Confluence Project featuring Lin to open at Center on Friday
Highly touted American artist Maya Lin, who is best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will have her artwork on exhibition at the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, starting this Friday, Aug. 26
The exhibit, called "Confluence Project: Reimaging the Columbia River with artwork by Miaya Lin", will be on display at the Center through Feb. 10. A special opening reception will take place on Friday at 6-8 p.m. in the Center. Lin, however, will not be in attendance.
In 2000, Lin agreed to act at the artist and architect for the Confluence Project, a series of outdoor installations at historical points along the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest. It's the largest and longest project of her career.
The exhibit includes models created by Lin and her New York studio, as well as images and models of the Vancouver Land Bridge created by Jones and Jones Architects in Seattle. These exhibit pieces will help to illustrate the process leading from final design drawings and models to the completed artworks. Before-and-after photographs will address the context, utility and aesthetics of each site and provide a forum for interpreting the places, people and environmental changes along the Columbia River.
Construction images and elements will give visitors a stronger connection to the challenges of realizing an installation of this scope. The exhibit will also offer open access to Journey Book and an introspective video by Lin.
The Confluence Project is a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest tribes, Lin, civic groups from Washington and Oregon and other artists, architects and landscape designers. The project stretches more than 300 miles with sites in Oregon and Washington. Each of its seven sites features an art installation by Lin that interprets the area's ecology and history, encouraging the visitor to reflect on how the surroundings have changed over time. Each references a passage from the Lewis and Clark journals.
With distinctive artworks and restored native habitat, the completed sites create new points of contact - confluence - between nature and art; past, present and future; and the enduring communities of the Pacific Northwest-its Native People and more recent visitors and residents.
Chief Timothy Park, an island at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers in Clarkston, is the only Confluence Project site that still resembles what Lewis and Clark saw 200 years ago. Here, Lin is fully restoring a section of the island to native grasses and wildflowers and will install a large, stone-rimmed earthwork: a "listening circle" sculpted out of a natural amphitheater located at the top of the island. The shape is inspired by a Nez Perce blessing ceremony performed there in spring 2005, at which the women were seated facing north, the men facing south, and the elders facing east, with no one allowed to pass behind them. The form of the "listening circle" also arises from Lin's initial response to this site, where she envisioned creating a modern-day hieroglyph, representing waves moving on the water.
Lin has an impressive resume, including winning the public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when she beat out 1,441 other submissions despite being just 21 in 1981. The black stone wall, with the names of the 58,261 fall American soldiers carved into it, was completed in October of 1982 and is located in Washington D.C. The V-shape wall has one side pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and the other to the Washington Monument. A replica of the wall was on display at Lewiston earlier this month.
The exhibition is brought to the LCSC Center for Arts & History through sponsorships from LCSC Community Programs, Richard & Jennifer Weiland, Colleen Mahoney, Hells Canyon Visitor's Bureau, ASLCSC, and through grants from US Bancorp, Idaho Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.
Also showing in the gallery through October 7 will be a continuance of The Wilderness Within, work by artist Scott Schuldt. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are graciously accepted.
For more information, visit www.lcsc.edu/museum or call (208) 792-2243.