Joe Hedges: Empirical Evidence at SPSCC

by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS

Coming next to The Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College is an exhibition of digital prints, sculptural objects, paintings and installations with sound components by Joe Hedges, assistant professor of painting and intermedia at Washington State University.

Gallery director Nathan Barnes says he doesn’t yet know which of Hedges’s pieces will be included in the show, but he describes the artist’s work overall as small objects and installations combined with digital prints and paintings. For example, Barnes says, “The work ‘Connect Electrodes’ emits a robotic voice repeating, ‘Connect electrodes,’ as a defibrillator refuses to accept tree bark as human flesh.”

The exhibition might include the use of objects collected from the environment “to create a conceptual installation,” says Barnes, “but presented alongside paintings and photographs that I hope and believe demonstrate some measure of technical skill. These works are united in exploring themes such as the effects of technology, scientific instrumentation, the intersection of digital and physical media (and) the presence of the human hand throughout history.”

Barnes expresses the hope that the exhibition will “spark a way for students and gallery-goers to consider ways that intermedia approaches to contemporary art can posit questions about art-making and contemporary culture.”

Hedges says, “My recent digital prints, oil paintings, sculptures and installations are created by scavenging for discarded objects—the handles of hair dryers, plastic toys, frayed wires, rocks and plant parts, empty containers—and rearranging them into new configurations. These decommissioned objects are thus re-imbued with a new sense of fantastic function and meaning, as artworks that ask the viewer to consider how our tools and materials shape the world at large.”

What: Joe Hedges: Empirical Evidence

Where: The Gallery at Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts,
South Puget Sound Community College,
2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia

When: noon – 4 p.m. weekdays, April 17 – May 12,
opening reception 6 p.m. Monday, April 17

How much: free

Learn more: 360-596-5527 | The Gallery

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