Higher Ground: New work by Jeanne Lorenz

January 28th-March 12, 2017

Higher Ground

Opening Reception Saturday, January 28th 6-9pm

Closing Reception + Artist Talk with Jeanne:
Sunday, March 12th 3-6pm (Talk starts at 4pm)
Refreshments will be served

“Higher Ground” is a visual articulation of the experience of traveling for five months on foot across the highest elevations of the west coast of North America. Combining painted and drawn pattern with the landscape of the Pacific Crest Trail, Jeanne Lorenz has created a series of hand-painted, site-specific, large-scale wall paintings based on her 2,000-mile hike of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Those months walking in the wilderness allowed Lorenz to focus on water, travel light, and be open to the poetry of human interaction. Returning to the studio, she limited her color palettes to reflect her time on the trail, making her own paint from pigments ground into a liquid dispersion reflective of the earth. The drawings that filled her PCT sketchbooks form the basis of the paintings and drawings on display at the Compound. The painted, patterned wall installation It’s All Down Hill From Here- except that is isn’t and it never will be, depicts the Mojave high desert ravaged by wildfire, bisected by strong, simple geometric pattern symbolic of time and its manifestations as season.

Hiking Helen Frankenthaler creates a sense of moving up and down simultaneously. She mixes the memory of standing at the Mexican border about to set out on a five month adventure with a remembrance of meeting Helen Frankenthaler when she was sixteen. Looking back at both of those decisive moments Lorenz was transported to a time before she knew how to know, and what might remain unknown. Higher Ground is a landscape of memory and aspiration, a space that is both robust in its ability to regenerate as well as being in need of protection.

Jeanne Lorenz is a visual artist whose work explores ecology and human collaboration with natural systems. In the summer of 2015, she walked 2000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with her husband and eleven-year-old daughter. Traveling by foot and living outside for five months, the family lived the daily experience of the California drought, traveling from water source to water source through the Anza Borrego and Mojave Deserts, through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges, where the word “water” became a mantra. Off trail, Lorenz lives within a protected watershed where residents share communal springs. In December 2015, she completed a month-long residency at the Vermont Studio Center and created large-scale, site-specific installations exploring the intersection of our collective industrial past and the changing climate of our future. Lorenz teaches painting, printmaking, and design/color in the Art Department at Solano Community College in Fairfield, California.