What We Do
BlueTower Arts Foundation supports and facilitates contemporary art making through personal mentoring, education, networking and providing funding especially for the work of student and emerging artists.
President and co-founder, Wesley Hurd, M.F.A, Ph.D, is an artist and offers lectures, mentoring and personal education on the practices of contemporary art and its interface with philosophical and religious thought. Dr. Hurd’s personal orientation on the life of faith is highly influenced by the philosophical and spiritual insights of Søren Kierkegaard. His art can be seen at his website: <weshurd.com>.
Why We Exist
We believe art can make a difference in the world. All art making is, at bottom, an enterprise, investment and communication of the experience and exploration of what it means to be human in the 21st Century.
Therefore, BTAF sees the need to support and facilitate art making grounded in the conviction that the world social and spiritual situation can be enlightened and given meaning and hope through the practices of contemporary arts. Put differently, BTAF stands for art that questions, explores and communicates the joys as well as difficult truths of our present human condition. As George Steiner has pointed out, art has critical as well as expressive powers:
“Art embodies selective interactions between what is observed in the world and the boundless possibilities of the imagined… Be it realistic, fantastic, utopian or satiric, the construct of the artist is a counter-statement to the world… Such formed intensity of sight and of speculative ordering is, always, a critique. It says things that might be (have been, shall be) otherwise.” (Real Presences, p.11)
The vision for BlueTower Arts Foundation centers on the idea that art making is a vital and powerful means of communicating visions of human life. In modern history perhaps the primary means of exploring our humanness has occurred in social theory and philosophy. Increasingly, however, we are a culture construed and grounded in the sensibilities of the image. We are moving from being primarily a word-based culture to one based in the power of images. Art is an important bridge for communicating across all human boundaries—race, gender, national, religious and ethnic. In these cultural conditions, BTAF desires to facilitate art that contributes to a more thoughtful, humane world.
History of BTAF
In the summer of 2004 BTAF was founded in Eugene, Oregon by a small group of artists desiring to support each other’s work. From that beginning BTAF developed a website, a supportive network of like-minded artists, group dialogues and discussions as well as papers and lectures. Most recently BTAF established Eugene Contemporary Art (ECA), a separate but related project in order to focus on supporting contemporary art practice in our home city of Eugene, Oregon. ECA presently hosts its own website, residency program, and gallery / art space on Blair Avenue in Eugene. See ECA’s website for more information: www.eugenecontemporaryart.com