Eliot Grasso - The Odyssey of These Days

odyssey.jpegThe collaborative project “The Odyssey of These Days” explores grief and hope through intimate exhibition of art and music

EUGENE, Or., February 5, 2017—There are times when making art is the only way we can give voice to suffering. Regionally known visual artist Wesley Hurd and internationally renowned composer Eliot Grasso have collaboratively produced a multidisciplinary exhibition of art and music that intimately explores the depths of loss, grief and hope. “The Odyssey of These Days” exhibition and performance will premiere March 3rd and 4th at the Hult Center Studio in downtown Eugene, OR. The project was deeply influenced by the shootings at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, which occurred during production of the work.

The paintings present an abstract visual narrative evoking the intensity of human suffering and our journey beyond it, into hope. The music, composed by Grasso and performed by the Dréos ensemble, is designed to reflect these inner experiences; to lend motion and aural texture to unanswerable questions and inarticulate responses.

According to Wesley Hurd, “this series of abstract paintings formed an unexpected narrative in three movements: shock and struggle, loss and grief, and finally memoriam and acceptance of loss. Eliot’s brilliant composition mirrors these movements in music. The two mediums, visual and aural, present an experience that is larger than the sum of its two parts.”

“Hurd’s paintings, and the complex emotions behind them, have inspired me greatly,” said Grasso. “The music I wrote in response to the paintings is meant to confront each listener with the raw personal emotions of tragedy, grief, and loss, and to spur each listener forward beyond that grief into an emotional space where hope is not only reasonable, but real.” Rather than focusing on the political or ideological, Hurd and Grasso are interested in how we form meaning from life experiences, both good and bad.

The premiere of “The Odyssey of These Days” is presented by ArtCity Eugene, with the generous support of the Oregon Arts Commission, Andersen Construction, Imagination International Inc., GloryBee, Gutenberg College, Brenner’s Furniture, QSL Print Communications, and BlueTower Arts.

Tickets are limited for the March 3rd world premiere, and are priced at $55, and $15 for the general admission showing on March 4th. The exhibition will open at 6 p.m., followed by an artist talk at 7 p.m. and live performance. Tickets are available at http://www.hultcenter.org/

More information on “The Odyssey of These Days” can be found at: http://www.odysseyofthesedays.com/

About Wesley Hurd
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Wesley Hurd studied fine art and art education at Southern Oregon College, and has a graduate degree in theology and Ph.D. in education concentrating in educational philosophy and social thought. He has taught as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Oregon, where he received his MFA in painting. Hurd retired as a tutor at Gutenberg College in 2012, and serves on the board. He is currently a free-lance lecturer and mentor specializing in modern and contemporary visual art. He began his present studio practice in 1989, and he and his family have lived in Eugene since 1977.


About Eliot Grasso
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Eliot Grasso is one of the foremost Irish musicians in North America. Contemporaries claim that Grasso’s “intuitive sense of melodic and technical variation make him one of the most creative and dynamic musicians in the contemporary world of Irish traditional music,” and “one of the finest uilleann pipers in the history of Irish music in America.” Grasso has performed for the National Heritage Awards and the National Endowment for the Arts Awards, for many significant heads of state, and at several notable venues, a few of which include the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Constitution Hall, Library of Congress, the National Building Museum, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Sterling Castle in Scotland, and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.


About ArtCity Eugene

ArtCity Eugene is a proactive group of collaborative artists and civic leaders who are developing a dynamic multidisciplinary arts community. ArtCity currently hosts monthly maker gatherings, and other special events, and envisions a studio community where visual and performing arts can happen under one roof.

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