This Land: Landscapes and National Identity

After a long summer break, which saw Goodwyn Gallery refurbished with new wall cladding and new flooring, and the entire Department art collection packed up and moved off-site to allow for major HVAC work, we are excited to announce our first exhibition of the 2018-19 academic year!

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This Land: Landscapes and National Identity was curated from the Fine Arts Department collection by current AUM students Lee Buford, Victoria Kenyon, and Lindsay Sanders, all of whom are enrolled in Dr. Slipp’s Museum Studies class. The exhibition is open to the public October 1-25, 2018.

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As the students explain in their introductory text, landscapes – depictions of the natural environment, including views of the countryside – have long been a favorite subject of artists and a source of inspiration for viewers. From simple pastoral scenes to bustling cityscapes to wide, sweeping views of valleys, landscapes can reveal much about the cultural, personal, or historical significance of the natural or man-made environment. Yet, questions remain. What is a landscape? Why do artists create landscapes, and what do they mean? What sort of landscape works do immigrant artists, working outside of their home countries and in new environments, create? What can we learn about national identity by looking at landscapes?

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These questions are explored across three sections that examine different types of landscape – the rural, the urban, and the in-between. In this way, the student curators were able to present a multiplicity of “landscapes.” Each student wrote labels for an equal number of works of art in the exhibition and were assigned a section introduction to write. Finally, the students also designed interactive activities, which seek to encourage visitors to imagine their own landscapes and the relationship between place and personal identity.

 

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