Gutenberg Tutors Use Art to Engage the World in
The Odyssey of These Days
March 3 & 4
A multimedia exhibition
giving form to the
human experiences of
struggle, grief, and hope
Original Music by
March 3 & 4
Hult Center Studio
Exhibition opens at 6:00 pm
Performance starts at 7:00 pm
Spring 2016 marked the beginning of a momentous collaboration between two Gutenberg College tutors: Dr. Wesley Hurd, founder of McKenzie Study Center and Gutenberg’s Art Project; and Dr. Eliot Grasso, internationally-recognized performer, scholar, composer, and recording artist. Together, Wes and Eliot have created a multimedia art exhibit to open at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene on March 3 and 4, 2017.
In response to eighteen months of tragic events, culminating in the Umqua Community College shooting of October 2015, Wes created nine large abstract paintings that he has collectively called The Odyssey of These Days. In the words of the artist, “The paintings present imagery evoking the unanswerable questions that every human encounters. The works form a visual narrative pictorializing the human experiences of shock, struggle, grief, and lament.” The paintings continue Wes’s work of examining human interiority and the human condition in the world while presenting glimpses of hope through his use of ultramarine blue paint on the canvases.
In response to Wes’s paintings, Eliot composed three movements of original chamber music, music made to sound like how the paintings make a viewer feel. The emotional listening experience is guided by building tension and release, portioned out in time by violin, uilleann pipes, cello, double bass, hardanger fiddler, and vielle à roue. In the words of the composer, “The music I wrote in response to the paintings is meant to confront each listener with the raw personal emotions of tragedy, grief, and loss, and to spur each listener forward beyond that grief into an emotional space where hope is not only reasonable, but real.” Eliot, in collaboration with violinist Brandon Vance, has produced a full-length recording of his original music that will appear in the back of beautifully handcrafted art catalogs. For his composition and collaboration with Wes, Eliot received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission early in 2017.
Wes and Eliot have partnered with an emerging arts consortium called ArtCity Eugene. Designed to create community around the arts in the city of Eugene, ArtCity has gone to great lengths to make The Odyssey of These Days visible in the city. The exhibit will display all nine of Wes’s paintings and feature a live performance of Eliot’s chamber music performed by Dréos.
Details on the exhibit, including photographs of the paintings and samples of the music are available at odysseyofthesedays.com. More on Wes Hurd’s art is available at weshurd.com. More on Eliot Grasso’s music is available at eliotgrasso.com.