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Culture is broad and often much more than meets the eye

Art news — The Yamhill County Cultural Coalitions Days of Culture explores meaning of culture to the community; photo exhibit on tap


Culture is hard to define, but for the purposes of the Yamhill County Cultural Coalition, they prefer a vague definition.

“Culture is a very broad term, but we kind of left it broad because that’s how the state is encouraging people to do it,” said Arnie Hollander, a YCCC board member. “We tried to not narrow it and left it open to people’s interpretation.”

The interpretation comes in the form of art submissions for the Days of Culture photography exhibit opening Sept. 27.

Hollander said the idea came from the state, which was encouraging people to host a cultural event during the designated Days of Culture Oct. 1- 8.by: SUBMITTED - Contest entrant -- 'Loggers Relay Race' by Lisa Talley is one of the submissions in the adult amateur photography category competing for first prize in the Days of Culture photo exhibition opening Sept. 27.

“One suggestion was to display photos with a cultural focus, so the board took that on and asked professional photographers, adult amateur and youth amateur photographers to take photos of cultural people, places or events and submit them (for) judging,” he said.

The board then selected 32 photos to display and judge based on photo quality and how well they represented Yamhill County culture. This could mean photos displaying art culture, historical culture, ethnic, religious or work diversity are selected, providing diversity within the exhibit.

This is the third year a photography exhibit has occurred, but the first year for a film and panel discussion.

“(The movie is) called ‘Figure in the Landscape,’ and is essentially a short documentary that is about landscape studies, a discipline founded by J.B. Jackson,” said Adam Holden, a YCCC board member. “Basically he had a fascination with manmade landscapes (and viewed them as) essentially the foundation of American culture.”

Holden said the film looks at manmade landscape through history up to the present, exploring airstrips, strip malls and other sites.

The panel discussion will then explore what this means for local culture. The panel includes a landscape architect, an architect, a retired sociology professor, a visual artist and a creative writer.

“We wanted the panel to be interdisciplinary so they can reflect on what it means for local culture (through different lenses),” Holden said.

The panel will also be moderated by Kimberly Howard from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

“The idea is that we could get local people thinking about our culture in new and exciting ways,” he said.

But, Hollander said none of it could happen without funding from the state that supports cultural events. He said each county receives funding that is then distributed through the local CCC for cultural activities. This year the YCCC received $15,000 that will be distributed to 15 to 20 nonprofit organizations. Grant applications are due Sept. 30. For more information about Days of Culture or to apply for a grant, visit yamhillcountyculture.org.

The photography exhibit runs Sept. 27 to Oct. 11 at the Chemekta Community College Yamhill Valley campus in McMinnville, with an artist’s reception and award ceremony set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4. The film starts at 1 p.m. Oct. 11 with the panel discussion directly following.



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