DIVA Touts Work from 12 'Young Visionaries'

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard

A dozen emerging artists from around North America will have work in "Young Visionaries," an exhibit that opens with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Friday at DIVA, 110 W. Broadway.

The show runs through March.

The 12 artists come from Portland; San Francisco; the Midwest; the East Coast; and the area around Detroit, Mich., including Toronto.

Not coincidentally, Detroit is where DIVA's new exhibit director, Bernard Brooks, hails from.

He selected the artists with an eye toward each individual's unique vision.

"These are artists with the guts to pursue what they want, in the manner most appealing to them, with the conviction that the rest of the world will catch up eventually," he says.

"And if the rest of the world doesn't? Well, maybe the rest of the world is missing something truly special."

This promises to be among the most contemporary-looking shows DIVA has sponsored.

Among the artists are a collective that calls itself That Evil Mess, the members of which have a fondness for heavy metal music; a Detroit painter whose work re-imagines the portraiture of John Singer Sargeant and other classic painters; and a printmaker who studied with Oregon State University's Yuji Hiratsuka.

None of the artists have shown before at DIVA and most are making their Eugene debuts.

Here is more about the 12 artists:

Kristin Beaver is from Illinois and lives in Detroit. She creates traditional oil paintings that are also, somehow, not traditional at all; her work is a contemporary reimagining of the 19th century portraiture.

She received her master of fine arts degree from Wayne State University and was a 2009 recipient of the Kresge Artist Fellowship.

Joshua Newth is a Canadian with U.S. citizenship, born in Toronto and living now in Michigan. He creates delicate drawings that illustrate not only mankind's capacity for destruction, but also the inherent possibility of its redemption.

The drawings are totems executed on crumbling paper - for when eventually the substrate disintegrates, so too will its contents, a symbolic erasure of mankind's capacity for its own undoing.

He also received his master of fine arts degree from Wayne State and has spent the last few years showing regionally throughout the Detroit area. …