in the inaugural year of the Joan Mitchell Center artist in residence program in New Orleans, Louisiana.

About The Art Gym

The Art Gym is a program of the Department of Art & Interior Design at Marylhurst University.

It is located on the third floor of the B.P. John Administration Building on the Marylhurst University campus, 10 miles south of Portland, Oregon on Highway 43. The Art Gym is open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. The Art Gym programs are supported in part through grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Clackamas County Cultural Coalition, National Endowment for the Arts and Oregon Cultural Trust, foundations, businesses and individuals.

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