international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Cara Tomlinson
Portland, OR

Lewis and Clark College, Assistant Professor

page 166


My recent paintings are concerned with the process of construction: how houses, paintings and bodies are made. They refer to the protection a dwelling, like a fortress, provides us; but also to the permeability of the house or body; the windows, doors, openings, through which life comes and goes, the shaky, fragile and temporary construction of shelter. Paint, too, embodies within it a similar dichotomy: it conceals and covers over but also creates the illusion of an opening and space.  These paintings explore a quality of home that is so familiar that one loses the clear delineations of self inside it. The German language has a word that aptly describes this state: "unheimlichkeit": uncanniness or "unhomelikeness." This happens in the expression of the play between the figure and ground and the metaphors of inside/outside–transforming familiar boundaries into the unfamiliar.


born: San Francisco


University of Oregon, MFA, 1993
Bennington College, BA

selected awards/honors

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship, VA, 2009
Hungarian Multicultural Center Residency, Budapest, Hungary, 2009
Installation Grant, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Portland, OR, 2008
Professional Development Grant, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Portland, OR, 2007

selected publications

Hoffman Gallery: Sums:New Work, Catalog, Portland, OR: Lewis and Clark, 2011
Waste Book: Documenting Bins Lab, 2007-2009, catalog: Blurb Press, 104 pages, 2010
Emerge, Midwest Art Zine, vol. 2, issue 2. pp. 10-11, 2009
100 Creative Drawing Ideas, Shambhala Press, pp.123-124, 2004

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis and Clark College: Sums, Portland, OR, 2011
Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College: Paintings and Objects, Memphis, TN, 2011
Los Medanos Gallery of Art, Los Medanos College: Somewhere and Nowhere, Pittsburg, CA, 2010
Cannon Gallery of Art, Western Oregon University: Colour/Color, Monmouth, OR, 2010

selected group shows

Cooke Gallery, University of North Carolina: Drawing Discourse, Asheville, North Carolina, 2010
Tribute Gallery: Play for Keeps, Portland, OR, 2010
MP5 Gallery: The Grid, Portland, OR, 2009  
Archer Gallery, Clark College: Considered Space, Vancouver, WA, 2009

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