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Exquisite gorge

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The full story

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The "Exquisite Gorge" project is a large scale collaboration with regional and worldwide artists run by the Maryhill Museum of art. 

The project takes large inspiration from the art method "exquistite corpse".

"Exquisite Corpse" is a collaborative art method where participants create an artwork or piece of writing by adding to it sequentially, without seeing the previous contributions, resulting in unexpected and imaginative combinations. 

"Exquisite Gorge" unveils the magic and power of art, making museums vibrant hubs of creativity and dialogue.

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The Series

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In the summer of 2019, 11 artists collaborated with communities along the Columbia River to create a massive 66-foot steamrolled print. Each artist was paired with a specific community and given a geographic area of the river to create a 4x6 block print that when paired with the other blocks would create an "exquisite corpse" of the Columbia River.

 To tell this amazing story we focused on the artist Drew Cameron based in The Dalles. Drew worked primarily out of the Columbia Gorge Veteran's Museum, and made visits to the Veteran's Home on the bluff.

On the day, hundreds of people gathered to participate in, and watch the massive print be steamrolled. Two prints were pulled successfully!

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A part of the


“I feel that my relationship with all rivers is that it’s something that reflects back who we are. The river is more a part of us than something that we visit. The river was here long before we were, we just happen to be stewards in this moment.”

- Drew Cameron, Artist

Through The

Eyes of OThers

"The elements that I was able to incorporate into the piece that I created were aspects of the river as seen through the eyes of these teenagers.  A lot of them had ideas of recreating in the gorge with canoes and seeing fishermen on the banks. One student talked about the eagle creek fire. That gave me some really interesting ideas about a theme that developed in my block about the river and the ecosystem."

-Jane Pagliarulo, Artist

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The Story

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"Exquisite Gorge: A Fiber Arts Project" is a captivating tale that uncovers the beauty and significance of fiber arts in modern times. Louise Palermo, of Maryhill Museum of Art, teams up with artists from around the globe to celebrate the craft of everyday fibers. The project unites artists, weavers, and a sheep ranch, to push creative boundaries and forge new connections within the community. From upcycling to honoring native tribes, the project delves into Oregon's rich history, symbolizing growth and family traditions. 

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Wide Range of Stories

"There's really a wide range of stories that are from human perspective, from wildlife perspective. All of those stories, that water themselves, held some sort of trauma in them, and then were also holding a lot of beauty."

-Ophier El-Boher, Artist

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Importance of wool

“...The reason that I think this is really important is because it shows people how wool gets taken off the sheep. The process that you're going to see is the same process you see anywhere in the world... This is where this fiber comes from.”

-Pierre Monnat, Co-owner and rancher of M&P ranches

Story Origin

We were approached by Dylan McManus, the Art Director of the Exquisite Gorge project, early in the process. He clued us into the scope and scale of the project and where he felt Story Gorge could fit in. Going through our Discovery and Story Arc process we identified the possible characters and stories that may arise from the project. Dylan then connected us with Lou Palermo, the Curator of Education at Maryhill Museum, and Project Manager of the Exquisite Gorge project. Lou provided us with the details we needed to gather interviews and b-roll we felt we would need for the story, and stayed with us through post-production to arrive at the story you see above.

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