The Self and Portrait Project

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I was selected to create work for Window on Art in Corvallis, Oregon. My collaborator, Katrina Henry, and I created a participation based art project that enticed the community to not only join in on the conversation, but become part of the final artwork as well.

Project Description:

A stark and seemingly empty space will fill up over time as viewers choose to interact, participate, and develop an art installation. TheSelf and Portrait Project is about perspective, conversation, and community. By engaging an audience through self reflection questions we hope to ignite a simultaneous inner and outer dialog. By asking personal questions in a public space we aim to widen perspectives and encourage a different and hopefully deeper thought process. Perhaps the audience will not only think in terms of self, but also in terms of other.  By being interaction and participation based we strive to inspire connection and conversation on several levels, including artist to viewer, viewer to art, viewer to self, viewer to viewer, stranger to stranger, and citizen to city. While viewers interact and become participants and art makers they also become art objects. Each participant will be asked to stand and be photographed by us. A piece of each participant will make up a whole portrait that will come to represent the city of Corvallis.

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Grab a pen. Write ONE WORD to describe yourself. Tape paper to the window so we can see your answer.

 

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Grab a pen. Write ONE WORD you think others would use to describe you. Tape your answer to the window so we can see it.

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Stand on the “X” and face the camera. We’ll take your portrait.

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self-and-portrait-project-documentation

Moments in Time – Exhibition Photographs

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

Maude Kerns Art Center offered me the opportunity to make my art installation for A Day in the Life a reality this year. With special help from my amazing and talented friend, Katrina Henry, the project came full circle and was installed and exhibited.

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton
A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

 

Artist Statement / A Day in the Life

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Please do 3 things for me:

  1.  Write down the details of one day of your life.
  1.  Send me a photograph of you.
  1.  Tell me your favorite color.

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What is a relationship?  From the past to the future, one human to the next, to an artist with the materials she uses.  Mundane moments make up the majority of our day.  Dependence on strangers occurs more than most of us would like to admit.  Every moment is significant as it leads us to the next.  Every person matters and their actions create reactions that affect the world.  My art expresses my ideas about chaos and coincidence. From the extreme mundane activities of eating, sleeping, and brushing one’s teeth, to dramatic and historical events that centuries will continue to hear about, they all hold meaning. We are all connected by moments in time.

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

A Day in the Life Art Installation by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

Art is Wild 2015

Harvest Moon - A Monotype by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

I had a blast last week raising money for Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

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I donated a work of art to their art auction and was so happy when it received 3 bids! The fundraising total crossed over $5,000! All of the goals for the night were met or exceeded.

Harvest Moon - A Monotype by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

I can’t express how good it feels to know that my art was used to help rescue animals and nurse them back to health. I love that this event combined so many of my favorite things. There was art inspired by nature, yummy food, and the night was dedicated to animals in need. What more could this girl ask for? And, to top it off, my artwork was a hit.

You, Me, and The Rest of The World – Exhibition Photographs

This summer I was fortunate to have the opportunity to create the art installation I visualized when I began my “Day in the Life” Art Project back in May of 2011. I’m still processing the whole ordeal and learning more about myself, my art concept, and what I want to say as an artist. I was pleasantly surprised that most people that saw the installation “got it” right away and several people interacted with the work (which was a big concern). All in all, it was a great success! I can’t wait to do it all over again in Eugene, Oregon in January of 2016!

Thank you Wiseman Gallery of Grants Pass, Oregon for taking a chance on lil’ ol’ me and letting me say what I want to say in the way I want to say it. I can’t tell you how good that truly feels.

To read more about the project, visit the blog dedicated to it here.

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Exhibition photographs from You, Me, and the Rest of the World by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

 

Exhibition photographs from You, Me, and the Rest of the World by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

 

Exhibition photographs from You, Me, and the Rest of the World by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

 

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Exhibition photographs from You, Me, and the Rest of the World by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

 

Exhibition photographs from You, Me, and the Rest of the World by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton

 

2014 Around Oregon Annual

Getting Caught is a series of photographs by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton about that moment a street photographer gets caught in the act of clicking the shutter

I’m excited to be one of the selected artists for this year’s Around Oregon Annual at The Art Center in Corvallis.

Getting Caught is a series of photographs by Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton about that moment a street photographer gets caught in the act of clicking the shutter

One of the photographs from my series, Getting Caught, was juried into the exhibition by Martha Lee of Laura Russo Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

I’m excited to attend the reception and meet some of my fellow Oregon artists. I’m still a newbie here and look forward to meeting new art folks in the area.

Artist Reception: Thursday, May 29, 5:30-7:30 pm
Brown Bag Artist Talk: Wednesday, June 4, 12 noon-1 pm

Martha Lee’s Jurors Statement:

I very much enjoyed the opportunity to serve as juror for The Arts Center’s 2014 Around Oregon Annual exhibition. While selecting just over 40 works from the 475 images submitted was a daunting task, I was impressed by the broad variety of artwork and the diversity of artistic practices as they reflect a vibrant and widespread art community—for which I am very grateful.

As I went through the submissions, a number of issues influenced my process and decisions—the first of which is the challenge of making selections based solely on digital images. I am something of a traditionalist and believe that nothing can replace or replicate the experience of standing in front of, and really looking at, a work of art.

Something is lost when one views a piece on the computer screen. Because of this, my selections tended toward images with a strong visual impact. I was also looking for work that displayed quality craftsmanship and a command of the media. In addition, while I was asked to select only one work per artist, I gave preference to submissions that included several pieces that I felt indicated the creation of a cohesive body of work, as it provided me with a clearer sense of the artist’s voice and his or her exploration of ideas.

Ultimately, while the work I selected stood out in a variety of ways, the choices are based on my personal preferences. Whenever I look at artwork, I am most drawn to work that I connect with and respond to in some way—work that is, in my estimation, technically accomplished as well as intellectually stimulating; work that invites closer scrutiny and engages my mind in a way that expands and enhances my view of the world around me. That is a gift that artists give to all of us through the creation and sharing of their work.

To all the artists who submitted—my sincere thanks for sharing your work with me.