Dive Into Mixed Media Art – Eugene Weekly

“The Loch Ness Monster Eating the Titanic”

An art exhibit at the Eugene Downtown Library highlights humanity, biology, COVID-19, women activists and the American flag.

On the second floor of the library, in the Magazine and Newspaper Room, there are four art installations by artist, writer, and fifth-generation Oregonian Julie Anderson Bailey. Each piece is strategically located above waist level, so it’s impossible to miss them when entering a room full of desks and bookshelves. When you enter the main entrance, turn left, take a deep breath and let the journey begin.

“Biology Rising” is a four-window installation of nearly 900 light green circles made of tissue paper from old sewing patterns, wire, gel pad and Oregon beeswax. Suspended from fine threads, multiple semi-transparent circles create what look like huge floating clouds. The intriguing part is that each circle houses a particular internal design.

Take a closer look and you’ll find patterns inspired by VOLVOX, a genus of freshwater algae. Anderson Bailey has spent nearly 640 hours working on the circles as it has helped her cope with her grief and search for something every day after losing her mother in December last year. “It gives your hands something to do and gives your heart something to do,” she says.

On the walls between the windows is “Hues of Life,” a series of nine wooden panels cradled in circular prints that pay homage to micrology and humanity. They are, after all, part of the first collection. The difference: they offer macro views in different tones and shades. A short walk away is “The Art of COVID,” which includes five black-framed mixed media paintings done on paper and using acrylic paint. Now look carefully at shapes, colors, tones and lines. Cubism, an artistic style created in part by Pablo Picasso, seems to have had an influence on this collection.

Take the opportunity to take an inner journey and decipher the meaning of a project that began with the onset and consequences of the pandemic. The artist gives us a clue: “It’s telling a story of COVID, the world and the pandemic. And this narrative of – we have to work together, and politics and division.

These thoughts led Anderson Bailey to inquire about what people thought of the American flag, and thus “The State of Hope” was born. The collection includes seven framed and canvas mixed media collages located on the wall across the display case. You can find images of American female activists, the American flag, and opinions quoted about it by friends, family members, volunteers, and social media users.

Did you find the white and orange butterflies in any of the rooms? Did you recognize any of the faces depicted in the collection? Did you read all the quotes? This collection has multiple dimensions and approaches; that’s the beauty of the art.

Your final stop: Locate the two glass cases on the sides of the main entrance. Here you will find the artist’s biography, detailed descriptions and documentation of his exhibition, as well as the tools and references used in his work. But there is more than meets the eye. What is art if not the possibility of interpreting it as one pleases and perhaps connecting to it?

There are many ways to explain the relationship between art and artist. “That’s the way we treat the world, isn’t it?” It’s the way we understand things,” says Anderson Bailey. For her, this exhibition has personal and social significance. What is on display on the second floor of the Eugene Library is the work of an artist who has devoted most of her life to multiple artistic expressions, including art, painting, theater and music.

The Julie Anderson Bailey Art Exhibit runs through July 24 at the Eugene Public Library, 100 West 10th Avenue. The “Biology Rising” showcase installation will be on display at the library until the end of August as part of the Mayor’s Art Show. Learn more about the artist on JulieJulie.co. Free.

Christopher S. Washington