Quinton Bemiller: Hahamongna
Sunday, Mar 21, 2010
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Armory Center for the Arts presents Hahamongna, a site-specific mural by Quinton Bemiller. This temporary work occupies both walls of the main stairway and includes a painted muslin sheet draped overhead. This painted environment interprets the natural environment of Hahamongna Watershed Park, a natural area of the Upper Arroyo Seco linking urban Pasadena with Angeles National Forest. The name honors a group of Tongva Indians who once inhabited the area. The City of Pasadena has awarded an Individual Artist Grant to Bemiller for this project.
The wall painting plays with the idea of perspective and landscape, though entirely in abstract terms. The stairway itself becomes narrower at the top, giving the illusion of forced perspective. Bemiller capitalizes on this by progressively diminishing the size of his painted organic shapes, textures and lines towards the top of the stairs. The effect is one of walking up a trail in the canyon.
Bemiller’s painting is composed of meandering horizontal lines of varying thickness that allude to streams, wind and pathways. Thicker, wobbly vertical bands suggest oak trees. The colors of the painting reference direct observation of the Hahamongna area, including the specific colors of plants, trees, rocks, streams and even sky.
Events such as fire, mudslides, and drought plus the natural life cycle of plants and animals over time continue to alter the environment of Hahamongna Watershed Park. Similarly, Bemiller’s painting acts as a metaphor for these processes, where “painted events” layer on top of one another, creating a painted history. Looking into the painting, we see the passing of time and the changes that ensue.
Bemiller is Los Angeles-based artist and he received an MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. He completed his BFA at The Art Institute of Boston and an AA at Pasadena City College.
This exhibition is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division
Images of the exhibition are available at flickr