Arts and Entertainment

BIMA to present new exhibition featuring sculptor David Eisenhour

David Eisenhour
David Eisenhour's 'The Edge,' (bronze and stone, 2011).
— image credit: Myron Ganger photo

The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art will hosting a major solo exhibition of sculptures by Port Hadlock artist David Eisenhour later this month.

"David Eisenhour: Dialogue with Nature" will be on view March 22 through June 1.

A public reception is planned for the opening day, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 22.

The exhibit — the first-ever solo museum show for Eisenhour — will include more than 50 individual works and a new series created in bronze, stainless steel, found stones, cast concrete, coal and mixed media.

BIMA officials said Eisenhour’s work reflects on his lifelong inquiries and documentation of the forms and beauty in nature, as well as issues related to the environment.

"Dialogue with Nature" will showcase six discrete yet related series of works and some earlier pieces. Museum visitors will learn about Eisenhour’s evolution as an artist since the 1980s. His early work is more representational – later on the progression of his series document both abstract forms in nature and begin to address specific topics such as ocean acidification.

Eisenhour’s work portrays and interprets organic forms. Through his artistic processes, he tells stories of natural history and human experience. He experiments with patina processes and with casting techniques, enhancing the textures, colors, and reflective qualities in his work.

He uses a dissecting microscope to study small items found in the nature, exploring seeds, pods, twigs, leaves and insects which have led to series of sculptures "Seeds, Lichen, Biomorphic Forms" and "Narrative Portraits."

"The recognition of the patterns of life that I see triggers a feeling of belonging to something grand," Eisenhour said. "I want to convey these feelings through my work. Inspired by the patterns on the surface of organic material I have placed under my microscope, I've developed methods of texture that honor their complexity.”

The exhibition will include a dissecting microscope with a large monitor, and BIMA will have regularly scheduled times when visitors of all ages can place specimens under the microscope, engage in the artist’s inspirations, and create their own artworks.

Eisenhour has long been fascinated by nature, microscopes and the creative process.

As a child in Northern Pennsylvania, he spent his free time in the wild and examined his world through a microscope, the start of a lifelong process of discovering and interacting with nature.

When he was 11, he received a camera for a gift and began capturing his love of nature through black-and-white photography.

After a stint in the Army that ended in 1985, Eisenhour came across a fine art foundry while working as a welder in Virginia, where he began his experimentation with turning molten metal into art.

In 1992 Eisenhour moved to the Olympic Peninsula to work with Riverdog Foundry in Chimacum. He has been working as a sculptor full-time since 2003.

“I am at heart a naturalist and environmentalist. I love to explore the life of a place," he said. "I fill my studio with small bits of inspiration, which I keep in fishing tackle boxes. An entire microcosm to work from — tiny pieces of the natural world gathered from everywhere I go. I can bring an entire trip home with me and then when placed under the  microscope another world is revealed.”

Eisenhour’s recent solo and two-person shows in Washington include Simon Mace Gallery (Port Townsend), Smith Vallee Gallery (Edison), Waterworks Gallery (Friday Harbor) and Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.

He has also shown at Platform Gallery (New York), Gerald Peters Gallery (Santa Fe) and Lyndsay McCandless Contemporary (Jackson Hole). His public installations include those in Lakewood (Gateway Project), Port Townsend (city hall annex), Port Angeles (streetscape improvements) and Trondheim, Norway (Leif Ericsson Society Memorial).

Eisenhour is represented in Washington by Simon Mace Gallery (Port

Townsend) and Smith and Vallee Gallery (Edison). He is also represented by Denise Bibro Fine Art (New York City).

An "Eye on Artist Lecture" and reception with the artist will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 29 in the BIMA (Frank Buxton) Auditorium.

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