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Stephan Soihl
with guests
Mark Zirpel
Steve Tilden
Jen Fuller




I will be showing four sculptures in June, two of which are collaborations with two other artists, Steve Tilden and Jen Fuller. I realized that working with other artists was a way to make larger, more complicated pieces, pieces using more variety of materials and color.  This has been a satisfying process as we appreciate each other and our personalities are fairly compatible.

Left: Stephan Soihl, Steve Tilden, Jen Fuller, "Revolving Flower - Glass, Steel, Brass," 2021, 28 x 14 x 14"

I have been working with brass forms for the past several years and making them kinetic with microcontrollers, motors, gearing and rods revolving within tubes. Steve Tilden welds steel structures which support my work and integrates nicely with it and Jen Fuller makes slumped, colored glass forms which are reminiscent of flower petals. Working in this way allows us to achieve a larger range artistically. To me it makes perfect sense to collaborate with other artists in order to achieve new and original artwork.  It seems that we could go on to make additional sculptures that are indeed larger, more colorful, and exhibit more variety of motion.

Above: Stephan Soihl, "Revolving Flower - Brass Forms," brass, aluminum, wood, motor, microcontroller, 2019, 18.5 x 17 x 17"

As my ideas about my sculptures evolve, I am putting more emphasis on ways to have the sculpture move internally, that is to say that various parts of the sculpture take up different positions relative to each other.  Part of the sculpture is attached to a rod which rotates as the main gear turns.  Another part is attached to a tube in which the rod rotates, but the tube can rotate independently of the rod with forms attached to it. Speeding up the whole and then stopping it abruptly will cause the tube forms to continue in a circular motion for a little while because of angular momentum.   All this can be controlled by the programming within the microcontroller. I enjoy the idea that the sculpture may have different configurations of its parts when it is in fact stationary.  

Mark Zirpel
May 31 - July 2

Above: Mark Zirpel, Magnetic Orrery, steel, copper, stainless steel, chain, gears, magnet, solar cells, motor, 25 x 60 x 60"

In general my creative interests are inspired by the world at large and the natural forces acting upon it.  For me artmaking is an investigatio , a wondering journey into a puzzling mix of motive, method and material.  Hope that something is discovered, invented, made manifest. 

Making sculpture involves transforming a  material from one state, one kind of understanding, into another state, another understanding.  Raw materials, found objects, processes, offer potential avenues for exploration, re-contextualizing, constructing new meanings.  A puzzle for which there are many answers.  The significance of such undertakings is best determined by the practitioner.

Above: Mark Zirpel, London Orrery #1, cast iron, steel, brass, copper, stone, motor, solar cells, glass, magnet, 14 x 16 x 9"

The works presented in this exhibition investigate the phenomena of time, the notion of scale, frames of reference, and a spirit of insistent tinkering applied to found materials. 

Right: Mark Zirpel, Chronos, blown glass, photosandblast, 7 day clock mechanism, stainless steel, 16 x 16 x 10"

​​Virtual Opening +
In-person Reception

June 2nd, 2022

In-person reception  6pm - 9 pm

Join us on Facebook Live! 5:30 - 6pm

See more events for this exhibition on the next slide!


Backroom Gallery

Kelsey Birsa uses detailed rendering and abstract marks to explore everyday moments of her communities. She combines traditional oil painting techniques with the contemporary use of mixed media to reflect on the human experience and the desire to feel connected. In the current exhibition, ‘Living Room’, Birsa employs interior design elements like furniture and a hand painted mural to set a domestic environment that contrasts with the exterior scenes in her paintings. 


To help counteract feelings of anxiety and depression that the pandemic has created in herself and many others, Birsa spent much of the past two years outdoors. She then painted scenes from camping with her friends and family around the stunning Oregon landscape. The hand painted mural background features iconic northwest plants like ferns, salal, and thimbleberries. Experiencing the outdoors, such as foraging the plants depicted in the mural, has become one of the few social interactions that felt safe and normal during the pandemic.

KBOO Art Focus Interview
00:00 / 29:52

Listen to Birsa's KBOO Radio Interview on Art Focus with host Joseph Gallivan. Aired on Tue, 06/14/2022 - 11:30am to 12:00pm.


Gallery Tour
Backroom Galley
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