UPDATE: Photographer James Bailey will be at the Maude Kerns Art Center on Feb. 1 to talk about his work, especially his years of documenting the “art” of the old EWEB Steam Plant; the exhibit runs through Feb. 10

By Randi Bjornstad

If you haven’t seen “Shifts: The Built Environment” yet — the exhibit now on display at the Maude Kerns Art Center — you can see it and hear a talk at the the same time by one of the artists involved, photographer James Bailey.

The talk will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, and Bailey will speak about his study with famed photographer Minor White as well as his own work documenting the art to be found at the old Steam Plant on the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s property near the Willamette River in downtown Eugene.

Photo by James Bailey: EWEB Steam Plant
Photographer JamesBailey spent seven years visiting and finding the photographic beauty in the old mechanical heating facility that is the EWEB steam plant

Bailey’s interest in photography began early, in Indiana where his mother had a portrait and wedding photography studio. His own photographic pursuits began when he photographed abandoned farms in the countryside near where his family lived.

In the current exhibit at Maude Kerns, he displays archival pigment inkjet prints that document the old EWEB Steam Plant from 2009 to 2015. He looked for what he calls the “accidental visual aesthetics” inherent in the physical plant.

The original story in TheEugeneReview.com about Bailey and the “Shifts: The Built Environment” show follows:

By Randi Bjornstad

There can be art in just about everything, and the concept is proven in a new show called “Shifts: The Built Environment” that opens on Jan. 20 at the Maude Kerns Art Center and runs through Feb. By Randi Bjornstad

If you haven’t seen “Shifts: The Built Environment” yet the exhibit now on display at the Maude Kerns Art Center, you can see it and hear a talk at the the same time by one of the artists involved, photographer James Bailey.

The talk will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, and Bailey will speak about his study with famed photographer Minor White as well as his own work documenting the art to be found at the old Steam Plant on the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s property near the Willamette River in downtown Eugene.

Bailey’s interest in photography began early, in Indiana where his mother had a portrait and wedding photography studio. His own photographic pursuits began when he photographed abandoned farms in the countryside near where his family lived.

In the current exhibit at Maude Kerns, he displays archival pigment inkjet prints that document the old EWEB Steam Plant from 2009 to 2015. He looked for what he calls the “accidental visual aesthetics” inherent in the physical plant.

Here’s the original story TheEugeneReview.com ran about Bailey and the “Shifts: The Built Environment” show:10.

Two artists are sharing the space. Michael Fisher designed the exhibit, which will have its opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan. 13.

A trio of old gauges becomes art through the lens of photographer James Bailey, who spent seven years documenting the old steam plant at the Eugene Water and Electric Board
A trio of old gauges becomes art through the lens of photographer James Bailey, who spent seven years documenting the old steam plant at the Eugene Water and Electric Board

One is Eugene photographer James Bailey, who has made a project out of documenting the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s old steam plant near the Willamette River for seven years, from 2009 to 2015.

Bailey uses archival pigment inkjet prints to preserve these historic images and calls what he has captured “the accidental visual aesthetics” of the industrial structure, in terms of its “shape, texture, light and shadow.”

He has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts from the University of Ohio and was part of a year-long residential workshop with photographer Minor White as well as working as a teaching assistant with Ansel Adams in Yosemite in the 1970s. His work resides in the Pacific Northwest Photography Viewing Drawers in Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery.

Bailey will give a talk at the art center from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 1.

Joining Bailey in the show is sculptor Dave Rowe, who lives in Las Vegas and whose work focuses on the United States’ industrial past, bridging “the spaces between landscape and architecture (and) history and present day.”

Las Vegas sculptor Dave Rowe has large wall sculptures as well as small freestanding pieces in the show
Las Vegas sculptor Dave Rowe has large wall sculptures as well as small freestanding pieces in the show

Rowe’s pieces in “Shifts: The Built Environment” include three large wall sculptures and four smaller freestanding pieces.

His work has been shown widely, including solo exhibits at the Springer Cultural Center in Champaign, Ill., and at Minnesota State University in Mankato.

Shifts: The Built Environment

When: Through Feb. 10; artist talk by James Bailey from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 1

Where: Maude Kerns Art Center, 1910 E. 15th Ave., Eugene

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday

Information: 541-345-1571 or mkartcenter.org

Randi Bjornstad

Has more than 30 years' journalism experience after a previous stint as a land-use planner. Got first rejection slip at age 11, but the editor wrote an encouraging note. Lives in Eugene, Ore., with husband-and-photographer Paul Carter, adorable dog Tallulah and quirky cats Pearl, Audrey, Garbo, Harry and Ozma.

randi has 151 posts and counting.See all posts by randi

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