Thursday, June 05, 2008

Invitation: Architect and Photographer Use Photography to Map the Palouse Region

Where have I been? (Begin Press Release:)

May 30, 2008

MOSCOW, Idaho – A Seattle-based architect and an architectural photographer will exhibit retrospectives of their work and the “Palouse Project” created specifically for an exhibit at the University of Idaho's Prichard Art Gallery.

“Lara Swimmer and Robert Zimmer: Topographies in Built and Natural Landscapes” opens on Friday, June 13, as part of the 2008 Moscow Art Walk. The artists will be on hand for the opening reception from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, June 13; the exhibit will run June 13 – Sept. 14 at the gallery.

Zimmer, a University of Idaho alumnus, and Swimmer, his wife and an architectural photographer, spent a year dividing the Palouse into quadrants and photographing it to create grid-based photomaps of the region. The installation will feature large-scale collages of photographs of the Palouse’s landmark structures in black and white photographs and color photographs of its landscapes.

Zimmer and Swimmer said they used the Palouse as their inspiration to create a collaborative exhibit between architect and photographer.

“One of our objectives is to share our work both individually and as partners,” they noted. “This exhibit is a collective view of a collaborative documentation process culminating in a graphic display of the Palouse – from geological formations and human history to ecological and technological concerns – through the four seasons.”

“This project crystallizes experiences within the region, and allows the viewer to stand back and see one big picture or to step up closer for a deeper look,” said Roger Rowley, Prichard Art Gallery director.

Rowley designed a class around the Palouse Project for architecture and design students. Swimmer and Zimmer agreed to engage the students in the design process of the installation. The class of eight helped collect geological and historical data of the Palouse that included past and present types of transportation, technologies, erosion, architectural history and human history. They also catalogued the data and helped design timelines that correspond to the artist’s professional careers.

“There hasn’t been a joint force like this between artist and student in any exhibit featured at the gallery,” said Rowley. “It is amazing how they agreed to be involved in this class while managing their busy careers. Bob and Lara travelled from Seattle almost every other week to work with the students. I am blown away by their willingness to create a professional design experience for the students.”

The student’s work will be exhibited alongside that of the artists.

Zimmer and Swimmer said they want the project to communicate their creative skills in an exhibit that will optimize the spatial potential of the gallery. They worked with the students in designing models of the installation, and figuring out innovative ways to modify the gallery’s space to direct patrons through the exhibit. Zimmer designed a structural addition to the gallery that will transform people’s experience of the gallery and artwork.

Rowley said this is a unique exhibit because of the collaboration between an artist, an architect, students and the gallery.

The exhibit opens on Friday, June 13, as part of the 2008 Moscow Art Walk. The Prichard Art Gallery summer hours are Tuesday-Friday, 1-7 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gallery is closed Sunday and Monday. The gallery, an outreach facility of the University of Idaho, is located at 414/416 S. Main St. on the corner of Fifth Street and Main Street in downtown Moscow. Admission is free. Additional information is available at

As you can see, the show opens a week from tomorrow. After that, I will return to normal blogging hours. Thank you for your patience. The press release is from here. There is also an in-progress blog here. As of now, we've spent 5.5 months developing this show and I hope some of you can come out and see it.


Radish King said...

You know, I've been itching to get back to Idaho, visit my sister's grave, my grandparents' (both sets) houses,Priest River, Pen Oreille. I miss all the green. I want to write about it, too. That's been on my mind for a while. I was writing about the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in Montana recently. My dad used to take us there. The poems are here
but they're disguised.


Radish King said...

Aiyee I got side tracked in my head. I meant to tell you congratulations. What a fantastic project.