Windowfront Exhibitions - Viva La Spring!
April 7-July 16, 2023
Downtown Eugene’s empty storefronts become interactive artworks and galleries with new and evolving windowfront paintings and art installations. Come downtown by foot, car or bike to enjoy windowfronts transformed by local artists, artisans and creatives. Windowfront Exhibitions believes all empty spaces have great potential to be transformed by artists and innovation.
Spring is a time of exploration as we emerge from our winter shells, reconnect with our community and enthusiastically embrace new conversations and shared ideas. The artists in this series are presenting works that explore their identities through the unique perspectives of their cultural, racial and societal backgrounds. When we appreciate these efforts with an open mind, we seek to better each other through empathy and emotional exchanges.
- Art Installations from local artists seeking to uplift and enliven Downtown Eugene through art installations in storefront windows.
- Urban Canvas Windowfront paintings by Urban Canvas artists.
Creative Connections curated by Stephanie Jackson
Gifts I Bring to the Table | Stained-Glass Mosaics
Dates displayed: April 7-June 8, 2023
Location: 833 Willamette Street
About the art: When individuals and communities are given opportunities to reimagine beauty in the midst of what may feel broken, we have the potential to collectively encounter hope, purpose and courage to move forward together. As light pours through repurposed stained-glass fragments in these mosaic pieces created by youth experiencing homelessness, we catch a glimpse of the strengths and potential that lie within each of these individuals. We witness words and images of what these youth “bring to the table,” pointing to the healing power of art and the inherent value of all parts of our community.
In this exhibit, “Gifts I Bring to the Table," the Creative Connections Program partnered with Hosea Youth Services to offer therapeutic art opportunities to unhoused youth. These youth were invited to reflect on personal strengths and create stained-glass mosaic art pieces as well as a collaborative stained-glass mosaic tabletop to convey these strengths and show how they have the ability to enhance and positively affect lives around them. After this exhibit, the tabletop will be attached to a table and given to Hosea Youth Services. This will provide a visual reminder of the power of the youths’ gifts as they are brought to the table in community.
About the curator: Stephanie Jackson is a mosaic artist and program manager for the Creative Connections Program at CAFA, a program that provides therapeutic art groups to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds throughout Lane County. Jackson finds meaningful parallels in repurposing and finding new life in materials, and especially utilizing broken or discarded materials to make something cohesive and beautiful. She has witnessed the power of art created in community and has previously participated in Eugene art exhibitions and events such as Windowfront Exhibitions, Studio Without Walls and BEAM. Stephanie believes in using art as a way to give back to the community and has seen its profound healing impact. She serves as an art instructor at OSLP’s Arts and Culture Program in Eugene and also facilitates therapeutic art groups for the Creative Connections Program at CAFA, a state certified, non-profit 501(c)(3) mental health agency in Eugene that seeks to serve clients directly and partner with community organizations to serve underrepresented populations. creativevesselmosaics.com
Diversity Project | Photography
Dates displayed: April 7-July 16, 2023
Location: 99 W 10th Ave., South window
About the art: This project aims to encourage and celebrate diversity in our community from an immigrant’s point of view. I grew up in a country where there isn’t much diversity. In some ways, that makes it easier for people to get along; however, new ideas or ways of thinking are hard to nurture in a society with one value system. Here in Oregon, there are growing efforts to include people from diverse backgrounds in the community, and we are all thankful. In my view, the true benefit of inclusion is having different perspectives represented. People who grow up with different backgrounds and values will likely see the world differently. A richly diverse community brings many ways of thinking to the table, and I firmly believe that it is of tremendous value. Through this project, I want to highlight the richness of diversity in this community and celebrate how diversity is already helping us. I also want to inspire the community to see the values our differences can bring to make us stronger, wiser, more empathetic, kinder and closer together.
About the artist: Kenji was born in Japan and grew up there until he moved to the United States in 2005 to attend college. Many Japanese kids were taught that getting a high-paying, well-regarded job is the only way to succeed. He has always liked taking photos and looking at photographs; he did not, however, consider that a viable career option. After trying various kinds of work, from a preschool educator to a trainer at Apple, he learned that, unlike in Japan, he does not need to limit his career options in this country as long as he is willing to work hard.
Kenji’s passion for creating artistic portraits that resemble paintings from the Renaissance period started when he visited the Otsuka International Museum. There, famous paintings and works of art from all over the world are recreated brush stroke to brush stroke on ceramic in their original sizes. He saw how the painters made light fall on the subjects and how every piece has stood the test of time and tells the history of the era and the subjects. Kenji’s family experienced many losses in the last two years. In the wake of that loss, he became very grateful for the family portrait photos he walks by daily because they help him remember those he has lost. His daughter is too young to remember them, but she will know them from their images. Kenji is passionate about creating a legacy for each person and helping them tell their stories through photos for decades to come. He makes a safe space for everyone who comes to his studio and captures people as who they are and how they want to be photographed. His goal is for each photo he takes to make his subjects proud, stand the test of time and be enjoyed by their family for generations to come. shimizuphotography.com
View Kenji’s full Diversity Project gallery online (password: DP123)
Zoë Gamell Brown
Dates displayed: December 2, 2022-July 16, 2023
Location: 824 Charnelton Street
About the art: Plenty howdy, welcome to my Guyanese American meal. In our time together, I invite you to immerse in the Caribbean currents carrying this exchange forward.
My creative practice speaks to multiplicity within Guyanese identity and extensions of the Caribbean to the Gulf Coast. Themes in my work revolve around culinary catharsis, collective and self-care. My creative work aims to move beyond monolithic definitions of artistic expression and ecological knowledge. For sales inquiries, email Zoë.
About the artist: Zoë Gamell Brown (she/they) is a Guyanese American integrative artist, educator and storyteller whose work spans ceramic sculptures, creative nonfiction, experimental video, landscape photography, photopoetry, restorative cartography and sonic arts.
Brown is a doctoral student in the University of Oregon's Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies department, where she centers Caribbean constellations of care through creative and spiritual practices. She is a Digital Evolution/Artist Retention (DEAR) Fellow Cohort IV through the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and a Louise Westling Distinguished Environmental Justice Fellow through the UO's Holden Center for Leadership and the Pacific Northwest Racial and Climate Justice Futures Institute, 2022.
In 2020, Brown founded Fernland Studios, a nonprofit organization reimagining environmentalism through art and education. Their mission is to provide black, indigenous and people of color opportunities to explore environmentalism through artist residencies, educational retreats and writing workshops. When she is not writing or reading, you can find her hiking around the Pacific Northwest and taking pictures of trees and sea anemones. zoegamell.co
Urban Canvas artists bring color and vibrancy to windowfronts.
Valentina Gonzalez (VRGNZ)
Dates displayed: July 1, 2022-July 16, 2023
Presented by: Urban Canvas
Location: 120 W. Broadway
About the art: In my work I often play with concepts of social constructs. This piece is about the illusion of borders and separateness. This Summer, Eugene will be host to the World Athletic Championships. Around 2,000 athletes representing more than 200 countries will travel to Eugene to compete. Recognizing the juxtaposition between an event that welcomes the world and the current global displacement and migration crisis, I was inspired to paint a creation story using the archetypes of the Jaguar and the Coyote. The Jaguar is the protector and visionary embodying masculine and feminine desire. The Coyote brings the cunningness and creativity of the wise fool. These combined energies ignite to form the first stages of a new world. This piece demonstrates our innate capacity to use differences as creative fuel instead of destructive force.
About the artist: Valentina Gonzalez (VRGNZ) is interested in creating, exhibiting and promoting artwork that challenges social norms, builds community through art and activism and empowers others to share their stories through their own creative lens. Valentina is focused on non-profit art education, mural painting and community outreach.
“I began painting on walls throughout the Southwest and Texas in 1997. Over the years, I've worked with many art organizations, businesses and clients providing graphic design, art direction and murals. My experience includes a staff position as a Program Coordinator at Warehouse 21 Teen Art Center, a substitute Photoshop instructor at the Santa Fe Community College and a founder of the Whiteaker Community Art Team. My experience as an artist began with painting on walls and turned into an insatiable curiosity for creating art with all the tools available to me, from digital to analog, and my process continues to evolve. In the fall of 2017, I was honored to be included in the Santa Fe Indian Market with the Broken Boxes Exhibit at Form and Concept Gallery.”
Dates displayed: March 5, 2021 - July 16, 2023
Presented in partnership with Windowfront Exhibitions
Location: 858 W. Park
About the art: "Until recently I lived near the Willamette River and enjoyed walking and biking along the paths. This image was inspired by the river in my backyard, and a picture I took of a mallard family where I noticed the ducklings' feet under the water were adorable. I named the mural Make Way, thinking of Spring, younger generations, change, and also the children's book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. He illustrated his own books, and he is one of my favorite visual artists. Alternate title: Waters of March - Águas de Março, a Brazilian song by Antonio Carlos Jobim."
About the artist: Lisa Yu is a painter and assemblage artist originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She likes to use re-purposed materials. Her art celebrates ordinary life, through subject matter, means of exhibition, and media. She thrives on collaboration and works to support social and environmental justice. Since moving to Eugene in 2009 from Chicago, she has taken part in public art projects utilizing various mediums: Upstream Art Springfield, the Umbrella Project, Eugene Storefront Art Project, RainPlay, BRIDGE Exhibitions: Reflections Space River Road/ Santa Clara, murals also facilitated by the City of Eugene, and a mural with children attending camps at Emerald Park. lisayuart.wordpress.com
Dates displayed: October 8, 2021 - July 16, 2023
Presented in partnership with Windowfront Exhibitions
Location: 1038 Willamette Street
About the artist: My art is always changing, always evolving. I believe that repetition is the mother of perfection so I aim to create as much as I can whenever and wherever I am. I love creating representational art, and currently, I am really enjoying mixing references from real life with images with my imagination. To me, the melange of real with imagined feels like adding my own flavor or lens to life.
Alejandro Sarmiento is an artist who specializes in acrylic painting and drawing. He began his artistic journey at a young age, drawing on any surface he could find and filling his school notebooks with doodles. Mostly self-taught, Alejandro further developed his skills with a few years of formal art training at Lane Community College in his mid-twenties. Today he continues to learn and evolve his craft through daily practice, interacting with other mediums and artists, and independent research of techniques and best practices. Alejandro has created artwork for local and city projects, in both the private and public sectors, including large-scale murals, custom portraits, logos, and collaborative pieces. After eight years of working as a paid professional artist, Alejandro opened his own art business in 2020 where he continues to create commissioned work and teaches art classes for both novice and experienced painters. Artwithalejandro.com
Thank you to our partners
Campbell Commercial Real Estate, Harmonic Laboratory, Pacific Real Estate Services Inc. and Lane Council of Governments.
Public Art Manager
Senior Public Art Coordinator