Spring Brings New Art to Evergreen

By Ruby Love

March is almost upon us, and with it (hopefully) will come a little bit of sun and the campus will start exiting its sad grumpy state of hibernation. Come out of your caves, Greeners! Don’t be so sad! Sun or not, March also marks the beginning of new art exhibits around the Evergreen campus!

First off, if you haven’t seen Prison Obscura at Evergreen Gallery, or Selections from Captured Youth, at Galerie Fotoland (along the wall outside Photoland), you have until Mar. 2 to catch them!

If you don’t make it, though, don’t worry, there will be more art soon! Evergreen Gallery is going to be hosting a show celebrating the anniversary of Evergreen’s Longhouse, but they’ve been stingy with the details so far. All I can tell you is that it will be up sometime in March, and it’ll be a cool look at some Evergreen history. Look out for coverage of this exhibit closer to its opening date.

I do have details about a photography exhibit going up at Galerie Fotoland, though.The series, Women in the Trades, features portraits of Washington State women working in the trades, meaning they have amazingly badass jobs like ironworker, lineman, butcher, and heavy-equipment operator.

Seattle Times photographer Bettina Hansen teamed up with writer Susan Kelleher to interview and photograph ten different women at their job sites. Hansen chose to use a four-by-five  film camera in order to “slow the portrait process down and give it weight,” resulting in timeless, incredibly detailed images.

The process of shooting with a 4×5 camera requires a lot of skill and careful attention. The bulk and vintage feel of the camera confers respect onto the subject, as they are required to sit for a formal portrait. I could write all day about this  amazing process, but the point is it results in some amazing images with a lot of love and hard work poured into them.

Each print is accompanied by a vignette written by Kelleher. These words give insight into each woman’s experiences in traditionally male-dominated spaces, emphasizing the empowerment they’ve found in their work. Many of the women remark on the tangible accomplishments they’ve made, and how these accomplishments give them a sense of purpose. Many went from minimum wage jobs and frustration with barely getting by or being dependent on spouses, to making a solidly middle class wage and having financial freedom, often for the first time in their lives.

One woman, a single mom, was able to put her two children through college and buy a home. Another remarked that she would, like her grandfather, be able to ride through Seattle and point to all of the buildings she’d helped construct.

You can see Women in the Trades Mar. 4 – Apr. 24. It’s on the wall outside Photoland, so it’s open whenever you can get into the Library!