Joe Feddersen – Parking Lot with Stars

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Joe Feddersen, Parking Lot with Stars (2013)
hand engraved blown glass
On view at Froelick Gallery (Dec. 18 – Jan. 31)

What are the unintended and perhaps embarrassing icons of our time? High on that list I’d put the car and the landscape that it’s enabled – big box stores, dispersed dwellings, and parking lots. Joe Feddersen’s glass vessel “Parking Lot with Stars” takes the familiar parking lot and makes it fresh and beautiful turning it into an abstract pattern that wraps and repeats. “Parking Lot with Stars” offers an aerial perspective, reminding me of just how prevalent parking lots appear when you fly over most any metropolitan area. Feddersen, an Okanagan member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, updates Native textile traditions by discovering a more contemporary and more urban iconography that includes high-rise buildings, power lines, and traffic signs. Mique’l Askren writes, “These designs were originally inspired by everyday occurrences such as seeing snake tracks in the sand. Now, as Feddersen remarks in a 2010 interview, most people are accustomed to seeing the tracks left by SUVs.” This new iconography is striking, humorous, and a bit melancholic. I’m left hoping that we will, in the end, be remembered for other things.

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