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Enjoy the Art of Marita Dingus at the White River Valley Museum starting Feb. 7

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Nationally recognized artist Marita Dingus will be taking over the White River Valley Museum with her new exhibit Where Castoffs Go to Heal and Grow, with an opening reception held from 5–7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024.

The exhibit will continue through May 26, 2024.

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  • The exhibit features 40 pieces spanning Dingus’s career.
  • The exquisitely upcycled assemblages range from 1 ft – 20 ft tall. These sculptures fill the Museum’s gallery space reflecting both the indoor and outdoor experiences of visiting Dingus’s family home, now turned artist’s studio in Auburn.
  • Dingus’s work will also be displayed in the Museum’s permanent exhibits inviting visitors to contemplate what it means to see black faces in historic spaces where they have traditionally been excluded.
  • Conversely, guests can ponder what histories the Black community shares with the historic people they are placed beside.
  • The exhibit features a slideshow of Dingus’s prolific work by photographer Joan Beard. In addition visitors can enjoy learning about the artist through a 20 minute video history piece created specifically for the exhibit and screening in the Museum’s lobby.

“Where castoffs go to heal and grow, and I initially think of the houseless population because they are definitely castoffs, and if there was some place where they could heal and grow, you know heal and fix themselves,” Dingus said. “You know we are all broken in one way or the other and some more broken than others. So you know for me castoffs, almost is like human beings that are cast off you know and when I make my art I have this statement about Africans were used during the institution of slavery and then discarded after the institution was over.

“What do you do with broken things, I mean in a lot of societies you throw them away, but in some societies you try to fix them. So you know I consider fixing clothing, fixing art.”

“Working with Marita, learning her history and about her art has been an absolute pleasure,” Museum Director and exhibit curator Rachael McAlister said. “We are truly honored to be exhibiting her exceptional body of work and for the trust she put in us to interpret her pieces within the context of our permanent collection. I love the way our exhibits are in conversation with her art. But, outside of the intellectual piece, I am really most excited for kids to see her work. The sculptures are very approachable for the little ones and I think families will have a blast discovering them throughout the museum.”

Event details:

  • WHAT: Where Castoffs Go to Heal and Grow: The Art of Marita Dingus
  • WHERE: On Display at the White River Valley Museum
  • WHEN: Feb. 7 – May 26, 2024; Museum Open Wednesday – Sunday, Noon – 4 p.m., Admission is FREE!

Exhibit Events:

  • Exhibit Opening Reception: Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, 5 – 7 p.m.
  • Family Day: Let’s Make Art: Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Marita Dingus Artist Talk: Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, 2– 3 p.m.
  • Marita Dingus Artist Talk: Thursday, April 4, 2024, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Marita Dingus Artist Studio Open House: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Exhibit Closing Reception: Thursday, May 23, 2024, 5 – 7 p.m.

About the White River Valley Museum

The White River Valley Museum creates an exciting and educational experience for visitors through a series of award-winning exhibits and programs on regional cultures, arts and history. The Museum’s artifact collections focus on Puget Sound history, Northwest Native culture, Japanese immigration and the Northern Pacific Railway.

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The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is FREE.

Call 253-288-7433 or visit www.wrvmuseum.org for event information.

It is located at 918 H St. S.E. in Auburn:

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