Rick Silva: Western Fronts

August 27 – December 3, 2022

Study Gallery

In response to the Trump administration’s leaked 2017 Department of the Interior memorandum outlining a plan to shrink four national monuments—Cascade-Siskiyou (Oregon/California), Gold Butte (Nevada), Grand Staircase-Escalante (Utah), and Bears Ears (Utah)—Eugene artist Rick Silva created Western Fronts, a video presentation that combines vast video landscapes of the American West with digital manipulation and sound. 

The beauty and scale of these four spectacular national monuments are captured in aerial drone footage and offer an enveloping sense of awe reminiscent of the work of Frederick Church, Thomas Moran, and other nineteenth century Hudson River School painters who found beauty and majesty in the landscape of the American West. In this contemporary work, Silva overlays the Western landscape with hard-edged geometric shapes and an ominous rumbling sound design, created by Kuedo + Holy Other, that suggests a futuristic scanning of the land in search of elements that may be useful or meaningful to humanity.

Rick Silva (American, born Brazil, 1977) is an associate professor of art at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He has screened and exhibited his work nationally and internationally at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, Oregon Contemporary in Portland, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Exhibition Related Events

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Members/VIP Opening Reception

Celebrating: Rick Silva: Western Fronts

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Members and museum invited guests only
New Members
: are welcome to join at the event or online


Or by phone at 503-370-6855 or by email at museum-art@willamette.edu


Rick Silva: Western Fronts

Thursday, October 13, 2022 
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall (Room 201), Willamette University College of Law
245 Winter St. SE, Salem, OR
Free and open to the public

Financial Support

Rick Silva: Western Fronts has been organized by curator of collections and exhibitions Jonathan Bucci and is on loan and supported by Art Bridges with additional funds provided by the HFMA Exhibition Fund; by advertising support from the Oregonian/Oregon Live; and by general operating support grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission

 Art Bridges Foundation

Rick Silva, "Grand Staircase-Escalante," 2018

Rick Silva, "Grand Staircase-Escalante," 2018


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