Kittredge Gallery reopened for the fall semester on Aug. 20 with two new exhibitions that explore the darker side of human emotions.
The exhibition “Dejection” in the Large Gallery is an installation by mixed-media artist Jessica Bender that is both memorial and catharsis dealing with the recent loss of her mother to terminal illness. The installation incorporates objects that belonged to the artist’s mother, such as a fragment of her wedding dress, as well as symbols that reference her life and beliefs, notably the crow for which she felt a strong personal affiliation. Leather banners record the history of her illness through stitching, painting and collage while other elements suggest spiritual energy and the effects of time on our relationships and memories.
Bender is a mixed-media artist who has shown work in Tacoma at the Telephone Room Gallery and Spaceworks. For the past several years she has served as studio supervisor at Cornish College of the Arts and spent summers on artist residencies in Montana. Her works explore issues of identity often filtered through her broad and darkly inflected range of interests, from taxidermy and medical imagery to historical photography and mythologies of the undead. Bender will give a gallery talk on her work and installation in the late fall. Watch the Puget Sound calendar of events for further details.
On view in the Small Gallery is a selection of photographs by Portland artist Susan Seubert. Seubert is known for her mastery of historical photography techniques, such as wet plate collodion, tintype, and platinum printing. She uses the deep blacks and textured surfaces she can achieve with these techniques to add edge and tension to her works. Seubert is fascinated with the workings of the human mind and juxtapositions of beauty and terror. The works in this exhibition were selected from her “Phobia and Neurasthenia” series, which investigate the psychological aspects of fear. She has said of “Phobias,” “What I attempted to do with the series was to illustrate that all fears are identical in their nature and simply differ based on individual experience.” The “Neurasthenia” series was created in reaction to the events of Sept. 11. The symptoms of neurasthenia include pessimism, anxiety, and fatigue.
Seubert graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Ore., with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography. She has had one-person exhibitions at galleries in Portland, Seattle, and Houston, and her work has been included in group exhibitions at Frye Art Museum in Seattle, The Art Gym at Marylhurst University, and Portland Art Museum, as well as the Ninth Northwest Biennial at Tacoma Art Museum and as a finalist for the 2011 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards at Portland Art Museum. Her work is in several museum collections, including those of Portland Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem.
Kittredge Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The gallery will be closed on Monday, Sept. 3 for the Labor Day holiday. A public reception for these exhibitions will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. This reception is free and open to the public.