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Darren Orange, “Ship Of Theseus,” 2019. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Darren Orange, “Ship Of Theseus,” 2019. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Darren Orange's "Those Who Step Into The Same Rivers" to be exhibited in the Governor's Office Nov. 14 -- Jan. 21 (Photo) - 11/06/19

Salem, Oregon – Astoria artist Darren Orange will exhibit “Those Who Step Into The Same Rivers” in the Governor’s Office of the Capitol Building in Salem from Nov.14 to Jan. 21.

In this new body of work Orange’s compositions stretch further from literal reference and deeper into abstraction. The artist continues to explore automatism, a practice of intuitive mark making that engages both play and meditative focus. The resulting built-up paint layers present suggestive imagery that reveal the history of the painting process in line, smudge and replacement. The exhibited works were created in Orange’s studio on the Columbia River.

The exhibition title refers to a quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus. In response to the ancient philosophical paradox known as The Ship of Theseus, Heraclitus stated that though a river changes as the water is replenished by other water, the river continues to be the same river. Likewise, a person who steps into the same river twice may also have changed, but still maintains the same identity.

After studying art at Western Washington University, Orange moved to the remote area of the Lower Columbia in 2000, setting up a studio with friends in a defunct schoolhouse. He has resided in Astoria since then, minus a two-year sojourn to Santa Fe in the mid-2000s. The sublime and grandeur experience of nature, in the place where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, continues to inspire him.

Orange’s work is recognized throughout the Northwest and abroad. His work has been selected for exhibitions by Dominic Iocono of the Syracuse University Art Galleries, Michael Klein of the Microsoft Collection, Nat Trottman of the Guggenheim, Bonnie Laing Malcolmson of the Portland Art Museum, Margarette Bullock of the Tacoma Art Museum, and many others. Academic institutions such as Portland State University, Mt. Hood Community College, Peninsula College, Lower Columbia College, Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, and Clatsop College have awarded him with solo exhibitions. Orange’s paintings are in private and public collections including Western Oregon University, Trimet, and the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation. He is represented by Imogen Gallery in Astoria.

The Art in the Governor’s Office Program honors selected artists in Oregon with exhibitions in the reception area of the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol. Artists are nominated by a statewide committee of arts professionals who consider artists representing the breadth and diversity of artistic practice across Oregon, and are then selected by the Arts Commission with the participation of the Governor’s Office. Only professional, living Oregon artists are considered and an exhibit in the Governor’s office is regarded as a “once in a lifetime” honor. Artists whose work has previously been shown in the Governor’s office include Henk Pander, Michele Russo, Manuel Izquierdo, James Lavadour, Margot Thompson, Gordon Gilkey and Yuji Hiratsuka.

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The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development. 

The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust. More information about the Oregon Arts Commission is available online at: www.oregonartscommission.org.

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