This spring, the Art Gym at Marylhurst University will present two exhibitions that address incarceration.
In 1998, Julie Green was living and teaching in Norman, Okla., when she first read a prisoner’s last meal request in the newspaper. These reports of the final meal requests of death row inmates were regularly published in the paper in Oklahoma and, as Green would discover, in many others states with the death penalty. Green began making drawings on dinner plates based on the descriptions of the last meals. The series, which Green intends to continue as long as the death penalty is legal anywhere in the United States, has grown to more than 500 plates. Green is an associate professor at Oregon State University.
Buddy Bunting is a Seattle-based artist. Since 2004, he has made large-scale, panoramic drawings and watercolors of correctional institutions and prisons in the Western United States. The Art Gym exhibition contains several of Bunting’s largest prison drawings. The scale of the drawings — from 12 to 30 feet across — reflects the sprawling character of the industrial-scale complexes.
The exhibitions are open to the public continuing through Friday, May 17. On Sunday, April 21, Green and Bunting will give a gallery talk in The Art Gym at 2 p.m. followed by a free reception.