Evergreen Lecture- Jamie Bollenbach

From the Cooper Point Journal, Evergreen State College

"Trying to make everything happen": Painter Jamie Bollenbach speaks at Evergreen

Submitted by Tara Swenson on Thu, 10/08/2009 - 1:37pm

Wednesday saw the first in what is to be a yearlong series of art lectures facilitated by Student-Originated Studies: Visual Arts faculty Matt Hamon at The Evergreen State College. This week’s lecture was given by the Seattle-based fine art painter Jamie Bollenbach.
    Bollenbach. works in large-scale oil painting, measuring the passage of time and movement of his subjects through rapid sketching which he transforms into abstracted, saturated biomorphic forms. “A theme that shows up a lot in my work is that I’m trying to make everything happen, and to me that seemed like a really absurd thing to say, but to me visual experience touches on all experience.”

    Bollenbach spent his formative years in Anchorage, Alaska, with a home life politically charged by his progressive feminist mother. After leaving home he went on to obtain a bachelor's degree in political science from Reed College in Portland, then to a post as the director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Alaska. Painting took root in him while at Reed under the tutelage of Michael Knudson, and his tour in politics was soon abandoned. “In the early '90s I gave up my perfectly good political career and I decided I was going to try to be an artist. This was an ill-informed decision in many ways, but it was something I couldn’t not do,”Bollenbach.said.
    Bollenbach continued on to pursue and ultimately obtain a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Washington. Now teaching at the Northwest College of Art, he offered this advice to the audience at Wednesday's lecture: “The main thing, I think, is to find the path of curiosity that seems infinitely rich, that you can explore for years. The funny thing about painting is that after literally forty thousand years, at a minimum, we haven’t learned everything about blue yet.” Bollenbach.insists that his students not stop experimenting with their work. “As an artist, think of yourself as a scientist, an experimenter. Fail more often, what works really well is a state of persistent dissatisfaction.”
    The Evergreen.Art Lectures are open to the public. They are held each Wednesday in Lecture Hall I at 11:30 a.m. Next week's lecture features Evergreen faculty member Ruth Hayes. A current schedule of presenters is available online at academic.Evergreen..edu/curricular/artlectures/.
    More information on the works of Jamie Bollenbach  including information on his upcoming installation project, is available at his website: Jamie.Bollenbach.googlepages,com.


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