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untitled 2.0 a gallery on the corner of 6th & g street 119 se “6” street, grants pass, or 97526 dewayne thomas lumpkin 541.761.9978 | untitled2gallery.com copyright © 2017 untitled 2.0 all rights reserved no portion of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission of the publisher this catalogue is published in conjunction with the exhibition oregon coast trail {untitled 2.0, may 5 - 30, 2017}. all paintings are acrylic on paper by kristen o'neill. all photographs were taken by pete miller. all works were completed in 2016. eld notes on pages 3, 6, 14, 26, 42, 48, 56, 64, 76, 82, 90 & 92 were written by pete miller while hiking the oregon coast trail. printed by pixartprinting usa incorporated 275 wyman street waltham ma 02451 855.932.7498 | pixartprinting.com cover concept and catalogue design by audrey isbell - ava virtual assistance 1867 williams hwy - suite #207 grants pass, or 97527 541.244.2606 | avapowerup.com


untitled 2.0

|oregon coast trail two artists | one singular adventure

may 2017 | kristen o'neill & pete miller


by kristen o’neill My landscapes focus on recreating and exploring a time and place found during hikes. The Oregon Coast Trail series spotlights a trail that follows the entire Oregon coastline as hiked and photographed by Pete Miller in the summer of 2016. I left the safety and knowledge of my own artistic experiences and journeyed out to portray an experience I have yet to have. I've painted someone else's perspective a time or two with paintings from photographs, yet this is the first time I have vicariously hiked an entire trail via a series and documented it through my art. As Miller hiked he sent me photos and I was able to follow along the trail, about a day behind him. There was an interesting back and forth as I shared the images I had painted with him, on the day I painted them. Once he returned I was able to see all the photographs he took during his hike and then pick and choose more carefully what I wanted to paint. I trust viewers will gain a general sense and appreciation of the trail. For those who have already hiked it or seen parts of the Oregon coastline, I believe these paintings will act as a trigger for their own memories. We often secure our memories to a place and to see it again is to relive that part of our lives. People tell me that they have hiked the trail (in entirety or bits and pieces), sat on a specific rock, walked a beach hand in hand and even identified the spot they got engaged...the art is a way to connect these pieces of lifetimes together. There is a sense of the place that often goes far beyond the landmark. For me the beauty of Heceta Head isn’t the lighthouse - it is the color of the sky on the water as it flows into the ocean. Previous series have come from my direct experiences. This is the first time I have used my work as a method of travel for myself...and others. I feel that I know the Oregon Coast Trail intimately, but in reality I had not set foot on it prior to painting it. Before this series, thoughts of the Oregon Coast brought only dim memories of a childhood trip to the sand dunes. In this series I painted locations accurately, but prioritized the essence of a place by eliminating unnecessary details. This painterly approach generates landscapes with fidelity to the colors and forms that comprise the coastal terrain. My artistic influences include Neil Welliver, the Group of Seven, Richard Bosman, Katsushika Hokusai, Alex Katz, and Jennifer Bartlett. I am interested in what landscape painting can become as we use it to explore, capture, and preserve a place. There is a deep “truth” in the “lies” of a painting; artistic interpretations trump strict documentation for me and I purposefully journey to that place with my paintings. Photography presents an assumption of “truth” instead of embracing the beauty of a place recreated with a visual “lie” or two. Our culture defaults to a false belief that a photograph shows the place the exact way it is without considering the interpretation of the photographer. The idea of simultaneously documenting landscapes through photography and painting is not new. Thomas Moran painted and sketched Yellowstone to present the beauty of area to Congress for preservation, forming the first National Park. Yet, William Henry Jackson's photographs were also presented as proof that what Moran depicted really existed.


by pete miller Part of what fueled my quest and responsibility to finish the entire Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) was the idea that this trek was being walked by more than myself. What I mean to say is that I’m not the only one walking in my shoes today or for this entire expedition. Kristen O’Neill, a professional artist back home in Grants Pass, Oregon was coming with me in her own way. I own and operate a Hiking Group called “Happy Hikes Around Hwy 199." A year ago a new member, Kristen O’Neill, joined my hiking group with her family. The first trip we hiked together was the "Red Dog Creek Trail." In the following days I discovered landscape paintings Kristen had painted were posted on the Internet. They were paintings from our hike on Red Dog Creek. They were fantastic! Kristen asked if I knew of any waterfalls to hike? I answered, "how tall, how many, what color, etc.?” She said, “your favorites.” I took her to a few of the most memorable waterfalls in the Umpqua Valley. Her paintings from those trails and landscapes were also fantastic! It just felt natural, a year ago - when I first started doing all the research and planning for this hike down the OCT to ask Kristen if she would like to join me. She hadn’t yet seen the Oregon coast and wanted to. I was certain her paintings from the coast would be unequaled. “Yes,” she responded to my question. Then, she paused and said, “I can't.” She had already planned too many art shows and was a new Mother - Kristen had a newborn bundle of joy to care for! Now laughing, we came back to the here and now. I said, “How about if we walk the Oregon Coast Trail together in a funny electronic way?” Kristen tilted her head showing curiosity waiting for me to continue. My explanation: “I'll physically walk the trail and every day I'll email you pictures of the day’s travels. I’ll write notes or messages to tell you of the daily adventures. I’ll detail for you the mood, ambiance, and feeling for the day. You then capture that image on canvas...and thus began the trip the two of us would take.” I enjoy living in the world of "Wows!" Through my hikes and the resulting artwork, photography and stained glass, I want my first reaction to everything I see to be, "Wow!" Hiking the Oregon Coast Trail was a chance to leave my mind supplied with countless moments of exhilaration. Helping to document this feat, Kristen O’Neill thankfully came on board to capture some of those moments. The painting on page seven is the two of us walking and our reflection in the water - symbolically representing me on the trail and Kristen at home capturing the moment.

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I came across my first Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) sign with a directional arrow. Pulling my jacket closed and pushing my hat on firmly, I brazened southward to the first rock jetty that had to be carefully descended. Off the jetty my boots were firmly on the sand. I took my first step on the Oregon coast beach and it was good. Keeping my motivation positive and looking forward to my last step on this long trail I smiled. I was curious why the beach wanted to push every other grain of sand here through my hair, in my clothes, as well as in my ears, nose, clothing, boots, & everything! The wind was relentless. I pushed on and took step two.


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In Pacific City, jutting into the ocean, is Oregon’s only well known cape that isn’t formed from basalt. Cape Kiwanda is made of a slurry of old sandstone and mudstone known as the Astoria Formation. That’s not good to adventurists who willingly climb to the high cliff edge to get the perfect shot. This stuff can easily crumble under your feet. In recent years there have been seven deaths here. Caution at all times. The views from and of Cape Kiwanda are breathtaking. Some of the best views are from this sandstone headland’s cliff edges top. I climbed it. Finally I was at the top and the views are outstanding! Every angle is a picture postcard! Looking north, south, and at the very rocks I was standing on, all were worth the exhausting trip climbing up all that soft sand. Looking north I could see all the beach I had conquered. Looking south I saw the many miles of beach that awaited me.


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Cape Mears Lighthouse has several routes from Cape Mears National Wildlife Refuge and the Cape Mears State Park. Some of the views include haystacks in the ocean called Pyramid Rock and Pillar Rock. After walking all of them, it was time to hit one of my favorite beaches in Oregon, “Short Beach.� On Bay Ocean Road - just south of the lighthouse at the bottom of the hill - is the trail to this beach. To get to this little jewel you need to take some stairs down. 137 stairs to be exact. Hitting this beach at low tide is also a plus...there are some tunnels to explore. During yearly ultra low tides, there are several tunnels available to the south you can walk through to the next beach and the next. At others times you access each of the beaches from a residential street above. Short Beach at a low tide makes for some stunning pictures as well as memories. Nearby, Oceanside Beach in the city of Oceanside has easy beach access and offers an enjoyable sunset walk year round. With low tides and the use of several tunnels you can walk from Oceanside Beach to Short Beach. Getting back may mean fast footwork or a keen eye on a reliable tide table.


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To the south side of Proposal Rock, on the beach, is a phenomenon that is quite curious. In the winter of late 1997 the ocean moved a lot of sand from this Neskowin beach. Locals woke to find hundreds of old, preserved, black tree stumps on the beach, three to eight feet tall. University scientists and biologists came forward to confirm, “Yes these are tree stumps.” They determined that during a massive earthquake on January 26, 1700 this forest fell into the ocean. These trees would have stood 150 to 200 feet tall. Due to shifting sands at times they disappear and reappear again. Many of these preserved tree stumps can be found along the Oregon coast, but this is the biggest single site collection in the state. From Neskowin, I followed the trail head north to Cascade Overlook and Hart’s Cove Trail. This is more than ten miles of steep and tricky trail from start to finish. A heavy fog was blanketing The Head so the overlook views were dismal at best. On a clear day the southern view will stop your heart. Hart’s Cove’s views are equally gorgeous, with echoing seal barks from below.


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Down to Depoe Bay - a whale watching mecca with a double bridge across its namesake. Depoe Bay has the smallest navigable bay in the world, accounting for a grand total of six acres. The boat scenes from the movie “One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest” were filmed in this bay. Now, about the bridge: While crossing it, drivers barely notice the generic highway bridge with two lanes of traffic. At the north end of this bridge is a sidewalk and a short flight of stairs to a path under the bridge for safely crossing the highway. When you walk the sidewalk under this bridge you see a whole different picture. Wow, there are actually two bridges here! The first one was constructed at the same time as the other bridges along Hwy 101 in the Art Nouveau style. Back then a one lane bridge was enough for this community. In time, it wasn’t. The bridge needed to be widened. Instead of tearing down the one and building another, they built a second bridge right next to the first and built it in the same artistic style. After the second bridge was built they laid a single layer of pavement over the top and no one’s the wiser. From above you still only see one bridge. Wow. In a single day I’ve crossed the world’s shortest river (Lincoln City's D River, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records at a whopping 440 feet long) and crossed the world’s smallest bay. That’s worth celebrating! I took a late lunch break at Gracie’s Sea Hag, a local seafood restaurant. As you may guess, I ordered chowder. Mmmmm!


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Here’s a side note that I don’t want to admit! Walking the Oregon beach mile after mile, day after day, can get well a bit boring at times. Unbelievably boring! Sand, sand, and more sand. Walking on the firmest sand the beach had to offer mostly meant walking at the surf’s edge. That also meant walking along this thing I called the “Line of Death”. At surf’s edge was a line of dead and decaying matter the ocean no longer wanted; dead fish, dead plants, dead seals, dead crabs, dead everything. This kept a healthy population of sand fleas at this mark too. To date I had walked within a sand flea habitat and population easily in the trillions with hundreds of miles to go. Ugh!


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As I walked south I could see basalt cliffs ahead of me and I knew those impending cliffs couldn’t be overcome. The closer I got though I could make out a trail going over them. Just as I had hoped for when I reached them there was a blue and white Oregon Coast Trail marker directing me to take the trail upward. There was even a rope railing put in place to assist hikers in both directions. Officially it is called the Ocean Beach 804 Trail and it heads up from the beach, to the headland top, then following the basalt cliff edge all the way to Smelt Sands State Park. You can walk its full length, at cliff’s edge, around the neighboring hotel’s property edge and behind two more private properties at cliff’s edge before turning 90 degrees east. The trail is then channeled between two fences coming out on Aqua Vista Loop. From this loop you can walk a block back to Hwy 101 and continue south through Yachats.


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As the sun set, I still had miles to go. With every passing second the sun’s position and color changed. It was beyond magnificent! Growing up in Kansas I’d say we had a better than average number of spectacular sunrises and sunsets, but this one matched the best Kansas ever had. I even walked up the beach a bit to get an extra half second of sun’s light before it sank into the ocean for the night. And like that it was gone. Today marked the end of my second week on the trail. I’ve walked hundreds of miles to this point and I still had hundreds to go. It was getting dark pretty quick.


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I shot down to Gold beach this morning to a place called “Kissing Rock.” From here there is a good walk both north and south. First I went north to the south jetty of the Rogue River. This route walks the entire distance through the city of Gold Beach along the airport. A family brings their biplane and offers rides. I did it once. If you have a bucket list, that ride should be on it! Trust me. By now you should be wondering why a place should have the moniker, “Kissing Rock” and why is “Rock” not plural? If there are rocks that are “kissing” there, shouldn’t it be plural?! The locals explain, “No, it shouldn’t be plural.” They recall an earlier time period when Gold Hill was a much smaller township. The “Kissing Rock” was outside of town, they reminisce, “That’s where you had to go to kiss your girlfriend or boyfriend.” It was local but out of town, had beautiful views in all directions, and several large rocks kept you and yours out of sight no matter how many people were there.


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I got closer to the north end of China Beach and some rocks came into focus. They were like short haystacks, only ten to twelve feet tall. There are two of them right at the low tide line. I thought, “Ha ha ha, this is pretty cool!” The rocks look just like two adult whales, half breached from the ocean, facing each other in a twisting fashion just like they’re kissing! Wow! The Oregon coast never ceases to amaze me. The rocks are composed of volcanic basalt with fissures all over their surface. Their coloration is a mixture of black, green and grey with perfect placement. Their lower halves are covered with life forms: barnacles and seaweed among others. They are “living rocks.” Smaller rocks surround them as though they are their children. Wow!


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On the final day there was a dense fog all over the beach. Walking through the white mass was disorienting and locating the sun was impossible. Nothing was visible beyond a few yards. The ocean’s surf was vociferous. My adventure began with a hard cold wind in my face; the sky throwing sleet and freezing rain. The Pacific Ocean was slapping me in the face, reminding me to be safe. Sneaker waves, falls from cliffs, and riptides claim lives all the time. I was being reminded to watch my step. Five hundred miles later - at the opposite end of the state - I wasn’t walking toward the end of my journey (the Oregon/California border). I was walking toward my next adventure.


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Pete Miller hiked the Oregon Coast Trail and took some stunning photos of the trek. He then passed the photos to Kristen O'Neill who used them as source material for a series of paintings. I posit that O'Neill is not truly collaborating with Miller - rather, she is painting cover versions of his photographs. O'Neill gives each original photo a new groove by applying paint to paper and adjusting the tempo to suit her compositions; turning up the volume in some and cranking it back to a whisper in others. Cover versions is a term from pop music wherein one musician performs a song made famous by another musician. Historically, a stigma was attached to cover versions as they were considered inferior to the originals (think cheesy cover bands playing top 40 hits at weddings and proms). The reputation of covers underwent a lengthy rehabilitation and today there are hundreds of examples of covers that have gained notoriety and popularity equaling and even surpassing the originals. Skeptics need only listen to Sinead O'Connor's version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” – a perfect example of a cover that eclipsed the original by Prince to such a degree that many listeners have no idea of the song's origin. Johnny Cash's “Hurt” cover is so revelatory in its straightforward delivery that Nine Inch Nails' original feels like an anemic imitation. The Talking Heads out-souled the Reverend Al Green with their cover of “Take Me to the River.” O'Neill's coastal landscapes succeed because they are not trying to recreate Miller's photos. Instead they capture the essence of the moment in time when the photos were taken. The paintings are not overworked. All were completed in a single day, many in an hour or two. This fresh approach matches the immediacy of Miller's photographs while elevating them through a refined artistic lens. A visual poetry is present in the play of light on beaches, patches of grass and wind bent trees. Broad brush strokes are visible in certain pieces. In others, a minimal palette heightens the allure. The scarcity of detail from corresponding photos isn't reductive, the edited images prove less is definitely more in O'Neill's hands. Success isn't measured by allegiance to the original, but rather the audacity of stretching for art and transcendence. Some recording artists – not unlike O'Neill - play particularly well with others and have recorded entire albums of cover songs. Cat Power covered everyone from Nick Cave to The Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan on her two covers albums: “The Covers Record” and “Jukebox.” KD Lang recorded a covers tribute to fellow Canadian musicians titled “Hymns of the 49th Parallel” and Sara Vaughn sent a love note to Paul, John, Ringo and George in the form of her covers album “Songs of the Beatles.” Kristen O'Neill has created an entire series of 50+ paintings based on Miller's photos.


Pete Miller's photographs pull their weight by being originals worthy of covering – a successful cover version is nearly impossible if based on an inferior original. The daily field notes he passed along to O'Neill included descriptive passages from each day's hike along with photographic documentation of the journey. It was up to O'Neill to select the photos that sparked her creativity; as with most artistic endeavors, many worthy images were abandoned on the cutting room floor. The examples of cover songs above are personal favorites, I can hear them in my head as I examine Miller's photos and the paintings of O'Neill. The paintings clearly display characteristics found in the photographs just as cover songs retain the lyrics and melody of originals. Some are faithful interpretations that approximate scale, composition, light and coloration while others play fast and loose with the same elements. Both approaches succeed. After the initial disappointment at not being able to join the hike, O'Neill met the challenge of transporting herself and her viewers into Miller's world of beaches, cliffs, foamy waves and sand fleas. The grandiosity of the journey is best captured by Miller's panoramic photos in the exhibit and printed as two-page spreads in this catalogue. The immediacy of a day at the beach and the pathos of dying light over the ocean are hinted at in his photos but fully realized in O'Neill's paintings. The push/pull of painting vs. photograph and the space created between them is an embarrassment of riches. It's OK to treasure the original and still fully embrace the nuances of a successful cover version. I was dazzled when Audrey Isbell revealed her front and back cover designs for this catalogue. The morphing of Miller's photographs and O'Neill's paintings into two wholly original images demonstrates the compatibility of their singular visions. Neither the photographed foreground or the painted horizon compete with the other for dominance. It is this simpatico I felt with the two artists that compelled me to exhibit their series of photos and paintings as a way of documenting the hike, the originals and the covers and the conversation taking place between the two. Isbell summed it all up with two succinct images that are actually sly, subtle and ultimately a genuine surprise; a visual aggregate of Pete Miller and Kristen O'Neill's Oregon Coast Trail experience. DeWayne Thomas Lumpkin untitled 2.0

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curriculum vitae | kristen o’neill Solo Exhibitions Barnstormers, Grants Pass, OR 2017 MaMosa’s, Grants Pass, OR. 2016 Santa Cruz County Parks & Recreation Department, Santa Cruz, CA. 2014- 2015 Santa Cruz County Government Center, Arts Council Santa Cruz County. 2014 Group Exhibitions Oregon Coast Trail, Untitled 2.0 Gallery, Grants Pass, OR. 2017 Strange Bedfellows, Untitled 2.0 Gallery, Grants Pass, OR. 2017 A Radical Light, Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg, OR. 2017 Black, White, and the Blues, Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OR . 2016, 2017 Barnstormers, Grants Pass, OR. 2016 Membership Show, Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OR. 2015, 2016 Open Studios Preview Exhibition, Grants Pass Museum of Art, Grants Pass, OR. 2016 Southern Oregon Art Show, Firehouse Gallery, Grants Pass, OR. 2016 Umpqua Plein Air, Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg, OR. 2015 Everybody’s Ocean, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA. 2014-15 In a Golden State, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA. Juried by David A. Leffel. 2014 Spring Obsession, Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys, CA. 2014 This is Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA. 2014 Local Essence, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA. 2014 Perspectives, 1301 Gallery, Omaha, NE. 2011 The Passageway Gallery, Omaha, NE. 2011-2012 The Art of Painting, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA. 2006 BFA Show, The White Tower, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 2003 ArtWindows, Nordstrom on Michigan Ave, Chicago, Il. Juried by Jeannie Long and Nordstrom. 2003 Accreditation Review, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Invitational. 2002 Noggins, Cabrillo College Gallery, Cabrillo College, Aptos, California. 2000 Women’s Art Show, University of California at Santa Cruz. Invitational. 1999 Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA 1997 Santa Cruz County Government Center, Santa Cruz, California. 1996-97


Bibliography Art Pick: Art Along the Trail: Kristen O’Neill and her Oregon Coast Trail Paintings, Southern Oregon Magazine, Spring 2017 Edith Decker, Paint like a famous artist at popular new class series, Grants Pass Daily Courier. March 20, 2017 Edith Decker, Working artists: 23 will be part of revived studio tour, Grants Pass Daily Courier. September 22, 2016 Madeline Shannon, Children enjoyed a summer of art, Home & Family, Grants Pass Daily Courier. September 9, 2016. Edith Decker, Winners chosen for 68th Southern Oregon Art Show, Grants Pass Daily Courier. August 9, 2016 Umpqua forest art up at Ma Mosa’s, The Daily Courier. April 2, 2016 Tarmo Hannula, Capturing a personal feel of nature, Register-Pajaronian. Review. August 21, 2014 Julia Chiapella, A Roaring Tribute to Emerging Artists, Santa Cruz County Sentinel. Review. May 23, 1997 Vicki Winters, Santa Cruz Art League Encourages young Artists, The Mid County Post, May 27, 1997 Art on Broadway: A Publication of the Santa Cruz Art League Center for the Arts, Vol. 5, No. 2, June 1997 Selected Awards 2nd Place, Southern Oregon Art Show, Firehouse Gallery, Grants Pass, OR. 2016 Award of Distinction, by Juror Mike Hernandez, Umpqua Plein Air. 2015 Honorable Mention, by juror George Rivera, the Senior Curator of the Triton Museum during the Santa Cruz Art League’s “The Art of Painting.” 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award in Painting, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz, CA. 1997 Education Bachelor of Fine Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Il. 2003

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biography | pete miller Art is in my blood. From birth forward I’ve experimented with all kinds of creativity. From grade school on there’s a list of awards for art productions. Graduating High School From Parkway West High School, Manchester, Missouri, the school district acknowledged my merits with a commendation for Excellence in the Field of Arts in 1984. After that I moved to Australia and worked as a Graphic Artist with Adtex International, Bryant & May, as well as Leffler Advertising. At this same time I was always involved with photography. The motivating force behind all my accolades was my heart's true passion, blown glass and stained glass. I spent a great deal of time working with glass artists and manufacturers of stained glass all over Australia, as well as in America when I returned. Back in the States I moved to Wisconsin where I was employed by the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and later the University of Wisconsin at Madison as an art teacher. My art continues through stained glass and my unquenchable thirst for hiking through Oregon. Wow!


the oregon coast trail exhibition & catalogue are dedicated to hyla lipson, a world class matchmaker

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untitled 2.0 | oregon coast trail | kristen o'neill & pete miller  
untitled 2.0 | oregon coast trail | kristen o'neill & pete miller  

two artists | one singular adventure