City Club of Eugene: Reimagining Monuments
Program Date: November 6, 2020
Air Date: November 9, 2020
From the City Club of Eugene:
In this first City Club program after the elections, presenters will clarify and challenge mainstream notions about “monuments” and “memorials.” We think of these as public structures intended to convey a message. In recent years, we have watched or read about the destruction of monuments whose message has been rejected. Our awareness of the richness of cultural perspectives has broadened. We have become more creative in how we memorialize messages. Consider Pre’s Trail and the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System, the sculptures of Rosa Parks sitting at the bus station and Ken Kesey reading to his grandchildren. In the spirit of the mission of City Club, to build community vision, John Weber, Michael Geffel, and David Harrelson will encourage thinking about new ways to convey messages and build visions that can bring us together and inspire us.
John Weber is the Executive Director of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. He has curated exhibitions and publications about west coast, national, and international contemporary art. Weber previously served as founding director of the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, as director of the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, and as curator of education and public programs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He began his career as an artist, and served as the curator of contemporary art at the Portland Art Museum. He earned a BA from Reed College, and an MFA in Visual Art from UC San Diego.
Michael Geffel (terrestrial practice) is a registered landscape architect, professor of practice at the University of Oregon, and program manager of the Overlook Field School. He is a founding member of the “Making a Monument” committee, which is facilitating a public engagement initiative around the historic sites of the UO Pioneer Statues. With research broadly focused on experimental landscapes, Michael’s principal method of study uses field experiments and temporary installations to explore how landscape design can adapt to social and ecological processes over time. He earned a BS in Geography at UO and an MLA at the University of Virginia.
David Harrelson is the Cultural Resources department manager for The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. He is a Grand Ronde tribal member from the Bean-Menard-Sengretta family. His research interests include ethnobotany, contact-era Pacific Northwest History, and traditional land management through the use of fire. He has worked in the field of cultural resources for 10 years and before that worked as a wildland firefighter. He earned a BA in History from Lewis & Clark College.