On View: June 1 - August 5, 2017
Salisbury University, MD
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein
"I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all.”
— Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
Colby Caldwell, Hasan Elahi, Margo Elsayd, Eve Hennessa, Peter Garfield, Amber Robles-Gordon, Rachel Schmidt, Noelle K. Tan, and Curtis Woody
Curated by Jayme McLellan
Hosted by Salisbury University on the bountiful Eastern Shore of Maryland, through the work of nine artists, the exhibition considers the land and its inhabitants, serving as a marker of shared memory at our particular moment in time. The work is a contemporary dialogue and cautionary tale about how we live together, here and now while also exploring the nature of the past, particularly how we as a community remember it. Is the past purely in us as memory? Or is it something real and tangible here with us now?
Artists in the exhibition, all from the Washington, DC region with strong ties to Maryland, work in a variety of media and many of them made new work for this exhibition. The work spans from conservation and farming issues to our shared history of slavery and the ephemeral markers of the Underground Railroad throughout the region. Some works in the exhibition are designed to create energy and healing or trigger memory and association through the visual. Finally, no exhibition about the land would be complete without landscape photography that reflects back the beauty of the land and the elements found upon it.
It is my hope as curator that “Living on the Land” raises questions, rather than hammering down on certainties and absolutes. I sincerely hope that visitors approach the works as I did -- with an open, curious mind seeking to move forward toward harmony and healing as we live together on the land.
The exhibit also features works from Salisbury, MD community artists Christy Cox, Arnaud Perret, Drew Flinn, and Lorna Crockett. They have each shared work reflecting on the theme of what it means to live on the land, and in Christy’s case, the water in Crisfield where the challenges of the land meet the Bay. Many thanks to them and the extraordinary gallery staff who have made this exhibition possible.