Out of the Drawers: Collective Memory



On view August 1 - September 29, 2019

Curated by Cristal Tappan. Photographs by Helen Jones, Aaron Wessling, Tamar Haytayan, and James Lommasson.

We all experience loss - our memories and our belongings slowly fade with the passage of time. These photographs provide a glimpse into the past and present, exploring how we process trauma, loss, mortality, and obsolescence.

From the Artists

“We live our lives in places where others have dwelt, and worked, and dreamt. As we walk our own paths everyday traces of the old are slowly buried. But in some places the past is bold, it looms large and is not easily covered over. Butte is one of these places.” - Helen Jones

“When my father passed away four years ago, it instantly became the defining absence in my life. I was 29 years old, and it hit deep and redefined just about everything. In the intervening years, the loss turned into something softer and more retrospective. The scenes, noticeable for their absence within, are stand-ins for locations and objects- pools, campgrounds, athletic courts, amusement parks, vending machines- that inhabited my childhood and defined my relationship with my father. - Aaron Wessling

“The family photos represent memory and the coffee remains represent many moments of drinking Lebanese coffee with loved ones and turning the cup to have someone read it once the coffee remains have dried enough to form pictures to tell the future of our lives - and despite this the future remains a mystery.” - Tamar Haytayan

Stories of Survival is a collaborative photography and storytelling project with Holocaust and genocide survivors who fled to safety in the America. It centers on objects they were able to carry with them on perious journeys. Their stories speak to the luminous inner life of these ordinary things and testify to the unspeakable anguish of a life forever left behind.” - James Lommasson


In order to provide more visibility for artists participating in our 2019 Pacific Northwest Drawers exhibition, we have turned our library wall into a Drawers exhibition space. Exhibitions typically rotate every other month and feature multiple prints by four or five artists at a time.

Blue Skydrawers