SAM Gallery Offers Sneak Peek of the Upcoming Northwest Biennial at Tacoma Art Museum

Our show Earth Matters runs through December 10 and includes the work of Portland artist Kelly Neidig.  Long into the planning, neither Neidig nor the Tacoma Art Museum had any idea that the pieces in SAM Gallery’s show would also be selected for the prestigious Biennial. You can see these pieces, Monoculture 1 and Monoculture 2, right now in the SAM Gallery front windows at 1220 Third Avenue, Seattle.  TAM’s Biennial show is slated for January 21–May 20, 2012.

SAM Gallery supports local art and artists and you can too by visiting during our open hours Tuesday-Saturday 10:30 am – 5 pm.  We’re just two blocks east of the museum and SAM members can rent the artwork, which is a way to try it out before you buy.

The SAM Gallery show is thematically grouped around artists who are commenting on the fragile and imperiled state of the environment.  TAM’s show has a related subject: “the 10th Northwest Biennial will examine the vital questions of who we are as residents of the Pacific Northwest, what we look like, and what are our aspirations for our communities.”

So what’s Neidig thinking about when she paints?

Her nostalgia for place comes from the drives she would take as a child to her grandparents’ house.  These fond memories combine with her technical background in landscape architecture to create a contemporary concern about the environment and human impact on the land.

“Like a blueprint, I build my paintings with many layers, starting with a basic outline of the landscape and adding layers of lines that represent the elements in the landscape,” she explains.  Monoculture 1 and 2 (the pieces in SAM Gallery front windows that will also be in the TAM show) were inspired by several trips Neidig took last year to Mt. St. Helens.  “It is an interesting juxtaposition of the large-scale natural disaster of the eruption against man’s impact of clear cutting and replanting monoculture crops of Douglas Firs.”

Neidig also points to a recent month she spent doing an artist residency in Reykjavik, Iceland.  “The landscape of Iceland often made me think of my life here in the Pacific Northwest.  While the landscapes were dramatically different, the problems they have with the environment and climate change affects us all.”

If you’re thinking about the environment and want to ponder what artists are saying, or just want to enjoy viewing an immense variety of local artwork, stop by SAM Gallery.  We’re always free and open to the public.

-Jody Bento, SAM Gallery Manager

Takk1 and Takk2 oil on canvas, 36×36 each, with artist Kelly Neidig