Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Meat Rock…Rockers

Rock Creek Helzer Gallery

Diana Puntar installation in the galleryDiana Puntar sculptures
  • Artist: Diana Puntar
  • Dates: February 17 – April 24, 2020
  • Artist talk and reception: March 4, 1-2pm
  • Gallery hours:
    • Monday – Friday: 9am-4pm
    • Saturdays: 10am-4pm (free parking)

The Helzer Gallery is pleased to announce Meat Rock…Rockers, an exhibition by London-based artist Diana Puntar. This exhibition is generously sponsored by the Schneider Museum of Art and the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University.

Artist statement

California’s 5-year drought has ended. From 2012–2016 much or all of California was under severe drought conditions, with greatly diminished precipitation, snowpack, and streamflow and higher temperatures. Water shortages to forests, aquatic ecosystems, hydroelectric power plants, rural drinking water supplies, agriculture, and cities caused billions of dollars in economic losses, killed millions of forest trees, and brought several fish species closer to extinction.

Meat Rock is a series of sculptures that combine found rocks collected from a dry creek bed on the Central Coast of California during the drought. They are combined with pedestal-like forms adorned with polished studs much like punk and goth leather jackets. They support and display the organic meat rocks which are made up of red jasper, an aggregate of mineral crystals high in iron with streaks of quartz that give them a distinctive meat like appearance. I felt like a surgeon collecting these prehistoric remnants from the earth.

The rocks, pebbles, and small boulders represent the fragility of our current geological era, and are evidence of damage done. I imagine these anthropomorphized hard lumps of inert matter as proof of consciousness and vulnerability, evidence of our connection to each other and the organic world. I’m fascinated by their age and persistence as much as their corporeal appearance. They are at once beautiful and grotesque; vulnerable body parts from a delicate world that emerged from one of California’s deepest, longest, and warmest historical droughts.

Artist biography

Puntar lives and works in London, England. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and BA in Sculpture from The University of Maryland, College Park. Puntar has held teaching positions at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Wilson College, Pratt Institute and Cooper Union. Visiting lectures include Boston College, Hampshire College, University of North Carolina, Lesley University, New York Studio Program, among others. Grants she has received include Pollock Krasner grant twice (2009 & 2012), Joan Mitchell grant, NYFA grant in sculpture, and residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Yaddo, Millay Colony, McColl Center, ArtOMI, Galveston Artist Residency, Southern Oregon University’s VAST residency.

Puntar has held solo and collaborative exhibitions at PARTICIPANT, INC, New York, NY, Small A Projects, Portland, OR, Rowland Contemporary, Chicago, IL, PS1 Museum, Long Island City, NY, Oliver Kamm, New York, NY, 3rd Streaming, New York, NY, Blackston Gallery, New York, NY, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY and the Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR. Puntar has held two person and group exhibitions at White Box, New York, NY, Samson Projects, Boston, MA, Bellwether Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, PS122, New York, NY, The Oracle, Berlin Germany, Like the Spice, Brooklyn, NY, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Jack the Pelican, Brooklyn, NY, Foxy Productions, New York, NY, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY, ArtSpace, New Haven, CT, The ICA Boston, Boston, MA, Guido Carbone Galleria, Torino, Italy, among others.

Puntar has been written about in Art in America, NY Arts, Art Critical, Time Out New York, The Oregonian, The Portland Mercury, Modern Painters, Gay City News, Artnet.com, Art New England, Boston Sunday Herald, The Boston Globe, and more.

  • Schneider Museum of Art
  • Oregon Center for the Arts