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Maryhill Museum of Art Presents Annual Outdoor Sculpture Invitational
Brushing near completion in Mike Suri's studio. From the 2009 Outdoor Sculpture Invitational.

GOLDENDALE, WA.- Maryhill Museum of Art will present its 14th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Invitational May 16 – October 4, 2009. The exhibition features large-scale works in a variety of media by Northwest artists Lance Carleton (Everett, WA), Matt Cartwright (Portland, OR), Gregory Glynn (Bainbridge Island, WA), Tom Herrera (Mosier, OR), Ed Humpherys (Walla Walla, WA), Jay Moody (Portland, OR), Francisco Salgado (Portland, OR), Julie Speidel (Vashon, WA), Mike Suri (Portland, OR), Jeff Tangen (Shoreline, WA), and David Wagner (Portland, OR).

A Sculpture Garden Walk on Saturday, May 16 at 3:30 p.m. will celebrate the opening of the exhibit. Curator Lee Musgrave and participating artists will lead a tour, to be followed by a reception.

First conceived to complement the museum’s extensive collection of Rodin sculptures, Maryhill’s Outdoor Sculpture Invitational has become one of the premier venues for Northwest artists who create and exhibit large-scale works. Maryhill’s dramatic and rugged setting, coupled with majestic views of the Columbia River Gorge, provides a unique environment for visitors to experience the diverse works featured in the exhibition.

"We strongly believe in encouraging the continued development of contemporary Northwest sculpture. Each year the exhibit is a wonderful mix of works by established and emerging artists,” says Lee Musgrave, Maryhill’s curator of exhibits.

Mike Suri’s dramatic iron sculpture, Brushing, was inspired by a tree, swept fully horizontal by the wind, which was thriving on the edge of a cliff. “I was immediately taken with the dynamism between these two powerful natural occurrences — the tree firmly rooted and full of life and the wind blowing hard and constant. The title comes from a term used in the wind power industry to describe the act of trees growing horizontally. When a site is found with this effect it is a sign of constant and high wind force. The bluff at Maryhill will make a perfect setting for the sculpture,” says Suri.

Lakshmi by Julie Speidel is strongly influenced by the artist’s interest in ancient cultures. "From the megaliths of Europe to the Buddhist caves of China or the temple ruins of Turkey, all hold powerful shapes that connect us as human beings and keep us in a state of awe. My sculpture is a tribute to these ancient monuments and their power to link the world of the senses to the world of the spirits,” she says.

Gregory Glynn’s Tuft, constructed and installed as part of the 2008 Invitational will remain on view during the 2009 exhibition so that viewers can see the ongoing weathering effects the artist intended. When Glynn created the sculpture, which is made from 300 milled madrona 2x2’s, he envisioned that it would evolve and change over time based on how the wood reacted to the environment. A year outside in harsh conditions has made these effects even more pronounced.

In addition to works in the 2009 Outdoor Sculpture Invitational, visitors to Maryhill can also see sculptures from the museum’s collections that are on permanent outdoor display: works by Brad Cloepfil, Tom Herrera, Alisa Looney, Mel Katz, Heath Krieger, Jill Torberson, Julian Voss-Andreae, Jeff Weitzel and Leon White.

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