“Critical Messages: Contemporary Northwest Artists on the Environment”

Willamette University's Hallie Ford Museum of Art will present "Critical Messages: Contemporary Northwest Artists on the Environment" Aug. 28 through Nov. 7. Co-organized with the Western Gallery at Western Washington University in Bellingham, the exhibition explores 26 contemporary artists' responses to a host of environmental issues confronting the Pacific Northwest.

Their works focus on issues such as managing growth and consumption as well as preserving wilderness, wetlands and biodiversity. The exhibition features a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, video and installation. Oregon artists Rick Bartow, Michael Brophy, Jana Demartini, Robert Dozono, Roll Hardy, Adam Sorensen and James B. Thompson are among those whose works are included in the exhibition.

The exhibition is accompanied by text panels, chat panels, artist statements and an 80-page, full-color catalogue with essays by Sarah Clark Langager, director of the Western Gallery, and Bill Dietrich, assistant professor of environmental studies at Western Washington University.

Langager will give an illustrated lecture about the artists in the exhibition Aug. 27 at 5 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall at Willamette University's College of Law. Admission is free, and a preview reception for the exhibition will follow from 6-8 p.m. in the museum. Langager holds a doctorate from the City University of New York and has been director and curator of the Western Gallery at Western Washington University since 1988.

"Critical Messages" is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support has been provided by the Homer Bernard Mathes Endowment at the Western Gallery, an anonymous fund in Seattle, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Exhibition Fund, the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.  

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. near Willamette University. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Admission is free for children younger than 12, and for everyone on Tuesdays.  For more information, call (503) 370-6855.