Fiber art and street photography featured in Lane Art Gallery

Two new exhibits are open in the Lane Community College Art Gallery on Lane’s main campus this month. “Body Language” features the work of mixed media fiber artist, Erica Spitzer Rasmussen. “Photos from the Imperfect World” features street photography by Ed Aust.  Both exhibits are free, located in Building 11, first floor, on the main campus and run from Jan. 9 to Feb. 9.

Both artists were chosen in part because their productions are reflective of what students can do in the art department at Lane.

“Our goal is always to support our faculty’s curriculum, to really give students an opportunity to see the ideas and the concepts that they’re learning in class come to full fruition through a professional artist,” Jennifer Salzman, Gallery Director, said.

Rasmussen produces mixed media fiber art and artists’ books, both of which are less-common mediums. Lane offers several classes for each of these media.

Rasmussen uses handmade paper as the base for fiber sculptures because of its resemblance to human flesh. “It speaks about the fragility and vulnerability of the flesh,” Rasmussen said, “also, it’s an environmentally friendly medium.”

“The works in the show either materialize the body related myth from childhood, adult anxieties, or make reference to the stories of loved-ones.” Rasmussen embroiders her work with self-portraits and visions of others’ lives, reflecting on how our experience shapes and is shaped by our physical form.

“A Portrait of My Father,” a replication of a pair of lederhosen painted with cow blood, is one of Rasmussen’s pieces on exhibit.

Rasmussen’s father, an Austrian Jew, witnessed Hitler’s invasion of Vienna and was forced to flee the country as a child.

“These lederhosen, made from plant fibers gathered from a piece of our family’s reclaimed property, are modeled after the ones my father wore as a child,” Rasmussen said.

“Photos from the Imperfect World” is comprised of black and white photography from the streets of Oakland, Calif. and the San Francisco Bay area, taken on the artist’s commute to and from his day job. All the photographs in the exhibit are printed in black and white, because, “black and white emphasizes the moment without the distraction of color,” Aust said. “[The] images seem more soulful and timeless to me.”

Aust considers street photography to be philosophical. By juxtaposing what he considers to be cultural artifacts with people carrying on with their daily lives, Aust attempts in this collection to communicate, “how joy and grief always coexist … how beauty shines in the mundane.”

In addition to his works being displayed in the exhibit, Aust will be giving a presentation on Thursday, Jan. 19 in the gallery on Lane’s main campus. The lecture will be 30 minutes, followed by a reception with refreshments.