July 3rd from 5-8pm @ Rising Room Gallery

700 NE 22nd UNIT 212 Ave Portland, OR

Rising Room Gallery presents Old Growth, a show of rusted steel panels by Portland’s prolific printmaking artist, Garrett Price.

Old Growth tells us a story of the delicate dance between nature, structure and the influence of man upon his environs over time. Price’s ghostly photo’sof abandoned industrial sites, rendered in rust on steel are created through a process combining photography, silk screen and acid etching. Price’s inspiration for Old Growth was found exploring the industrial landscapes of the deserted Blue Heron Paper Mill in Oregon City and the abandoned Linton Plywood Association buildings. These two defunct forest product companies that he explored, were a part of the natural resource industry that built our whole region.These days timber companies are fading and technology businesses are growing fast. With an exploding population in our cites, and a change in the nature of our job market, the whole region is under going an accelerated transformation.  Old Growth is a reflection on the rapidly changing transitional era that we live in. The works are windows into which the viewer witnesses the quiet places that reverberate with an energy of struggle and change.

Garrett Price is a prolific artist exploring concepts of duality in rich and diverse ways. His artwork springs from a crossroads of the natural world and one of fabrication, the man-made industrial world. Contained within Price’s artistic insights regarding this mingling of seemingly disparate worlds, is a subtle yet powerful statement on man’s relationship with nature, and the inherent beauty which can exist in the light or the dark. Price, born in San Diego, California and raised in the Pacific Northwest, is a keen observer of his environs.

The area he hails from has a pronounced history of industry colliding with abundant, untamed natural beauty. Garrett spent his formative years in small logging towns set in primeval forest. An utter fascination developed for exploring forests and lumber mills, as well as the west coast’s extensive railway system navigating along side formidable rivers, mountains and gorges. This fusion of environments seems to lie at the core of his artistic creation.

Garrett spent a portion of his adolescence in the abandoned buildings of Washington and Oregon, enhancing the structures with graffiti. He perceived his mark making as a personal amendment on the decay left by others. He brought color and composition to the muted tones of neglect. Price moved on to receive a Fine Arts degree from Portland State University in 2007, where he focused his studies in printmaking.

Through printmaking, he has branched out into working with steel, a passion he has immersed himself in for over a decade. His enthusiasm for experimenting with various processes has led him to nitric acid etching and controlled rusting, among others. Garrett has been showing his art since 2005 and the pieces are stunning accounts of nature and the man-made. The literal weight of the steel confronts the viewer, while his visual themes eloquently and with grandeur capture life’s cyclical nature. There is dynamic balance in the frozen images of his work; a crow soaring above the telephone wires, trees arching skyward by a cemetery of machinery.

Price’s visions become ghosts in cool, steely snapshots. And he puts forth the questioning to viewers of how and where we may place ourselves in the context of life’s duality. He slows these worlds down to a rust, and with this visual portrayal of time passing, we can see the beauty in both.

-David Fogg 2015