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Corvallis Arts Walk Spotlight: Michael Boonstra

Corvallis Arts Walk Spotlight: Michael Boonstra

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Here's a quick look at one of the artists to be featured in Thursday's Corvallis Arts Walk:

Name: Michael Boonstra

Occupation: Artist, instructor at Oregon State University.

Hometown: “I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I moved to Oregon in 1999 after stints in New Mexico and Los Angeles.”

Exhibit: “The Surface of the Sky”

Location: CEI ArtWorks Gallery, 408 SW Monroe Ave., Corvallis.

Medium(s): “Whatever media makes sense with a particular idea. The work at CEI consists of laser-engraved images on paper and wood, as well as ink and graphite drawings on paper and panels.”

About the exhibit: "'The Surface of the Sky' is an exhibition of reimagined drawings that were initially created over a decade ago in response to forest fires. The original images are revisited and redrawn in ways that echo past works while also embodying elements of my current creative process. ... I unexpectedly came across the older drawings while cleaning my studio earlier this fall and given the recent fires in Oregon and California they seemed necessary and timely to revisit.”

Impact on viewer: “This past fall, Bruce Burris presented the opportunity to show work at CEI and he put no expectations on what I could do. So I treated this show as an opportunity for me to experiment with images and materials in a way that isn’t my normal, methodical way of working.

“The work has all been created in the past few weeks, primarily out of materials I already had in the studio so it’s all new to me, and I’m hesitant to be too specific about potential impacts. That being said, I’m interested in the way we see landscape and thinking about radically altered landscapes is not something that is going away any time soon. I’m interested in catastrophic short-duration events that alter landscapes as well as the changes that occur over longer periods of time but are no less devastating.”

Previous Exhibits: “Locally I’ve had a solo exhibition at the Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University, as well as participated in exhibitions at the Corvallis Arts Center. I’ve also participated in the Art in Rural Storefronts project on two separate occasions.

“I currently am part of a group exhibition in Bend that is a collaboration between the High Desert Museum and At Liberty that runs through Dec. 30. In the past I’ve shown work at Disjecta and Duplex Gallery in Portland, SOIL Gallery in Seattle, as well as created site-specific projects in California, Michigan, and Oregon.”

What people should know: “I work responsively. Almost all of my work contains elements of, or works directly with things or processes that are part of our world. I’m interested in thinking about what is already around us.”


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