horizons | lines  Collaborative work between Colby and Clairissa Stephens

Floor Installation: Dry Lake Valley | 37.61898, -114.80402, Diatomaceous Earth, 2016

South of Fallon | 39.22742, -118.74487, silverpoint on panel, 2016 Railroad Valley | 38.15927, -116.12087, silverpoint on panel, 2016 Mt Irish Wilderness | 37.42303, -115.43098, silverpoint on panel, 2016

South of Fallon | 39.22742, -118.74487, photograph and paper collage, 2016 Railroad Valley | 38.15927, -116.12087, photograph and paper collage, 2016 Mt Irish Wilderness | 37.42303, -115.43098, photograph and paper collage, 2016

Earth Becomes Sky | Black Rock Desert, photograph on watercolor paper, 2016 Private Collection

Earth Becomes Sky | Summer Lake, photograph on watercolor paper, 2016

Floor Installation: Dry Lake Valley | 37.61898, -114.80402, Diatomaceous Earth, 2016

Floor Installation: Dry Lake Valley | 37.61898, -114.80402, Diatomaceous Earth, 2016

Floor Installation: Dry Lake Valley | 37.61898, -114.80402, Diatomaceous Earth, 2016

Floor Installation: Dry Lake Valley | 37.61898, -114.80402, Diatomaceous Earth, 2016

Railroad Valley | 38.15927, -116.12087, diatomaceous earth and paper in maple box, 2016

South of Fallon | 39.22742, -118.74487, diatomaceous earth and paper in maple box, 2016 Railroad Valley | 38.15927, -116.12087, diatomaceous earth and paper in maple box, 2016 Mt Irish Wilderness | 37.42303, -115.43098, diatomaceous earth and paper in maple box, 2016

Railroad Valley | 38.15927, -116.12087, diatomaceous earth and paper in maple box, 2016

Railroad Valley | 38.15927, -116.12087, diatomaceous earth and paper in maple box, 2016

horizons | lines, photograph and silver line on watercolor paper, 2016 Collection of Diane and Jerry Franzen field of view | black rock desert silverpoint, graphite, playa clay and salt on panel 16.75” x16.75” 2016

horizons | lines, photograph and silver line on watercolor paper, 2016 Collection of Diane and Jerry Franzen

horizon-1-8

horizon-1-8

horizons | lines, photograph and silver line on watercolor paper, 2016 Collection of Diane and Jerry Franzen

field of view | black rock desert silverpoint, graphite, playa clay and salt on panel 16.75” x16.75” 2016

field of view | black rock desert silverpoint, graphite, playa clay and salt on panel 16.75” x16.75” 2016

field of view | black rock desert silverpoint, graphite, playa clay and salt on panel 16.75” x16.75” 2016

Playa Study | Summer Lake, playa clay and salt on panel, 2016 Playa Study | Black Rock Desert, playa clay and salt on panel, 2016

Playa Study | Black Rock Desert, playa clay and salt on panel, 2016

North Horizon Line | Summer Lake, Silverpoint on panel, 2016 Collection of Marilyn Malito

Detail: North Horizon Line | Summer Lake

Sound Horizon | Winter Ridge box 14” x 24” silverpoint drawing: 5.75” x 21.75” music box and silverpoint drawing

Detail: Sound Horizon | Winter Ridge box 14” x 24” silverpoint drawing: 5.75” x 21.75” music box and silverpoint drawing

Exhibition view at UVAA

Exhibition view at UVAA

Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseburg, OR March 2017

Exhibition view at UVAA

Exhibition view at UVAA

Umpqua Valley Arts Association in Roseburg, OR March 2017

Exhibition view at Sierra Arts Gallery, Reno, NV March 2016

Horizons | Lines — Artwork Statements

 

Clairissa and I became captivated by horizon lines when we first moved to Reno in 2011. Distinctly different from our Western Oregon stomping grounds, we were captivated by the desert and the 360* view of horizon lines that it offered. As avid backcountry explorers, we use a compass for navigation: a process is heavily dependent on horizon lines. And so we began to consider the various ways that horizon lines impact our lives. But lines do not simply demarcate the boundaries of three dimensional space: they also trace the ways that humans, animals, plants, and water move through it.

 

Collage, Sculpture, Silverpoint.

 

Throughout our journeys around Nevada, we photograph various horizon lines in 360* panoramas. The lines from several of these panoramas are a regular motif throughout this exhibition — the same three lines are present in the collages, the radiating silverpoint drawings, and the box sculptures.

 

The collages combine a cut out horizon line with a distorted view of the Nevada sky. Here, the horizon line is a boundary that limits the range of the cosmos to be experienced from the a particular point. Further, like old 19th century maps of Nevada and the West, the white space denotes the visually unknown and unexplored. The line becomes the demarcation of what can be immediately experienced and known. 

 

Again, like the collages, the horizon lines are denoted with paper cutouts in the box sculptures. The boxes are filled with diatomaceous earth, a material that is commonly mined in the Great Basin and which refers to a history of topographic change in the region. The sculptures function as the inverse of the collages: they use the horizon line to denote the boundary of one’s terrestrial visual experience from a given point.

 

The silverpoint drawings refer to cartographic modes of understanding space. The straight lines drawn from the origin to the peaks and valleys of the surrounding horizon line refer not only to one’s line of sight at the given point, but also to modes of topographic illustration. Where lines more densely populate the plane, the topography is more abrupt and rugged, while less densely lined areas refer to more gentle sloping terrain. These drawings present the landscape with subtle and nuanced information that speaks to the complexity of the high desert landscape.

 

Dry Lake Valley Floor Installation

 

The floor installation in the exhibition is a 90* segment of the horizon line visible from a particular point in Dry Lake Valley, roughly two hours northwest of Las Vegas. Composed of diatomaceous earth, the installation allows the viewer to stand either inside or outside the horizon line — an experience one cannot have with a horizon in real space. As such, it allows the viewer to contemplate the implications of moving outside of the normal experience of three dimensional space to a place where horizons are not fluid boundaries of experience, but rather frozen two-dimensional lines to be experienced.

 

Field of View drawings and Horizons | Lines

 

The Field of View drawings are silverpoint drawings combined with Black Rock Desert playa crust painted on panels. The field of view refers to the 120* of vision that is typical to the human eye, and looks at topographical mapping of the site from which the photograph, Horizons | Lines, was made. Together, the three artworks refer to the complex ways in which we understand three dimensional space: From the voluminous mountains, to the line delineating their end and the sky’s beginning, to the topo-maps that help us to interpret this information in the eye of our imagination, to the type of root-lines the plants utilize to survive in this landscape, and to the real texture of the space applied to the panel with the playa crust.

 

Playa Studies | Black Rock Desert and Summer Lake

 

Each of these paintings are made from a mixture of salt and playa crust, one using the crust of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada and the other using the crust of Summer Lake in Oregon. The paintings trace the actual surface of the playa in each location. Cracking lines in the surface of the playas are the marks left behind from cycles of moisture evaporation — the linear trace of water’s path as it escapes the surface of the earth.

 

When Earth Becomes Sky | Black Rock Desert and Summer Lake

 

Stormy weather changes our understanding of space as the horizon can become indistinguishable from the sky. In the Summer Lake image, a dust storm obscures the horizon, and the earth begins to look like clouds. In the Black Rock Desert image, the deep blue rain clouds combine with the mountains, and the transition between sky and earth is more fluid than defined. What happens when the boundary is obscured? Where does earth end and the sky begin? How is our sense of space and distance impacted by the definition of the horizon line? The experience of the “nearby” can often be stolen from us by the focus on the “distant.” But when the horizon is obscured, the nearby comes alive.

 

North Horizon Line | Summer Lake

 

This drawing of Winter Ridge from the PLAYA Residency Program at Summer Lake combines the transition from detailed drawing to simple horizon line with the drawing of a plant native to that landscape. Like the Field of View drawings and Horizons | Lines image, this drawing presents a complex description of Winter Ridge: It presents the volume of the space, the line that demarcates earth and sky, and refers to the linear modes by which plants survive in this harsh landscape.

 

 

 

March 1 - 31 

Sierra Arts Gallery

17 S Virgina St

Reno, NV

 

Gallery Reception 3.17   5p till 7p

Dinner with the artists 3.31 6:30 - 10

 

On March 31st the "Horizons | Lines" exhibition at Sierra Arts came to a close with a special dinner and artist presentation. The meal, catered by Wild River Grille, was a seasonal, and locally sourced with a difinitive Nevada theme. During the evening, artists Clairissa and Colby Stephens presented their work and hosted a public discussion with attendees.

 

Dinner Menu

Passed Appetizers

  • Nevada Corn Cake with Dipping Sauce ( Nevada Cook Book of 1887)

  • Berry and Pine Nut Savory Bruschetta (Chef’s Rendition)

 

First Course

  • Cream of Root Vegetable Soup (Chef’s Creation)

  • Green Salad with Basque Dressing

 

Main Course

  • Lamb Marye - (From the family collection of George T. Marye, Bonanza Day Financier, 1849-1933)

  • Virginia City Pioneer Ham - (Pioneer Drugstore, Virginia City, 1904-1922)

 

Sides

  • Crispy Scalloped Potatoes  

  • Flash Saute of Kale with Lemon Walnut Vinagarette

  • Batter Biscuits ( Eilley Orrum Bowers, Gold Hill, 1826 - 1903)

 

Dessert

  • Chef’s platter of assorted sundries

  • Coffee/Tea Service