Speakers: Bryan David Griffith and Julie Comnick
This lecture is part of the 11-week "Lookout: Envisioning Futures with Wildfire" lecture series exploring how we are shaping this era of megafires and how it is shaping us. The series features speakers from across the arts, humanities, and environmental sciences. It is hosted by the Spring Creek Project and the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative at Oregon State University and co-sponsored by OSU's Center for the Humanities, OSU's Sustainability Office, OSU's Arts and Education Complex, and Terrain.org.
Bryan David Griffith explores profound issues using simple forms and materials in unexpected ways. An interdisciplinary artist, he works across multiple media and learns or invents new techniques as needed to convey the concepts in each body of work. Griffith earned a degree in engineering and worked for a leading management consulting firm before he resigned to follow his conscience. He bought an old van to live out of as he toured the country, struggling to build a new career as an artist. When Griffith's van broke down in Flagstaff, Arizona, he fell in love with the town—and then his wife, Tasha—and never left. In 2016, Griffith won the Flagstaff Arts Council's Viola Award and the Phoenix Art Museum's Artist Grant for his work on wildfire. His work is held in a number of permanent collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography, and Fort Wayne Museum of Art. His recent solo exhibitions include the Fresno Art Museum, Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, and Coconino Center for the Arts. His exhibition Rethinking Fire is on view at the High Desert Museum until January 9, 2022.
Julie Comnick's paintings and drawings engage the pictorial languages of representation and narration to pose questions about social circumstances and practices. Her project Ashes to Ashes is a series of drawings depicting 14 significant Arizona wildfires from 1990 to the present, rendered with charcoal samples personally collected from each fire site. This project is in conjunction with Fires of Change, a partnership between the arts and sciences, sponsored by the Southwest Fire Science Consortium, Landscape Conservation Initiative, and Flagstaff Arts Council with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her exhibition record includes solo shows nationally at contemporary venues including LIC Factory, NYC; Hardesty Arts Center, Tulsa, OK; Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ; The Gallery at Flashpoint, Washington, DC; Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT; group exhibitions internationally; and reviews in prominent publications. Her work has been supported by grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts.