Art Center East is ‘Gathering Spaces’

Art Center East abstract

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 11.49.40 AMLA GRANDE — Art Center East will display “Gathering Spaces by Ann Kresge,” which features multiple art installations created specifically for the gallery at the art center.

When Kresge first visited the Grande Ronde Valley, the transition from forested slopes and plunging canyon walls into the open valley spoke to her, she said.

“It felt full of potential,” Kresge said. “I am interested in landscapes that grab you, sites that resonate with communities and individuals throughout history.”

She made a note to one day return and later jumped at the chance to exhibit her work at
La Grande’s Art Center East.

Kresge proposed an installation-style show with works tailored to the gallery space and created with the region’s unique qualities in mind, according to an Art Center East press release.

An abstract artist, Kresge doesn’t create lifelike depictions of her subjects. Instead, she tries to evoke an experience. The show’s theme explores how populations, individuals and thoughts converge and disperse.

When putting the show together, Kresge couldn’t help but notice that it would coincide with Aug. 21’s total solar eclipse, a celestial event many people will travel to witness, and that may turn out to be one of the largest one-day mass migrations in U.S. history.

“The idea of people gathering to watch the sun disappear behind the moon, taking that experience and its images away with them, seemed the perfect complement to her interest in how land calls people together,” the press release reads.

The exhibit includes three featured pieces. Gathering Spaces No. 1 and No. 2 are wall installations, and there is a floor installation, Gathering Space No. 3, between the first two. Kresge’s installations transform the gallery space, guiding viewers between them to invite closer inspection and excavation, according to the press release.

“My goal is to create something that attracts interaction,” Kresge said, more concerned with provoking questions. “I am not in control of what people get from it. I don’t complete the circle.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public. It will open with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 4 and will be on display through Sept. 8 in the main gallery. Art Center East is at 1006 Penn Ave., La Grande.

The art center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.artcentereast.org or call 541-624-2800.

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