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The Geophagic Water Closet

The Geophagic Water Closet

June 25 – July 1

1-week session, $1000

Caroline Earley, Brian Gillis, and Kate Walker

In this session, participants will investigate the bathroom through multiple perspectives including cultural, psychological, and gendered. What if “the bathroom” functioned simultaneously as a functional, bodily space as well as an archive of a site's identity; its social and cultural references, related scientific data, physical and environmental attributes, and a record of the histories and activities of Mildred's Lane.

Through a focus on building tiles to ornament and transform the bathroom, this session will introduce a methodology for mining the site's identity and the beings, both human and non-human, who occupy it as a way to record information on the archival ceramic tiles. By making a press using plaster molds to produce multiples, we will make wall surfaces and fixtures functional as a visual map of histories of significant features recording Mildred’s Lane philosophy and life.

Fellows will discuss historical precedents for functional sanitary spaces and notions related to archives ranging from libraries and Wunderkammers to seedbanks and data stacks, as well as methods for surface decoration and clay modeling. Subjects include biographical references informed by individual fellows and Mildred’s Lane residents, imagery from the site, pattern, symbol, and ideas referencing site, local histories and more. Multiple methods of transferring memory onto tiles could include, 2D decal images, directly hand drawn, incising into the plaster mold or 3D low relief imagery.

Through a one-week workshop, fellows will conduct research, brainstorm, collect imagery and produce multiple tiles; beginning a permanent installation in the Main House water closet at Mildred’s Lane.

Kate Walker’s work encompasses hybrid painting objects and performance video projects, which intersect with our current cultural moment. Often collaborating with groups of students, or community members, these include choreographed performances or staged events that speak to specific contemporary social issues. Recent projects focus on visibility and agency of the queer body, and imaginary manifestations of current Utopian and dystopian urges.
Recent grants and awards include selection as a finalist for the 2018 New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award, Idaho Commission on the Arts Grant, Alexa Rose Foundation Grant, and residencies at the Australia National University and Whitireia New Zealand. Walker has shown her work nationally and internationally including Select 2, Garvey Simon, New York (2017), Out of Sight, Seattle, WA (2017) (collaborative work with Caroline Earley), ‘REUNION’- LGBTQA Symposium Show, Greenly Gallery, Bloomsburg University PA (2017), The Annual Wallace Art Awards, New Zealand (2014) and 28th Festival Les Instants Video, Marseilles, France (2015). 

Walker received an MFA from the University of Arizona in 2005 and is an Associate Professor, at Boise State University.
Caroline Earley’s ceramic art practice draws on her interests in science, politics and cultural issues and incorporates hand, wheel, and industrial approaches. Her work explores the relationship between ceramic form and human bodies through the shifting interplay of structure, appendage, and surface.
Earley was recently awarded the 2017 MoNA Luminaries Artist Award, Jeffry Mitchell Award for Sculpture from the Museum of Northwest Art. She was the Premiere Award winner of the 2016 Portage Ceramic Awards and the Grand Prize winner of the 2013 Idaho Triennial. She exhibits internationally and represented by Milford Galleries, Dunedin and Whitespace Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand.
She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and is Professor of Art, Ceramics at Boise State University.
Brian Gillis examines sociocultural issues as consequent evidence of particular historical moments. His work uses a variety of production strategies and conceptual approaches. These often draw from specific sites and related institutions and range from the production of objects and editions of multiples to site-specific installations and actions.
Gillis is the recipient of distinctions including fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, Oregon Arts Commission, MacDowell Colony, and a recent residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Gillis has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at institutions including CUE Art Foundation, the Mint Museum, and the Milwaukee Art Museum, as well as the Cluj Museum of Art in Romania and Heilongjiang University in China.
Gillis received a Master of Fine Arts from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Oregon.

Earlier Event: June 18
Wilding, Wasting, Workstyling
Later Event: July 2
Mildred/Lillie Archaeology