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Stories of Fire
online exhibition series

The Confluence Lab, in conjunction with the University of Idaho's Prichard Art Gallery, is seeking creative, visual works for an online exhibition series, Stories of Fire.

 

As part of The Confluence Lab’s Pacific Northwest Stories of Fire Atlas Project, these exhibitions will highlight the manifold ways artists and designers are marking, mapping, engaging and articulating personal and community experiences of wildfire in the region. Organized into three parts, Ground Truths, Fuel Loading and Sightlines, each exhibition will be loosely framed by a particular disciplinary lens— cartography, fire management and urban planning—and the range of ways artists express and explore parallel concerns.

call for artists & designers

If a map is to be used for navigation, it functions only insofar as its relationship to the ground is true. Any map that represents the land from above inherently prioritizes certain features, distorting or omitting others. Scale, resolution and framing, along with what is labeled and what is left out, color the viewer’s relationship with a particular territory and the spatial representations of a map imply particular ways of knowing. Ground truthing is a cartographic practice which seeks to establish the veracity of any given map: how does an embedded experience differ from that which is represented by the map?

 

Ground Truths seeks to showcase creative works that act as “ground truths”, engaging on-the-ground perspectives and firsthand experiences of wildfire’s presence (or threat of presence) in the Pacific Northwest. How are you, and those around you, orienting to the impacts of wildfire on local landmarks and communities?  How are you marking and mapping the geographic and the material, the disruptive and the quotidian, the sensory, emotional, intellectual and instinctual experiences of wildfire?

jurors: 

Stacy Isenbarger’s artworks provoke viewers through dynamic interplay between media, perceived tensions, and open space. Isenbarger simultaneously investigates ideas and materials, transforming the familiar into forms that challenge our assumptions of our environment and cultural barriers we build for ourselves. Her sculptures, installations, & mixed-media drawings have been shown throughout the United States and in India. Stacy Isenbarger is an Associate Professor of Art + Design at the University of Idaho. Currently she shares her time between Moscow, Idaho, USA and Cardiff, Wales. When she's not teaching or making—and sometimes when she is—she's usually dancing since the act continuously validates her joy of community acceptance and shaking up space.

 

Sasha Michelle White is an interdisciplinary researcher whose work is informed by art, herbalism, field ecology and prescribed fire practice. Her creative investigations center the coloristic and medicinal properties of fire-adapted plants as a way of understanding human and other-than-human relationships with fire and fire-prone landscapes. Sasha studied printmaking and book arts at Bowdoin College, Maine College of Art and Cranbrook Academy of Art, has held fellowships at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy and the Lloyd Library and Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, and earned a master’s degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon in 2021. She is a member of the Fuel Ladder art research group and a Mellon Foundation Predoctoral Fellow with the University of Idaho’s Confluence Lab.


Megan Davis is a graphic designer passionate about the roles of art and design as key players in social change. She seeks to use design as not only a medium for spreading awareness but as an active agent. In result, her practice has become increasingly oriented around audience engagement and in some cases, utilization. Davis has earned her bachelor’s degree in graphic design, worked professionally as a designer in Seattle for 5 years, has held a variety of design volunteer and intern positions ranging from nonprofits in Colorado to Kenya, and is now earning her MFA at The University of Idaho while also teaching in the Art + Design Program.

eligibility & terms:

Artists & designers may be residents of the states of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, tribal sovereign nations of the region, or any artists responding to fires within the Pacific Northwest. Some of the artists selected for the Stories of Fire series may be invited to participate in the Stories of Fire Atlas, a brick-and-mortar exhibition (gallery construction pending), and other Confluence Lab opportunities.

 

There is no submission fee or age expectation.

 

Works submitted may be of any genre and must be original work. There are no size restrictions for work, but in line with an online exhibition, quality documentation is paramount.  

 

Interested participants are welcome to submit up to 5 works for consideration. Accepted works must have been created in the last 5 years.

 

First, fill out the online Submission Form.  Within it you will be asked to include:

  • Short Artist or Collaborative Group Biography (Please no more than 250 words.)

  • Responses to the following prompts:

How does your submitted work relate to wildfire and to your conceptions of “Ground Truth”?

Briefly discuss your work’s connection to the Pacific Northwest.

 

Next, email the following to theconfluencelab@gmail.com:

  • Images files (we suggest keeping images files to 4MB each) or direct links to entries

  • Title, Media, Dimensions, and Year Created for each work submitted

 

Up to 5 works may be submitted for consideration, however an alternative angle or detail image is welcomed with each submission.

(10 submission images total)

important dates:

Submission Deadline: February 26th

Jury Notifications:  March 6th

Exhibition Opens: March 27th 

upcoming Stories of Fire calls:

part two: Fuel Loading (May 2023)

part three: Sightlines (September 2023)

Submission Inquiries? Please contact theconfluencelab@gmail.com

 

The Confluence Lab’s Pacific Northwest Stories of Fire Atlas Project preserves personal stories of encounters with fire in the region to document changes in human relationships with fire over time and help imagine healthy ways of living with fire in the future. In partnership with local communities, the Atlas gathers, tracks and maps stories and images of wildfire, especially those that foreground connections between fire, social and environmental justice, and traditionally underrepresented rural voices. It seeks to bridge history and speculative futures and link the origins and effects of the physical and social fires of the Pacific Northwest, by centering the question: “What lines has fire crossed in your community? What does that crossing undo, what does that crossing generate?” Funding for the Stories of Fire project made possible from generous grant from the Mellon Foundation’s “Just Futures” Initiative for the Pacific Northwest Just Futures Institute for Racial and Climate Justice, University of Oregon. 

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