Thinking Outside the Box

March 31st - April 28th

CCC's Royal Nebeker Art Gallery Presents:

"Thinking Outside the Box"


An invitational art exhibition curated by

Richard Rowland and Lucien Swerdloff


Artist reception

Thursday, March 31 at 6PM

in the Royal Nebeker Art Gallery


Stack of boxes

Box on rail road tracks

 Box on bench

Student in studio with box

Photos courtesy of Lucien Swerdloff

Thinking Outside the Box

Over 30 professional artists, designers, architects, indigenous artists, photographers, craftsmen and tradesmen have been invited to participate in a unique and exciting art exhibition that opens on March, 31 2016 at 6:00 PM in the Royal Nebeker Art Gallery.

Each selected artist has been given a hand-crafted hollow wooden box and asked to use the form as a structure to think outside itself; to use the box as the substratum and inspiration for the creation of a work of art. The only constraint we established is to maintain the integrity of the box. They could add to the box, take away or cut into it, hang it, paint it, smooth it, rough it, apply materials to it; work on the interior space, on the exterior space; make it into something new: to recreate it physically and conceptually.

“The broader vision of this exhibition is to give the community a sense of what innovative diversity looks like when Artists, from different disciplines or professions, starting from the same visual 3-D place, meaning at a particular form or point in space, will do with the globally recognizable, familiar form. We would like to honor the artistic vision and how that vision provides genuine value to our community. In this collaborative exhibition, Artists will make evident not only the fun and play of human creativity, but also the urgency of diverse expression and its essential place in sustainability. Their developed relationships between life and Art gives us a sense of vision and hope that is sorely needed and in fact is essential for a healthy world. Clatsop Community College and its Art Program continues to provide a place to celebrate and explore how the Visual Arts support the ideas of tolerance, acceptance and the many ways imaginative individuals make contributions to their communities.” Richard Rowland

Participating artists include: Joe Adams, Karen Bain, Daren Doss, Jim Fink, Mike Friton, Don Frank, Erin Genia, Walt Gordinier, Tim Kennedy, Justin L'amie, Cynthia Lahti, Linley Logan, Roger McKay, Renee McKitterick, Brad Mildrexler, Tim Peitsch, Lillian Pitt, Owen Premore, Lam Quang, Jay Raskin, Grace Sanchez, Monica Setziol-Phillips, Jan Shield, Sara Siestreem, Kim Stafford, Tim Steeves, John Stahl, Cindy Stinson-Chennell,  Rod Whaley, and Jay Ylvisaker.

Join us in exploring the diverse range of innovative responses at the opening reception on Thursday, March 31st, 6PM at the Royal Nebeker Art Gallery.

For questions, please use email link below:

Richard Rowland, (503) 338-2449 

or Lucien Swerdloff, (503) 338-2301

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Walter Gordinier 

American Glass Artist

Walt Gordinier photo  

Photo courtesy of the Artist


The title is in reference to the typical response given by our republican congress. 

The concept of the work addresses the deep seated paranoia that breeds a flourishing 

of systemic ROOT ROT.  This in turn leads to closed minded mental confinement and 

will eventually infect and destroy the dreams of a nation.  -W.G.



Jay Ylvisker


Photo courtesy of the Artist

I realize there is no in here / out there...

at the molecular level we are all one -

this box, my heart, your body, that tree.

Thinking out side the box really means dissolving self 

imposed and mutually agreed upon limitations,

opening to the miracle of what is. - J. Y.


John Stahl

Sculptor, Painter and Printmaker

John Stahl

Photo courtesy of the Artist           

The Earth is round, and yes, climate change is happening.

There is a sea of evidence pointing to the reality of global warming....

It's time to face the facts and move on to a plan of action. -John R. Stahl



Kim Stafford 

American Poet and Essayist

Kim Stafford Box Image

Photo courtesy of the Artist


The grain of the wood told me not to cut into the box, but to study shadows on the surface. I made prayer flags of shadow essence, and above each image I placed words from the English glossary Thomas Jefferson composed so Lewis and Clark could record the Indian languages among the peoples they met. This they duly did, but then they lost their notes after returning to America.  These words mark our covenant with old ways of being in place, which it is our privilege to honor.

Below each image, in keeping with Jefferson’s words, I composed an episode of recognition for our relation with trees, with dawn, wind, fire, and other elements of interdependence with our place of origin on earth.- Kim Stafford

Kim Stafford is the director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, and author of Having Everything Right: Essays of Place (Pharos, 2016).

"Covenant" video



Sara Siestreem

Painter and Weaver

Sara Siestreem Image

Photo courtesy of the Artist

ELWHA: The Salmon Return



Jan Shield 

Sculptor, Painter and Art Professor

Jan Shield Photo

Photo courtesy of the Artist

The Mirror Into My Being

Thinking outside the box is something I have always done since I stumbled over the tip of a rusted old Calvary bayonet sticking slightly up out of the ground in the woods behind my parents’ cabin when I was three years old.  I lived in the country outside Spokane, Washington where the coyotes would howl at night, and there was a huge granite boulder out on the edge of the hill used by the Native Americans as a smoke signal rock in times past.  Both these experiences created a significant impact on me, and drew me into a state of wonder.  As a child I would go searching for grayish white clay deposits in the hillside and make strange items and paint symbols on small rocks.

This box project has prompted me to re-envision some of my feelings and thoughts, to do numerous mini-sketches, and to develop the project to include numerous items of my recent making, re-making, and discovering for integration into what has evolved into an installation work. The main title that I have chosen is: 


The transforming nature of creating this work has been a journey of discovery.  The Box and what is inside and beyond it has many personal, philosophical, and cultural relationships that I wanted to indicate with a number of sub-titles. These include: Going Round and Round, Before and After Like a Candle Burning at Both Ends, Mind Games In Evolution, Upon The Bones of Passing, ..........

An excerpt from his statement "Thinking Outside the Box" by Jan Shield @2016

The following is a letter written by Jan Shield to his father and mother documenting the progress and evolution of the box. Posted with permission from Mr. Shield.

Jan Letter 1

Jan letter 2

Jan s letter 3



Cindy Stinson-Chennell

Papercut Artist

Cindy Stinson-Chennell

b Photo courtesy of the Artist

The have always felt the need to draw and “make things”. Papercutting is a very old folk art practiced all over the world. While traveling, I saw modern papercuts in Switzerland for the first time. I bought a few that I used to teach myself how to design and cut in the traditional way; using small scissors and cutting only a folded paper so that both sides were identical. I love puzzles and try to cut each design out of just one piece of paper with all parts connected to the whole, always cutting only my own designs.  Moving on from there I have challenged myself to cut one inch square picture to very large window coverings. I have wanted to make a lamp for a while now and this challenge provided the perfect opportunity. It is always a challenge to make anything by hand and also a great pleasure.



Cynthia Lahti

Sculptor, Painter

Cynthia Lahti

Photo courtesy of the Artist



Grace Sanchez

Painter, Collagist

Grace Sanchez

Photo courtesy of the Artist

'The unopened box presented with Japanese textiles."-Grace Sanchez\



Lillian Pitt

Native American Sculptor, Mixed Media Artist

Lillian Pitt box   Lillian box

Photo courtesy of the Artist

Honoring Lillian

 I would like to honor the Indigenous peoples involved in Toby McLeod’s DVD series, “Standing on Sacred Ground”.  In this series he documented the struggles the people had with the various Governments who did not respect their ties to the land, the ecology, or the environment.

Their bottom line was the dollar.


In Kahoolawe, Hawaii, the island was used during the war by the US to practice bombing. They destroyed the sacred lands on the Island and left it barren, often with live bombs left in the grounds. Now the Hawaiians are back on the Island cleaning it up, removing the debris, and putting up tripods with white cloths hanging on them; placing them on the sacred lands.


 The box was broken up and painted to look like the markings put on the on the roofs of the Balinese people’s homes by the Chinese people who wanted the Indigenous people’s land that was situated on copper below the homes.

The Balinese Wife said she would have to be burned out of her home and that is what the Chinese people did. They used a bulldozer and burned the small house down like it nothing but an empty box of matches.


The “Thinking Outside the Box” show is my first overt statement talking about the losses we have endured - losing our sacred lands, fishing, gathering and hunting grounds. I found it therapeutic to make each statement of overt greed and disrespect for the Tribal People, who may have lived in harmony with their sacred lands for thousands of years…


                                          …People who may have lived on their lands for thousands of years.

(Edited version)

"The River People Are Still Here Still Creating"

Standing on Sacred Grounds



Linley Logan

Native American Artist

Linley Logan

Photo courtesy of the Artist

Floral Cube

Work in progress

Applying my Industrial Design background here in sketch design development. Decided on a design, did a three dimensional panel mock-up out of clay, made a scale model box mock-up, and the start of the carving on the big box. -Linley Logan


Jay Raskin, FAIA


Jay Raskin

Photo courtesy of the Artist

Pencil Box With Red Line



Joe Adams

Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Graphic Design

Joe AdamsJoe Adams

Photo courtesy of the Artist

"Burning Worm"

Joe Adams explores nature based abstract constructs with unique gestural mark making.
Observations within our ocean's coastal tidal zone provide inspiration and focus.
Biomorphic entities evoking marine flora and fauna are rendered with geological textures and dramatic light.
Surrealistic environs exhibiting anthropogenic impact and the raw power of nature evolve on paper and canvas.
At the soul of each artwork, is the profound essence of music and dance.
Combining science and art is raising ecological awareness and dialog.
This dialog is igniting a collaborative process that supports environmental and educational issues.
Currently, Joe is creating art and working with artists, scientists and communities to develop these projects.

"…That being said, thinking outside the box, keeping in context with community art around the Dragon kiln, I was reminded of what the kiln first looked like to me late one night in 1991. It was a “Burning Worm”. This memory pops out the “Box” origin of an abstract species that metamorphosizes into a kiln. The burning worm’s larvae is about to hatch after expanding out from the inside of an exposed and split open geological core sample , a cube of Astoria’s solid foundation, riddled with living fossil material. What comes to mind are the 1960’s Godzilla and Mothra movies sans the nuclear radiation. This idea was time sensitive and rendered as a sculptural sketch rather than a finalized work of art." ~Joe Adams



Owen Premore

Sculptor, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking

Owen Premore

Photo courtesy of Artist


"When I consider the attributes of a box, I think of containment, protection, organization, and possession.  I took the idea of thinking outside the box literally by turning a cabinet inside-out. The introvert found in a safe, flock-lined drawer has become exposed and extrovert. The protection and isolation typically assigned to the content of a single flock-lined drawer has been exposed and, in a way, entirely inclusive.  Everything is under the protection  this box.  Only the small space within is described as being subject to environmental hazards.

Questioning functionality is an important aspect of my creative practices.  It is a purging of practical demons; a way to come to grips with my tendencies towards practicality and utility.  There is a difficulty in viewing a very familiar and purposefully built “tool” that has been intentionally rendered counterproductive or dysfunctional by design.  I know I am on the right track when I find myself facing angst and forcibly resolving to consider the form over the function due to lack of usefulness." ~Owen Premore


chadbourne + doss architects


Daren Doss Artchitect

Photo courtesy of the Artist


"As Architects, we are fascinated with the contrast and connection between outside and inside. In our work, we often blur the boundary and connect the interior to the exterior visually and physically. We are interested in the juxtaposition of the man-made architectural environment in the natural environment. We play with the contrast between a rugged textural exterior that repels weather and the soft and smooth interior that provides comfort to its inhabitants. These ideas inspired our approach to Thinking Outside the Box. We were first interested in manipulating the cube to expose the interior. The eight corners were turned inside out – reversing the sharp protrusions into interior hollows. Beeswax was poured into the chambers to contrast with the fabricated hardness of the structure, soften the corners, and provide a familiar sweetness. These hollows provide shelter and transform the cube from an object to a space and a place."  ~chadbourne + doss architects, Lisa Chadbourne + Daren Doss


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Last Updated: 
March 28, 2016, 5:18 pm
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