”Contemporary Oregon Visions: Jo Hamilton and Irene Hardwicke Olivieri” opens at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art


Works from two contemporary Oregon artists are on view in the JSMA’s Schnitzer Gallery from April 1 to August 3, 2014


EUGENE, Ore. -- (March 17, 2014) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon looks at the work of two Oregon artists in “Contemporary Oregon Visions: Jo Hamilton and Irene Hardwicke Olivieri.”  On view from April 1 to August 3, 2014, the exhibition presents two substantially different but equally innovative approaches to figurative art.


“Both artists are deeply interested in the complexity of human relationships and reflect this interest through densely layered and colorful imagery,” says Jessi DiTillio, co-curator and JSMA assistant curator for contemporary art. “And both are Oregon artists.  Together, their work shows a small slice of the diversity in Oregon’s artistic production today.”


In conjunction with the exhibition, Hamilton and Olivieri will present a talk on their work on Wednesday, April 16, at 5:30 p.m. A reception follows. On Saturday, May 10, at 1 p.m., Olivieri will lead a gallery tour highlighting the works featured in her new publication “Irene Hardwicke Olivieri: Closer to Wildness.”


“Both artists are academically trained, but they’ve transformed their work over time,” says June Black, co-curator of the exhibition and JSMA assistant curator for the arts of the Americas and Europe. “In the case of Hamilton, she’s moved to craft, while Olivieri’s work can almost be described as folk art. Still, both are in dialogue with contemporary art.”


Hamilton, born in Glasgow, Scotland, moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1996. The first twenty years of her career was spent painting in oils and watercolors until her artistic practice was transformed in 2006 by a non-traditional textile art exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Craft.  She was inspired to combine two parts of her life that were essential to her character – her urban environment and her grandmother’s tradition of crochet. Hamilton’s work displays a whimsical and affectionate vision of working-class Portland, and she often portrays friends and co-workers from her days in the food-service industry. The exhibition includes “I Crochet Portland,” her first attempt at a “crocheted painting.”


Olivieri was born and raised in southern Texas, before earning her MA degree from New York University. While living in New York, she worked as a gardener at The Cloisters and at The New York Botanical Garden, where she created drawings of tropical palms and the insects that pollinate them. She now lives and works “off the grid” in the high desert of central Oregon, where she raises caterpillars, water lilies, and succulents, and keeps a beetle colony. Her intimate knowledge of the natural world pervades her artwork, and language plays a key element: dense layers of poetic, visionary, and autobiographical text are interwoven with her compositions’ background and figures. The exhibition features, among other work, a selection of her inventive sculpture series “PaleoGirls,” delicately articulated mosaics of female figures and hybrid creatures, made from the fragile bones she extracts from owl pellets.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America, Europe and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in the state of Oregon—and the only university museum--accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


Contacts Debbie Williamson Smith, Communications Manager, 541-346-0942,


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