Beth I. Robinson is an artist, mediator & facilitator exploring bereavement and transforming conflict through creativity & collaboration. She offers options for grieving well and companionship through her artwork, meditation practice, and by facilitating alternate options for grief support and reconciliation.
Come and listen to artists speak about their work in the 14th Around Oregon Annual Artist Reception:
June 16, Thursday, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Join us for the 14th Around Oregon Annual Brown Bag Artist Talk on
June 9, Thursday, 12:00 noon-1:00 pm
Come see my piece called "May Queen" @ The Arts Center 700 SW Madison Ave. Corvallis, OR 97333 Gallery Hours: 12 - 5 pm Tuesday - Saturday
Is there a distinct “Oregon Style?” The Around Oregon Annual exhibition is an opportunity to find out.
The 14th Around Oregon Annual juried exhibition, showcases the artwork of artists from around our state. The exhibition is hosted by The Arts Center to allow local residents to see new artists, and is an opportunity for artists to show their work to a new audience. The exhibition is June 2 – July 9, 2016. There is a Brown Bag Art Talk, Thursday June 9, 12 noon, and a Corvallis Art Walk and Artist Reception, Thursday June 16, 4 – 8 pm. The reception for the Around Oregon Annual is a chance to engage in lively conversations about art. Many artists come to view the work in the gallery, meet the juror, and see who receives the cash awards.
The Around Oregon Annual stays fresh with a different sensibility every year. Each year a new juror is invited from outside of our immediate community, who brings his or her distinct awareness of artists from other parts of the state. This year, The Arts Center invited John Olbrantz, the Maribeth Collins Director of the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem to jury the show. His fields of expertise are Ancient Roman and Contemporary American art. Over the years, Olbrantz has organized over 100 exhibitions and juried over 40 art competitions on the West Coast, lectured extensively and published in the fields of ancient and contemporary art. He is the Chair of the Salem Public Art Commission. Some of his recent exhibits at the Hallie Ford Museum are Sherrie Wolf Objects Lessons and A Contemporary Bestiary.
For the 14th Around Oregon Annual, Olbrantz selected 42 works by 42 artists that showcase a variety of different mediums, styles, and approaches. To arrive at his selections, he asked himself: Does the artist have a thorough mastery of their materials and techniques? Are they pushing the boundaries of the medium to create new and exciting work? Does their work make me laugh? Cry? Think outside the box? Challenge my notions about art and ideas? Overall, Olbrantz was deeply impressed with both the quality and diversity of art made in our state, not just in Portland, Salem and Eugene, but in towns like Florence, Lorane, Jacksonville, Mt. Angel and, of course, Corvallis.
This exhibit received generous sponsorship support from the Steele Family Fund of The Arts Center’s Endowment Fund.
The juried exhibitors come from many places around the state of Oregon. Listed below, leading with location, are this year's list of talented artists:
Jennifer Gimzewski Hope
Diane Archer The Encouragement of Light
Karen Debra Messer Cats by Clothesline
Bob Keefer Blowdown 2016
Jon Anthony Thomson Twin Stones
Chi Meredith Infusion
Dava Behrens Cathedral at Florence
Clint Brown A Mixed Reception
Beth Barnett Parking Garage No. 5
Rebecca Arthur Spiral Galaxy
Herman Krieger Sitting Room
Mike Walsh Indus India Series
Elizabeth Magee The Light is Pale Yellow Now
Beverly Soasey Tactile Forces No. 3
Rebecca Mannheimer The Unexpected Begins to Emerge
Nancy Pobanz Rough Legged Hawk
Diane English The Neighbors
Sara Ciampa Precipice
Bets Cole Beauty of Umpqua
Karen Russo La Primavera
Stephanie Ames Singularity
Brooke Nuckles Gentekos Shield
Beth I Robinson May Queen
Deborah Unger Walls and Doors
Wes Cropper Dissenting Opinion
Deb Stoner Blue
Al Flory Slocum House Viewed from the South
Stephan Soihl Revolving Chambered Plexiglas Volume
Woking in collections, archives and museums plays a huge part in my artistic practice. Collections are important aspects of understanding how we got here and where we need to go. Since culture is embedded with deep patterns, contemporary North American humanity attempts to deal with grief through the memorial institution often by collecting cultural property. These objects can be used for their narrative properties or their ability to filter memory, shame and support a structure of violence. Objectifying the universe is an attempt to find a kind of order by making the emotional grief visible through intellectual means. Often at large consequences to minority cultures, there practices looted cultural and environmental property. Actions of violence, dehumanization and continuing avoidance practices and colonization created by many "Collectors" is embedded in the contemporary museum interpretation practices.
In 2011, I conceptualized and curated The Hunt Show, which showed at the Hoffman Gallery, Portland, OR. I selected, organized and guided 25 artists and three archivist through a facilitated scavenger hunt in the OHSU medical archives. This engaged the artists, medical professionals and the public in a mediated dialogue about health practices through contemporary and historical reference.
Recently, I was asked by my beloved friend and fabulous curator, Moe Williams, if she could use "The Hunt" show as inspiration for The Muse. And then she told me her wonderful and exciting new plan! I told her not only would I love that and I want to participate!
The Muse exhibition is a collaboration between Liberty Arts and The Siskiyou County Museum of Yreka. This invitational group show consists of over 20 local and regional artist who will visit with a specific piece at the museum and will then utilize the artifact as inspiration for one awesome new creation of artwork to be shown at the Liberty Arts Gallery and then displayed at the Siskiyou County Museum.
This will be a great opportunity for artists and viewers to reflect on the importance of the unique collections of Siskiyou County. Within this exhibition, The Muse, will play homage to and awaken history through contemporary eyes and new interest for the rich stories and artifacts collected by our predecessors. The Siskiyou County Museum is full of hidden gems, unknown tales of triumphs, hardships and unlikely heroes. Their sacrifices, way of life, stories and everyday materials were important enough to be preserved and now we respectfully breathe new and interesting life into them.
Many folks often ask me about my creative practice and how I continue to advocate for mourning well. A lot of the time, I am not literally "making" artwork, I am "filling the well" for when I do "make." Largely, my artwork records expressions of grief and loss. While my part time mediations and facilitations help to companion people through the issues conflict and loss cause. I take these experiences in comparison with my own, lots of visual and written research, walking my dogs and the simple day to day of being a human. This includes a lot of lemon, honey and hot water. Often there are deep talks or silly nonsense with my friends, things that happen while working part time at an art museum, or sarcasm with my NJ pedigree husband and family. Also, I am pretty terrible at caring for myself and try to put in place lots of reminders. Even with parts of reconciliation, being a griever continues, it just changes. People are forever changed by loss, therefore, it becomes the new reality.
A reoccurring theme this month was people asking what I thought about the "long stages of grief."
First, I define:
Grief as the internal normal & natural reaction to loss.
Grief as the internal conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior. While mourning is the external expression of loss.
This can be very complex.
A problem for many people is that even though grief is the normal & natural reaction to a loss the vast majority of what we learn in our society about dealing with loss is not normal, not natural or helpful. We learn more about how to mend a broken arm, then we do about how to support people grieving.
Stages of grief:
The "stages" of grief originate from an incredible lady named Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. As a Swiss psychiatrist, she revolutionized the way people treat terminally ill patients while promoting compassion and more empathic care methods. In 1969, she introduced the 5 stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.Unfortunately, her theory has been largely misunderstood. Her model was created while working with people dying of cancer. Therefore, "the stages" refer to the phases of grief a DYING person goes through, not a guide for grieving the death of another person. Even Dr. Kubler-Ross later stated she "never meant the 5 stages to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages."
I want to acknowledge that if you are grieving, your relationship with your loss is unique and individual therefore your process of grief will also be. For one example, the relationship with the person you lost might not have been a positive one.
I think of my grief as waves, at times, closer together or further apart. Sometimes big or small. These waves work their way into my artwork a lot. I am fascinated by large ships moving across large bodies of water, sunken ships and objects. Not to mention, "hold tight."
Taking the time to acknowledge it by naming the grief, I feel helps to record and then process bereavement. Grievers are navigating between two circle, one prior to the loss and the new one beside it, the one with the loss. "Long stages of grief," for me refer to unresolved grief. Grief is like a game of dominoes. Each loss can fall one on top of another back to the behavior you learned at your very first experience. This can create a very complex mixture of different events you're grieving. Remember, grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior. This can include death, illness, divorce, job changes, moves and many more. Yet, death provides a no questions reality of change.
Unresolved grief is often about the things we wish we'd said or done differently, better or more. It is also about unrealized hopes, dreams, and experiences we had for the relationship after a loss. Even in the best relationships, we are often left with plans that never got to happen. In negative relationships, the death or loss robs of the possibility of repair, therefore, preventing the relationship from becoming positive.
Unresolved grief then becomes about undelivered communications of an emotional nature and how to work through the process of grief. These can become projections into your current course or you may keep wanting to redo this relationship within other relationships or reenact the responsibilities and frustrations. It is great to acknowledge this, name it to be able to change it and then, if possible, take action to make it better even if it is a hard decision to move unresolved grief forward. I can tell you how I do my own process and know you each have your own unique path to take. I hope that through your own grief work you will find a process that supports you completely while being able to reconcile well.
I have noticed I never really evaluate the past year until February. I guess it is because Christmas is just really busy, also it is one of the few holidays not attached to a death for me. February marks the beginning of the year because it begins the cycle of the death anniversaries for me and my family. My father's mother and mother's father died only a couple of hours apart on Feb. 1. Then within a five year period, we lost another ten family members. Uncomfortable situations with grief and mourning lead me to my current body of artwork as well as becoming a mediator.
These anniversaries are used as a guide me for the next year, the missing pieces and parts where I need to understand my emotional intelligence better, provide support or buttresses, sketches are created during this reflection, and the continued collecting and collaging often rages. It is also a memorial that reminds me to tell those I care about they are loved, alive or dead. Valentines Day has a dark origin and has grown sweeter over the years while becoming more commercialized, that istrue. And who knows, what all that red flocking is doing. This time reminds me that "peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflicts" - Dorothy Thompson.
Wishing you a creative alternative this Feb. 14 th!
Also, at the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum be sure to stop by and see: