Found Footage Exhibition Focuses on Nostalgia


Tapanga Krause, Staff Reporter

The Found Footage exhibition is being held at Gallery One in Downtown Ellensburg to showcase work from local artists Will Bow and Samantha Birks Fisher. This exhibition will open on Jan. 21 and end on Feb. 19.  The theme of this exhibition is the nostalgic feeling people get from memories and the fuzziness of them fading over time.

According to Birks Fisher, she and Bow came up with the name Found Footage because both of their works are based on a nostalgic feeling. When people look at the work, they see something they remember from when they were young and they are attracted to it. 

“It reminds you of something you can’t quite place.” Birks Fisher said. 

For the pieces being showcased in this exhibit, Bow said he draws his inspiration from the idea of how people lose track of the way things are, how things tend to be different in our minds and can often be more fiction than reality.

“My inspiration came from just memories and the fuzziness of memories as time goes by,” Bow said. 

Bow said sometimes things aren’t quite right and sometimes they are spot on. Bow later mentioned the thought of looking back on a memory is realizing that now is the only time in our lives that is 100% accurate.

According to Renee Adams, Gallery One’s Exhibition and Publicity Coordinator, both Bow and Birks Fisher’s work speaks to the environment and the lifestyle of a rural community.

“I hope people will see their own lives maybe reflected in that,” Adams said. “And their own community reflected in their work.”  

Birks Fisher, originally from Detroit, moved to the Seattle area when she was 3 – 4 years old. She came to Ellensburg for college, according to Adams, Birks Fisher taught in Milan for a little while and came back to the area once her kids reached school age.

Her inspiration comes from mining memories and the nostalgic feeling that comes along with it. 

Will Bow said he is a military brat who moved around a lot as a kid. He mainly grew up in the Cheney area. Bow said that Ellensburg is the first place where he found a community. His parents and in-laws still live in the area. 

Adams explained the curating process for these exhibits. It is a combination of artists submitting their work to the gallery, artists they have seen in other exhibitions and museums and artists who have received grants or awards. Adams said the goal through the exhibition program is to honor local artists and bring new voices from outside the region. 

“We try to create a diversity of voices,” Adams said. “A variety of mediums, a variety of skill levels and backgrounds , things like that.” 

For the first show of the year, they chose local artists primarily due to the weather. Adams said the winter weather makes it hard for people traveling. If artists had to ship their work into the area, the recent snowstorm could have caused delays. Keeping it local for the first show makes it easier, according to Adams. 

Due to the recent weather keeping people bound to their homes, they have been left with a lot of time to think. Keeping in theme with art, each interviewee was asked what art means to them.

Adams describes art as a different way of communicating and exploring thoughts, ideas, and emotions. 

Bow said that it’s something that gives you a spark and joy of creativity.

“If you’re really good at folding laundry and that gives you a sense of satisfaction,” Bow said. “That’s artistry right there.”