The World Forestry Center’s State of the Forest Exhibition Chronicles the Aftermath of Wildfires

The exhibit combines paintings by artist Suze Woolf and text by author and firefighter Lorena Williams.

For its first art exhibition of the year, the World Forestry Center is tackling a subject increasingly terrifying to Oregonians: wildfires.

The museum is currently exhibiting State of the Forest, which features the work of artist Suze Woolf, whose paintings immortalize fire-carved snags known as totems from across the Western United States.

Woolf’s paintings, which were created over the course of a decade, have been digitally reproduced on fabric, with a sheer layer adding the effect of “video-like motion” as the viewer strolls past each work.

”The movement and arrangement of these pieces draws in the viewer to explore the details of each individual tree,” Tim Hecox, the World Forestry Center’s experience director, said in a statement.

Fourteen of the trees depicted in Woolf’s painting have companion “story trees,” which feature text by writer and firefighter Lorena Williams. “The accompanying stories provide a complementary framework and narrative to each piece, showing the impacts wildfires have on our society,” Hecox said.

Currently on view on the second floor of the museum, State of the Forest will be open through April 30. The museum is open 11 am-4 pm Wednesday-Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 62 and up), $5 for youth, and free for children 2 and under.

Related: With His Documentary “Elemental,” Trip Jennings Reconsiders Humanity’s Relationship to Wildfire

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.