(de)clutter: An art exhibit that showcases both creation & destruction

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

Currently, the EWU Student Art Gallery is showcasing new works by Laura Carpenter Truitt. The body of work is titled (de)clutter, which examines creation and destruction in interior and exterior spaces.

Truitt recently moved to Spokane to work as a professor at Gonzaga, where she teaches painting and drawing. Her new work was inspired by her move from Colorado to Washington with her husband and two children.

This new body of work is somewhat of a new concept to Truitt. Though, her work has focused on architecture and continues to incorporate her excitement for featuring more interior images rather than her usual exterior viewpoints.

“I mean, my work has always kind of been architectural and it’s usually using perspective and it’s usually using an exterior view point,” Truitt said. “Like you’re looking at the outside of a building or maybe you are looking through it. As for this work, there is some of that — but it’s also these interiors. I was trying to sort of turn inward a little bit and examine that interior.”

A lot of this work is related to the environment. As Truitt was traveling to Washington and going through Montana, it was the peak of the fire season. Along the ride, Truitt would document the fires with photographs as the beginning of her process for producing the artwork.

“There was a lot of smoke, there was a lot of concern over the fires, and there was a lot of talk about it being one of the worst fire seasons ever,” said Truitt. “Also, how the extreme wet of the winter before created all this underbrush, and then it was like the worst fire season ever because it was so dry but there was all of this underbrush. That switch from extremes is the hallmark of global warming and so I feel like I’m sort of hinting at that. You know that this a reality now. That there are these natural concerns really that are caused by extreme weather.”

Truitt  likes her work to be right on the edge of abstraction and realism. She said her work is where you think you can find your way through it but at other moments you realize that it’s just paint next to paint.

“It feels like our society is really chaotic, fast, messy and loose,” said Truitt. “It feels really anxious and I feel like the interior mess explains that better than the exterior. The exterior is  like you stand afar observing it and the interior is like we are in it right now. That this is happening right now and interesting times are happening right now.”

Truitt will be presenting multiple drawings and paintings that distinguish her idea of chaos in our society and environment. The exhibit began on Monday, March 5 and will run through Friday, April 6. There will also be an artist’s reception March 15 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.