Friday, March 1, 2013

Lessons in Haiku

by Jamie Bennett 

So I took about four years off showing work and during this time I relocated to Oregon. I suppose I was feeling overworked and under inspired. Under inspired may be an extreme way of describing my thoughts and feelings but basically I had a lot going on, such as becoming a father (very inspiring – clarification).

It wasn't as though I stopped making art. My full time job is to create art. I was creating art professionally in my time off work too but I just wasn't inspired enough to show at a gallery. Also my finances were stretched pretty thin and I knew that if I was going to show again I would want to do it right. I didn't want to feel pressured to cut corners and sacrifice on quality just to save money.

I started devising grand schemes for exhibitions. Coming up with plans for work that would be created once I had time and money. This gallery was not part of those plans but I had to first describe the huge gap in my exhibition history before explaining how this gallery came about.
My beautiful wife Nia, went back to school to attain her master's degree at Pacific University in Eugene, Ore. During this time Pacific began participating in the Eugene ArtWalk. Nia was offered space in the entry way to this school and together we set about planning an exhibition. Nia and my own work is so drastically different from one anothers' that I think we were trying to find common ground to fill the entire space. I also really wanted to make this entryway sing. After much deliberation and discussion we set about creating giant sheets of lined paper.

The concept of this gallery was that Nia and I would explore the world of art together as children. We went through a box of things that my mother saved from my time in elementary school. I was quite the little artist and it inspired this whole haiku gallery.

These big sheets of paper are graded haiku's with illustrations and teachers notes. We came up with concepts for each child to correspond with their homework. Plagiarism, spelling errors and disorders speckled the gallery space.

We also strung enormous paper airplanes from the ceiling, created over sized love letters and fortune tellers. It was a very well thought out gallery. We even had jumbo pushpins and paperclips here and there. Pacific University asked to keep the art in it's permanent collection, which was great for Nia and I because, what are we suppose to do with a dozen giant haikus created by fictional students?

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