Conspire | Nate Orton + Cynthia Lahti


Littman Gallery | September 5 - 28, 2017

Reception: Thursday September 21, 5 - 7pm

Curated by Paul Mazier

Nate Orton and Cynthia Lahti are colleagues and friends who have collaborated on many project in the past and regularly explore the world together through museum visit, plein air drawing and thrift store shopping. Their artworks share the beauty and depth of mark making and a love of the evocative quality of materials. Both artists’ artworks are influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by personal experiences and emotions. They believe even the smallest artifact can evoke the most powerful feelings, and draw inspiration from objects and images, both historical and contemporary, that have the potential to reflect beyond themselves.

The show at Portland State University’s Littman Gallery will be a place where the Orton and Lahti artistic worlds collide and bleed together to create one experience. The differences and commonalities contain in each collaboration will excite and enforce the artwork but retain their artistic voices common dirge. The exhibition, combining the sacred with the profane, the wise with the stupid and the beautiful with the grotesque, will force a deeper explanation of reality and to facilitate a connection with a larger human experience.

Nate Orton is an artist, printer and educator living in Portland, Oregon. Currently he is working on the 42nd issue of his chapbook, My Day, which explores the Pacific Northwest through drawing, writing and traditional as well as non-traditional printing and printmaking techniques. Nate teaches visual art at the Multnomah Arts Center and The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science. He is a candidate for a Masters of Arts in Teaching at Concordia University, Portland. Nate attempts to draw daily. Most days are a success.

Cynthia Lahti is a native Oregonian who finds inspiration in its physical and psychological landscape. She grew up in Portland Oregon, leaving to earn her bachelor’s degree at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1985. After graduating she returned to Portland where she continues to live and make art. Her art practice, that encompasses drawing, collage, and sculpture, is influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by personal experiences and emotions. She was awarded the Hallie Ford Fellowship for artists in 2013, the Bonnie Bronson Fellowship in 2015 and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Individual Support Grant in 2017.