Camp KALA – Laurel Kurtz and Sandy Sampson, Art and Social Practice
WHAT DOES it mean to camp? Sometimes as kids it means setting up a fort in our parents living room, as adults it can mean anything from setting out equipped with maps and expensive gear, to just having a sleeping bag and a cooler in an unfamiliar place. But generally it means spending the night out of your own bed, being inventive and making do with what is at hand when a need arises.
CAMP, an installation at KALA is an exploration of campsite ingenuity in a non- natural setting. The artists arrive with the barest of necessities to set up camp in the gallery and ask visitors to help them kit out their campsite by employing their own ingenuity and creativity to transform materials gleaned from the streets into useful objects that will make the artist’s camp a home away from home.
Laurel Kurtz and Sandy Sampson both graduates of the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program, founded by Harrell Fletcher, continue to explore the rich territory of knowledge and meaning provided by “the everyperson” in the every day.
Sandy Sampson is an interdisciplinary artist with a 30-year exhibition history and is based in Portland Oregon. The main focus of her current practice is locating and framing casual pedagogy as it presents in the everyday. This translates to a profound reliance on the expression of wisdom and expertise that each individual brings about their own place within their community and their own lived experience. In addition to work on commissioned and self-initiated art projects she is an adjunct professor of art at Portland Community College. Sampson’s publicly engaged community based work includes commissioned projects for: Portland Art Museum, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art: TBA, Beton Salon, Paris, and Apex Art, New York.
Laurel Kurtz works primarily in sculpture, both physical and social. Through the collaborative process and facilitation, Kurtz offers her perspective on the converging roles of artist, artwork and audience in socially engaged work and intervention. Kurtz currently works in a woodshop that celebrates mental diversity at Port City. She has made work for the Liverpool Capital of Culture 2008, Elsewhere Artists’ Collaborative, Apex Art NYC, Oregon’s Percent for Art Program, the Portland Art Museum, and has an ongoing collaboration with Project Grow.