19 Human Artists exhibit brings grad work to galleries

The opening reception for 19 Human Artists was held on the evening of April 9 in the Autzen Gallery. 19 Human artists is a collaboration between Portland State and the University of Oregon.

Running until April 24, the show is a mélange of work from the graduate studio arts programs at PSU and U of O. It shows the diversity in work from each program, highlighting technique, style and medium.

Students incorporated various aspects of technology, balance, humor, color, artistry and thought into their pieces. The opening reception hosted the artists and their friends for an early evening, paired with a cheese spread and a divine light highlighting the work put into the exhibit.

“The premise of 19 Human Artists was an exchange critique set up by the University of Oregon and Portland State University MFA program faculties. The faculties played a small part in this process; we took on larger roles, traveled and set up the exhibition ourselves,” Emily Lewis said, a PSU MFA candidate.

Lewis said that although the second-year students participated in the show, it was largely organized and installed by first-year students.

“It was exciting for us to participate in something outside of our own practices and challenging to work with two totally different gallery spaces,” Lewis said.

Although the team of students came from different areas and programs, the exhibit was a delight to put together. While PSU installed the works and curated the space, U of O published supplementary zines and made posters for the show.

Pam Minty, a PSU MFA candidate, took advantage of the experience working with U of O and applied it to her exhibited work. The subject of her photographic installment, titled “Roadside Geology 1 & 2,” is Bond Butte, located between Eugene and Portland.

“It was a great opportunity to display the photographs and incorporate a written component for the zine that describes directions for how to get there and view it from I-5,” Minty said. “For students in both programs, especially those from other states and countries, it provides a geographic point of reference that is unique to the experience of moving between these two places.”

The show is curated beautifully in the Autzen Gallery, giving viewers enough space to fully appreciate everything on display. Students worked with loud paints, cloth, photography and film detailing the sexting chronicles of a flip phone. Pieces were also curated into the Art Buildings of PSU.

“A part of what can be challenging for such a large group of artists working together is our varied practices. I think that’s where the name 19 Human Artists came from. Some of us do share similarities in the kinds of aesthetics and concepts we’re attracted to, finding those similarities, and really just spending time with the space to find out what worked are how we made decisions on curating both the Autzen and the art building galleries,” Lewis said.

The PSU MFA in Contemporary Art Practices candidates who participated include Amanda Wilson, Chris Freeman, Emily Lewis, Hyunju Kim, Jea Alford, Katie Holden, Kensey Anderson, Kyle Lee, Manny Layers, Pam Minty and Sarah-J. Calvetti.

The University of Oregon MFA in Art candidates who participated include Chelsea Couch, Daniel Loqez, Joe Moore, Mandy Hampton, Mary Morgan, Meril Wallace, Ron Linn and Sarah Mikenis.