Local artists transform vacant storefronts into interactive works of art
Windowfront Exhibitions returns Friday, April 7 with a new collection of rotating public art installations curated specifically for the spring season.
Running through July 16, “Viva la Spring!” celebrates a time when we emerge from our winter shells, reconnect with our community and enthusiastically embrace new conversations and shared ideas. The artists in this series are presenting works that explore their identities through the unique perspectives of their cultural, racial and societal backgrounds. When we appreciate these efforts with an open mind, we seek to better each other through empathy and emotional exchanges.
Some highlights from these public art installations:
- 873 Willamette St.: Kenji Shimizu’s exhibit, “Diversity Project,” celebrates our multicultural and eclectic community from a Japanese immigrant’s point of view. Inspired by the different backgrounds and values of his subjects, Shimizu uses photographic portraits that resemble Renaissance paintings to create a legacy for each of them.
- 833 Willamette St.: Through a partnership between Creative Connections and Hosea Youth Services, mosaic artist Stephanie Jackson encouraged unhoused youth to use art to express their strengths and potentials. The result is “What I Bring to the Table,” a collaborative stained-glass mosaic tabletop that points to the healing power of art and the inherent value of all members of our community.
- 824 Charnelton St: Zoë Gamell Brown presents her art installation “Vexing Me!”. Brown invites you to immerse yourself in Caribbean currents and carry the exchange forward. Take time and recognize the multiplicity within Guyanese identity expressed through a variety of mediums, including ceramic sculptures, experimental video, landscape photography, cartography and sonic arts.
Two of the artists, Shimizu and Jackson, will host free pop-up galleries from 5:30-8 p.m. April 7 at their exhibit locations as part of Lane Arts Council’s First Friday ArtWalk. Visitors will be able to meet the artists in person during this time to learn more about their inspirations and creative processes. Members of Cultural Connections and Hosea Youth Services will also be present at Jackson’s pop-up, where guests will be encouraged to participate in creating a community mosaic piece.
Windowfront Exhibitions showcases local artists and arts organizations, transforms vacant storefronts into works of art, highlights downtown businesses and offers vibrancy and engagement to the community. We believe all empty spaces have great potential to be transformed by artists and innovation. Windowfront Exhibitions is committed to furthering inclusivity into everyday practice in public art, spaces and dialogue beyond designated months.
Thanks to partners Harmonic Laboratory, Campbell Commercial Real Estate, Pacific Real Estate Services and Lane Council of Governments for their support. For more information, visit eugene-or.gov/windowfrontexhibitions.
Cultural Services provides year-around programming to promote public art and cultural events throughout Eugene. The team utilizes responsible and catalytic leadership to support the public’s vision for a thriving arts and cultural sector that contributes to the community’s social and economic wellbeing.