Blame it on Wyoming: Carbon Based II, mixed media on canvas by JS Bird

Kathleen Caprario exhibited her projects White Noise/Peacekeeper and bioDIVERSITY. The White Noise/Peacekeeper project is a collaborative work with former Oregon State University student and artist Marissa Solini. The four minute video project begins with a narrated statement which includes the voice talent of former Lane Community College theater student Reese Madden and marketing specialist for the music, dance and theatre arts department John Watson. During the narration Marissa Solini’s Peacekeeper sculpture, a mass of plaster castings from a toy gun, also named The Peacekeeper, hovers on screen.

The short statement addresses issues of police brutality, white privilege, media silence and racism. The video continues for minutes with only black and white television static and the exhibit’s namesake “white noise” for audio.  

“White noise is supposed to represent the deafening silence in the mainstream white community about the shooting of unarmed black men,” Caprario said.“The dual meaning is also a memorial silence for those lives lost.”

Kathleen Caprario points to a moment of silence representing the death of an unarmed African American.Eric Howanietz / The Torch
Kathleen Caprario points to a moment of silence representing the death of an unarmed African American.

The exhibit includes a list of African Americans killed, accompanied by a large print-out of the silent audio track pinned to the wall showing moments of silence for the fallen. Caprario said she felt compelled to start the project after being shocked by her white friends’ lack of social media response to the killings. She says as a white artist she did question her right to produce White Noise but she vetted the project with African American friends in New Jersey.

“I have the privilege to talk about this. I’m not saying I know best, I’m not saying I can fix things; I’m presenting Information,” Caprario said.

Kathleen Caprario’s exhibit bioDIVERSITY is a pattern-based, environmentally derived series of collages. The two exhibits are intended to underline issues of environmental and social justice.

bioDIVERSITY: Refuge, mixed media on paper with cutouts by Kathleen CaprarioEric Howanietz / The Torch
bioDIVERSITY: Refuge, mixed media on paper with cutouts by Kathleen Caprario

J.S. Bird, a full-time faculty member of the Department of Art and Applied Design for over 12 years, presents the exhibit “Blame it on Wyoming.” Bird’s art includes a number of mixed media paintings on canvas and paper. The exhibit is accompanied by the artist statement “The First Elegy” by Rainer Maira Rilke.