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Display seeks to spur talks about art from practitioner's view. See the works of 18 Pacific Northwest artists.

This piece is titled Maidens painted by Elizabeth Malaska, on exhibit at the Hoffman Gallery at Lewis & Clark College.

Lewis & Clark College's Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery will host "Making a Better Painting."

The regional exhibition showcases the work of 18 artists from around the Pacific Northwest who seek to spark conversations about paintings from a practitioner's point of view.

Each of the artists address at least one of the four exhibition themes in their work: painting in the expanded field, painting and politics, painting in the Anthropocene and painting after technology.

The title refers to the absurdity, passion and even shame that inflect the pursuit of painting today.

The exhibit will provide context for the presentations, panel discussions and hands-on workshops at the "Making a Better Painting: Thinking Through Practice Symposium," to be held March 6 and 7.

The symposium's keynote speaker is Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, a painter and writer living and working in New York.

Zuckerman-Hartung teaches in the low-residency MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was appointed critic in painting/printmaking at Yale in 2015.

The 18 exhibiting artists are: Juventino Aranda (Walla Walla, Washington), Bruce Burris (Corvallis), Dawn Cerny (Seattle), Jaq Chartier (Seattle), Ka'ila Farrell-Smith (Klamath Falls), Derek Franklin (Portland), Joe Hedges (Pullman, Washington), Grant Hottlel (Portland), Paul Komada (Seattle), Ruth Lantz (Portland), Ellen Lesperance (Portland), Margie Livingston (Seattle), Elizabeth Malaska (Portland), V. Maldonado (Portland), Susan Murrell (La Grande), Ralph Pugay (Portland), Anthony White (Seattle) and Amanda Wojick (Eugene).

Free and open to the public, the exhibit and symposium are followups to the inaugural Pacific Northwest painting symposiums held in 2017, with collaboration from professors at Lewis & Clark College, the University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, Willamette University and Reed College.

Taking the lead in organizing and curating this year's exhibit is Lewis & Clark Associate Professor of Art Cara Tomlinson, who also serves as the art department's head of painting.

Tomlinson's collaborators include faculty from the University of Puget Sound, Western Washington University, the University of Oregon, the Whatcom Museum, Portland State University and the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

"The title of the exhibit and symposium refers to the absurdity and passion of pursuing painting today — the burden of the history of it as a fine art, its commodity status, all the trappings that make painting both hyper-visible and invisible in terms of its practical discourse," Tomlinson said.

"Despite all the historical, capitalistic weight that the practice of painting brings to the table, painters are still engaged in a sweet hopefulness attempting to make a better painting in our individual studios. This exhibit/symposium allows us to meet and publicly share these private, practical and philosophical studio conversations."

The exhibit will hang through March 15. Lewis & Clark College is at 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road, Portland.

Anthony Whites painting from Making a Better Painting is on exhibit at the Hoffman Gallery at Lewis & Clark College through March 15.

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