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SJIMA Spring Exhibitions

March 8 - June 3, 2024

This spring SJIMA brings you three engaging exhibitions.

Tom Small: Stories in Stone and Light

San Juan Island artist Tom Small will present six large stone sculptures outside in the orchard as well as sculptures in SJIMA’s North Gallery – works that recreate architecture and human structures to open up new conversations about how we build and live on Earth.

Tom SmalI shared, “I think of my art as a translation of the Earth’s energy – the shape of the land is taken in through my feet and moves through my body and soul to emerge as art.”


Tom Small grew up near Kirkland, Washington. His early visual impressions included drawings of buildings on his father’s desk, skeletal frames of buildings under construction, and trees against the sky. As a child, he carved everything within reach and began carving wood in earnest in high school and at that time he also began exploring and backpacking in the Cascade Mountains.


He went on to study casting, welding, and wood carving at the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in sculpture in 1984. Looking to deepen his relationship with the wilderness, he purchased a remote piece of property atop Cady Mountain on San Juan Island.


He began working with galleries in 1985 and many of Tom’s larger works have been commissions that are featured in spaces across the United States. His sculptures live in collections throughout North America.

Shades of Compassion: an Exhibition of Forty-One International Photographers

Participating photographers: Ansel Adams, Wolf Ademeit, Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, Daniel Beltra, Niki Boon, Phil Borges, Nick Brandt, Ernest H. Brooks II,  Kevin Bubriski, Tom Chambers, Imogen Cunningham, Virgil Dibiase, Tj Dixon & James Nelson, Melinda Hurst Frye, Maurizio Gjivovich, David Gonzalez, Misha Gordin, Robert & Shana Parke Harrison, Michael Kenna, Angela Bacon Kidwell, Marla Klein, Jon Kolkin, Lisa Kristine, Joey Lawrence, Ruth Lauer Manenti, Rania Matar, Beth Moon, Nasa / William Anders, Wayne Quilliam, Chris Rainier, Antonio Aragon Renuncio, Manjari Sharma, Maggie Taylor, Joyce Tenneson, Jerry Uelsmann, Dave Walsh, Alice Zilberberg and Zoe Zimmerman.

The Shades of Compassion exhibition features 41 international photographers addressing Compassion within three themes: Environment, Humanity and Spirituality. The exhibition’s primary goal is to promote compassion worldwide through inspirational, thought-provoking photographs.

Drawn from a diverse roster of international fine art photographers, the fifty exhibition photographs encompass a broad spectrum of perspective, subject and artistic expression.

Curated to engender a nuanced experience of compassion, the exhibition invites the

viewer to dig deeper into their understanding of compassion, an opportunity for growth and exploration. The photographs are sequenced and organized into three theme groups: Environment, Humanity, and Spirituality. Opportunities for engagement sparked by the photographs for exploring and experiencing compassion are wide ranging – recognizing planet Earth as our collective home, an expansive inter-dependent web of life containing microcosms of diverse wonders; weighing the fragility of endangered species and the complexity of human interactions with kindred life forms; witnessing isolation and alienation as well as the power of love, nurture, caring touch, inter-generational support, and transformative spiritual revelation. Compassion is inherently relational, interpersonal, and even communal. SHADES OF COMPASSION provides compelling portals for a broad spectrum of compassionate connection.


Coordinated educational programming for facilitated deeper compassion-centered exploration for Adult and K-12 groups is also provided (text guides). Materials for the self-guided Pause Stations and the facilitated curriculum was created under the guidance of leading experts, include senior MoMA and Minneapolis Institute of Art educators, Emory University’s Social, Emotional, and Ethical (SEE) Learning program for K-12, and Life University’s Compassionate Integrity Training (CIT) for adults.


Compassion is the foundation for non-violent conflict resolution, equity, sustained social engagement, and addressing the needs of this planet and all its inhabitants. Extensive research in neuroscience and medicine also suggests that individuals who engage in acts of compassion toward themselves and others, benefit personally, achieving greater physical and emotional health and well-being, while living happier, more productive lives. Making a clear distinction between compassion as a motivator for social change, and affective empathy, ‘feel my pain’, which leverages distress, anger, and fear as the catalyst for action, the SHADES OF COMPASSION exhibition relies on positive, constructive emotions as a means to achieve its primary objectives. It strives to provide an immersive, safe, contemplative environment.

OctoEyes: Reverie Myxogastria

After a successful career as a software developer, OctoEyes is primarily self-taught in creating interactive installations. Driven by a passion for experimentation OctoEyes aims to inspire curiosity, wonder, and self-reflection through his work. 

His fascination with the vast shapes inherent in nature serves as the foundation of his artistic exploration. Through his work, OctoEyes amplifies these natural forms and alters their contexts to offer viewers an immersive experience and as an intersection between artistry and audience participation.

“Myxogastria (aka slime mold) are common, but are so small, that they go unnoticed; yet they have incredible beauty. The first time I saw the fruiting bodies of these tiny wonders I was struck by how sculptural and otherworldly they are. I was inspired to play with scale and create these works which seem alien but are anything but.”

OctoEyes infuses interactivity into his sculptures, inviting audiences to engage with his creations and explore their own agency within the artwork. He has exhibited at events including Burning Man, Portland Winter Light Festival, and Oregon Zoo Lights.

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