Giustina Gallery celebrates Oregon’s diversity with multi-media exhibition

Art exhibit, featuring 63 local artists, ongoing until March 18

Part of the Giustina Gallery Celebrate Oregon’s Diversity art exhibit on Jan. 20 at the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University Corvallis, Ore. campus. The exhibit features 63 artists ranging in medias and is open until March 18.

Katterlea MacGregor, News Contributor

Local artists are displaying their interpretation of Oregon’s diversity in an upcoming exhibit at the Giustina Gallery at the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University Corvallis campus.

The exhibit is ongoing until March 18 and features 63 artists. The 113 works being displayed feature a variety of media from photography to ceramic sculptures to paintings.

Because of COVID-19 precautions and other implications, the LaSells Center has been hosting less than its usual 12 shows per year, said Tina Green-Price, the associate director for the LaSells Stewart Center who has been managing the Giustina Gallery for about 20 years. 

The current exhibition will have a longer duration to increase visibility and foot traffic for the artists.

“People were dying to come back,” Green-Price said. “We were trying to find an exhibit that would allow people throughout Oregon to engage, without being something super specific that they would have had to work for months and months on a piece.” 

Artists come from all over Oregon, reaching as far as Portland to the coast and down to the Rogue River region, with an emphasis on artists from the Willamette Valley, said Green-Price.

Admission to the exhibit is free, and it will be open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The gallery contains 244 feet of linear display footage that receives almost constant foot traffic.  

A reception for the gallery was held on Feb. 3, which was an opportunity for the artists and community to connect after a long period apart because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Green-Price.

The LaSells Stewart Center was built with community funds almost 40 years ago, not state funds. By hosting art exhibits, Green-Price said the Giustina Gallery and LaSells Stewart Center are upholding what they were built for.

“We feel like the gallery is for the community,” Green-Price said. “This is a place for the community to gather, and engage, and get to know each other. To create bonds that last a lifetime. It was built for that.” 

Some of the artists have been participating in this community since Green-Price began managing the gallery in 2004.

One of these artists is James “Scoop” Schupp, a photographer and lifelong member of Beaver Nation, first stepping on campus in 1976. Schupp was the first director of the LaSells Stewart Center back in 1980. He currently contributes his photography to the OSU Alumni Association.

“Naturally there’s always been a lot of art in Corvallis—just walk downtown, there’s murals all over the place,” Schupp said about the art scene in Corvallis. “People here like art, and they come to see art.”  

Schupp is also contributing his photography to the gallery. He began capturing photos almost 20 years ago with film photography, eventually transitioning into digital media.

Schupp also participates in a call and response show where one artist creates an original piece, and seven artists respond with their own works. This will be featured in the spring exhibition at the LaSells Center.

Although the exhibit features a large variety of mediums and muses, most of the works feature nature or landscape scenes.

Juxtaposed next to these landscape scenes are Ginny Gibson’s ceramic sculptures. They feature another lesser acknowledged part of Oregon’s diversity: women experiencing homelessness. 

“What do I make that shows diversity? And I thought, this is another way to look at diversity in our community,” Gibson said. “I felt it was important to represent them, even though it’s not an easy topic to face and look at.”

Gibson has been sculpting for about 12 years and said she normally contributes to the shows at LaSells when she is able. Gibson also participates in the annual Holiday Marketplace at OSU’s Craft Center, which she said has been canceled for the last two years due to COVID-19 restrictions. Through her work, Gibson said she hopes to “touch people’s lives.”

“We want our gallery to be a place to connect, not just with artists but with each other,” Green-Price said.