Art in Rural Storefronts Project

Avantika Bawa's "Cocktail #ff080" - Art in Rural Storefront ProjectTAKING ART TO THE STREETS

December 3, 2012 – February 11, 2013, Two locations in Sweet Home and one in Philomath will host contemporary art installations.

This exciting new exhibition opportunity arose this year via the Regional Development Initiative and SweetHome Economic Development. Part of The Arts Center’s mission is to serve Linn and Benton Counties by providing innovative, thought provoking art to the public. The goal for this project is to bring art to communities that currently do not have space for contemporary/non-commercial art, and at the same time attract renewed attention to the properties involved.

Three artists were selected to create installations in empty storefronts. The proposed artwork was required to be relevant to rural communities in Linn and Benton Counties. Once selected the artists refined their designs to the surroundings and history of Sweet Home and Philomath, as well as making them fit in the specific locations to which they were assigned. Andrew Myers and Gale Everett were selected for Sweet Home. Avantika Bawa’s project will be in Philomath at the old liquor store).

Receptions:  Artist Reception in Sweet Home was January 18. In Philomath on February 8, Avantika Bawa will talk about her work at 4 PM at the Benton County Historical Museum. This talk is open to the public, and free of charge. The reception follows at 5:30-7:30 PM, 1604 Main Street (old liquor store) the installation location. (Thanks to the BCHM for use of their auditorium.)

Projects by Location and Artist

933 Main Street, Sweet Home:  Gale Everett has documented her project, Unseen Natives, on her Stick Stones and Paper Stew Blog. Her work comments on native fish living in the muddy waters of the flooded fields and agricultural ditches in the Willamette Valley. She is building the fish from paper squares representing the acres of land dedicated to agricultural production.

1344 Main Street, Sweet Home: Andrew Myers is creating a multiple window diorama of drawings. Each window will show a different scene. One window will show the fantastical version of the creation of the petrified forest Sweet Home is built on. The next scene will be about the landscape, the Santiam River; the third will go back to the early communities of Buckhead and Mossville, which later became Sweet Home.

1604 Main Street, Philomath:  Avantika Bawa transforms the old liquor store with a bright color vinyl to punctuate the  building’s typical 1970’s design. She sees the use of the vinyl lines and fields as a drawing or painting on a large scale, creating a transformed experience of a space or a building. She explores the combinations of order and anti-monumentality, wholeness and fragmentation.  Bawa bases her work methods on the legacy of Minimalism and its emphasis on reductive form, modularity and literal scale. Bawa’s “Cocktail #ff080″ refers to the magenta color as a color code, as well as the history of the building being a liquor store.

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