CORVALLIS, Ore. – “Littoral Patterns,” an exhibit featuring paintings by Oregon State University’s Lee Ann Garrison and Jay Noller is now on exhibit at the Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis.

A reception will take place in the gallery from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26. The event is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through Oct. 4.

The exhibit’s title, “Littoral Patterns” is inspired by the adjective littoral, relating to or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake, and the noun, littoral, which is a region lying along a shore; as well as from the term littoral zone, which refers to the part of a body of water that is closest to the shore.

Garrison, the director of the School of Arts and Communication in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, is a painter and art and design professor.

Her latest work focused on rivers, which manifest natural branching systems also found in the neurons in the brain, in the smallest capillaries of the body, in the roots and branches of trees and in the distribution of matter in the universe. Her work for the show looks at estuaries from drone view to the very smallest details.

“When I moved to Oregon I became entranced with estuaries, where the dendritic systems of rivers and creeks meet the ocean system, where the current meets the tide. These paintings range from aerial views of the shapes of the estuary to detailed observations of the patterns occurring when riverine fresh water meets saltwater current,” Garrison said.

Noller heads the department of Crop and Soil Science in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and also is an internationally known soil artist creating large eco‐artwork installations and fine‐art paintings on display and in collections around the world. 

His work shows the cliffs and soil strata along the coast, exploring the colors and patterns of colors in soils momentarily exposed in the rapidly eroding seacliffs of Oregon shores during winter storm activity. Noller focuses on soil as nexus for evocative imagery and scientific exploration meant to inspire the imagination of others and to make the complex more easily understood. He creates artwork based on his field studies as well as on his scientific practice in the laboratory.

“I have a passion to dig beneath the surface,” Noller said, “revealing flow, energy and color from the dark. I create large artworks that weave scientific research and mixed-media 2D art to guide, inspire and foster dialog between nature and culture. The relationship of humans to soils is what I seek to explore through an art-science collaboration of shape, form, process and function – what I call morphologistics.”

The Fairbanks Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. the third Thursday of every month. Admission is free.

College of Liberal Arts

About the OSU College of Liberal Arts: The College of Liberal Arts encompasses seven distinct schools, as well as several interdisciplinary initiatives, that focus on humanities, social sciences, and fine and performing arts. Curriculum developed by the college’s nationally and internationally-renowned faculty prepares students to approach the complex problems of the world ethically and thoughtfully, contributing to a student's academic foundation and helping to build real-world skills for a 21st century career and a purposeful life.

Story By: 

 Erin Sneller, 541-737-5592, [email protected]


Andrew Nigon, 541-737-4880, [email protected]


Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.