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Marilyn Lysohir

05.05.17 - 07.23.17



Foundry Vineyards is pleased to present the installation “Good Girls” by Marilyn Lysohir. The opening reception will be held on Friday, May 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. including a 6 p.m. gallery talk with the artist. “Good Girls” is an impressive installation of 164 ceramic portraits. Each bust captures the likenesses of girls from Lysohir’s 1968 high school class in Sharon, Pennsylvania. The project began over 30 years later when she bumped into a former classmate who she had forgotten, prompting her to go home and pull out her senior yearbook. She began her personal tribute to these “good girls” by creating ceramic busts of every single female student in her class over the course of the next four years. The sculptures debuted in 2006 at an exhibit at the Guardino Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Although the portraits are complete, the stories they tell are not. Lysohir was curious about what became of her classmates, and reached out to find out where they were and what they were doing. She found almost 50 of them, and subsequently updated their biographies, including obituaries, to make this a living project.
This artwork speaks to high-school nostalgia but also recalls a tumultuous time in American history. 1968 was an explosive year which saw America’s entanglement in Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the release of the Beatle's White Album, the launch of Apollo 7 and Apollo 8, the Women's Liberation movement, Richard Nixon's rise to the Presidency and many more culturally significant events. “Good Girls” invites viewer to remember a childhood long gone, ancient relationships built and forgotten, and how the late-sixties impacted America.


Marilyn Lysohir is no stranger to Walla Walla. She worked with the Walla Walla Foundry beginning in the late 1980s, where she cast large bears and tattooed women (seen flanking the entrance to Foundry Vineyards). Born in 1950, she studied at Ohio Northern University (B.A. in 1972), at the Centro Internazionale Di Studi in Verona Italy (1970-71) and at Washington State University (M.F.A. in 1979). From there she taught art at Kansas City Art Institute, Ohio State University, the New York College of Ceramics, plus numerous visiting professorships up until 2004. Lysohir lives and works in Moscow, Idaho where she is the founder and owner of Cowgirl Chocolates, and was the co-editor of High Ground, an annual art publication.

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