Gorge art project

Detail from the series “Amplified” by artist Kristy Kun. Maryhill Museum of Art’s Collaborative Art Project will bring together artists and communities along the Columbia River, including near Walla Walla, in summer 2022.

GOLDENDALE, Wash. — Maryhill Museum of Art’s Collaborative Art Project will bring together artists and communities along the Columbia River, including near Walla Walla, in summer 2022, said Maryhill Museum of Art Executive Director Colleen Schafroth.

A dozen regional fiber artists are slated to work on the museum’s second major community-based art project, The Exquisite Gorge Project II: Fiber Arts, in summer 2022. They’ll tap into communities along 220 miles of the Columbia River from the Willamette Confluence in Portland to the Snake River Confluence near Walla Walla.

Drawing inspiration from the people, landscape and river, artists will design an original fiber-based artwork in collaboration with the local community and a designated community partner.

The 11 finished works will connect to adjacent sections to create a large, 66-foot flowing sculpture with the Columbia River as a central element.

The Exquisite Gorge Project was inspired by the surrealist parlor game “Exquisite Corpse,” a drawing game where participants take turns drawing sections of a body on a piece of paper folded to hide each successive contribution.

In the case of The Exquisite Gorge Project, the Columbia River is the “body” that unifies the collaboration between artists and communities.

“The Columbia River weaves lives together in the most amazing ways,” says Louise Palermo, curator of education at Maryhill Museum of Art and founder of the Exquisite Gorge Project.

“The Exquisite Gorge Project brings artists and communities together to explore their experiences and stories of living along the Columbia River. We are excited to have an incredibly talented group of fiber artists who will bring creativity and their unique vision to the project.”

Oregon-based artists Tammy Jo Wilson and Owen Premore will serve as artistic director and technical director, respectively, alongside artists Francisco and Laura Bautista, Lynn Deal, Ophir El-Boher, Carolyn Hazel Drake, Xander Griffith, Chloë Hight, Kristy Kún, Magda Nica, Jessica Lavadour and Amanda Triplett.

Participants work in a variety of textile and fiber-based media, from weaving, basketry and repurposed textiles to quilt making, jewelry and felt making. Artists will collaborate with a Community Partner and interact with community members from their assigned stretch of the river to create unique installations, sculpture and innovative designs attached to that specific site.

They will also engage in programs meant to inspire and educate the public about fiber arts. Maps and guides will encourage the public to visit each location and a culminating activity is planned for Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, at Maryhill Museum of Art, where artists and each “exquisite corpse” section will be brought together to reveal the continuous artwork.

Section Nine of the river will include Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation artist Jessica Lavadour and section 10 will have ArtWalla artist Kristy Kun.

To support the event as a sponsor, contact Colleen Schafroth at 509-773-3733, ext. 23 or development@maryhillmuseum.org.

For more information visit maryhillmuseum.org.


Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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