Ben Willis: Wavy
Stephanie Chefas Projects
If you are looking for vibrant, colorful, mesmerizing artwork that is sure to lift your mood and spirit, then be sure to check out Ben Willis’ solo exhibition Wavy at Stephanie Chefas Projects! Willis combines dynamic materials like glitter, resin, acrylic paint, and vinyl to build layers of complex patterns, giving each piece a 3-dimensional quality on a flat glossy surface. Each piece radiates with heat and shimmers with vibrancy, embodying that wonderful, dreamlike heat found in the Southwest. Most of Willis’ pieces in the show are small scale, around 12 x 12”, but the show itself is large in number of works. Willis gives us much to see and explore, creating geometry within geometry by arranging his square pieces in a grid in the gallery. About the show, Stephanie Chefas Projects states, “Blending elements of architecture and geometry, the artist’s pieces exhibit otherworldly and even alien-like qualities as they permeate your eye-sockets with their three-dimensional identities.” The exhibition runs from May 8 - June 5, 2021. Photos by Mario Gallucci, courtesy of the gallery.
MFA Thesis Exhibition
Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
I am always excited to go see and MFA thesis show—every time it is filled with unexpected, innovative, and highly unique work that pushes boundaries. The MFA Thesis Exhibition at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center is no different, it presents work by artists that are not afraid to make some noise! The show itself culminates three years of independent research and experimentation by a cohort of nine artists whose various practices “engage a broad range of inquiry, from expressions of the personal and diaristic to the examination and fictionalization of language, politics, and technology.” Created during what was undoubtedly a challenging year for these MFA students, this show is worth the visit. Highlights of the show include the brilliant text-based work of Sajad Amini and a multi-media installation piece by Caroline Turner. Don’t miss the chance to see work by artists fresh out of university, including Sajad Amini, Claire Tierney Anderson, Devon DeVaughn, Eden V. Evans, Ian Sherlock Molloy, Tannon Reckling, Caroline Turner, Nathan Alexander Ward. The exhibition runs from May 15 through May 30, 2021.
Portland Art Museum
In the wake of COVID-19, the Portland Art Museum has created a perfect way to view art while social distancing safely outside: projection art! The museum presents a series of outdoor digital installations guest-curated by Fernanda d’Agostino and Sarah Turner. In a series of one-night events, colorful projections of work created by a variety of different artists move, transform, and illuminate the building facades that they are projected upon. These experimental works also include other interactive and immersive elements like audio recordings and are paired with a one-of-a-kind performances. You don’t want to miss the last event in the series on May 29 titled Breaking Ground, which will feature a sonic performance livestreamed in from Pamela Z in San Francisco, as well as a new performance work by keyon gaskin. Images courtesy of Portland Art Museum.