Tree stumps made of cardboard and other creations by Karne Rudd are on view at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History.

Tree stumps made of cardboard and other creations by Karne Rudd are on view at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History.

Exhibit reflects effects of human activity

Mixed-media work most recent of several museum collections

PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend-based artist Karen Lené Rudd examines the use of natural resources and the role of the worker in an installation at the Jefferson Museum of Art & History in Port Townsend.

The show, which was erected last week at the museum, 540 Water St., will be on view through Sept. 18. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday though Sunday.

Anthropocene is Rudd’s vision of the current geological age, “viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment,” according to her website, karenlenérudd.com.

Her mixed-media installation is created with discarded items such as cardboard, electronics and packaging, she said.

On view are cardboard tree stumps — including a large one that she said involved cutting eight miles of cardboard — paper clothes and boots, and miniature tableaus made of cast-offs.

“This is the largest show of my work thus far,” she said in an email.

“Objects of huge and miniature scale combine to offer a window into the beautiful and horrifying era of humans on our planet,” the museum said in a press release.

“Through three distinct bodies of work in this exhibition, Karen Lené Rudd ties together her uncanny vision of the ruptures humans have made in the vast terrestrial span upon which we have only very recently appeared,” said Kathleen Garrett, whose comments about Rudd’s work appear alongside the artist’s own statements in a full-color catalogue accompanying the exhibition.

“Tree stumps, Industrial Age clothes, and miniature tableaus trace the existence of unpremeditated participants in what would become generations of land and resource exploitation,” Garrett said.

“The elements of space, scale and time infuse these works to an end that conveys a terrible beauty, a wry candor, a serious joke.”

Also at the museum

The last day of Now & Then: A Photo Story of The Place Called Port Townsend will be Sunday.

Throughout the 2022 school year, Port Townsend High School students in David Egeler’s Photography and Advanced Media classes selected historic images from the Jefferson County Historical Society’s collections, then found the location where the photos were taken and worked to recreate the exact framing and angle of view in the present day.

The resulting photo essays visually illustrate some of the ongoing evolution of Port Townsend.

Also on view at the museum are the Collection Connection, a behind-the-scenes look at museum collections with Zula by Whaleheart Productions and the historical society; a first look at The New Jefferson Museum Project; and “The Chinese Gardens,” a 17-minute documentary by Valerie Soe.

The first Saturdays of the month are free for all visitors and the museum is open late those evenings, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., during the Port Townsend Art Walks.

Featured on July 2 will be Joe Fulton and Friends; Aug. 6, Ahmad Baabahar; and Sept. 3, Kristin Myers.

For more about the museum, see jchsmuseum.org.

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