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Reading the Landmark College Community: Meet the Artists

Apr 30

You're invited to explore the newest exhibit in the Landmark College Art Gallery and meet artist collaborators Landmark College Professor Christie Herbert and Artist/ Teacher and Linda Whelihan.

One of the primary roles that art can play is to bring people together in ways that promote interaction, reaction, and questioning.   At a larger level, it is possible for art to strengthen a sense of both community and agency within communities.  Join us on Tuesday, April 30 from 12 - 3 p.m. to meet artists Landmark College Professor Christie Herbert and Linda Whelihan teacher/artist, as they present the newest art exhibit in the Landmark College Art Gallery designed to explore the social and collaborative potential of art.

To be literate is to be able to be more confident and fluent in one’s ability to shape one’s world.  As a college founded in 1985 for students with learning disabilities or learning differences, helping students become literate, whether it is verbally, socially, or visually, is at the core of the work completed at Landmark College.  Accordingly, the exhibit is framed around the theme, and draws on as many voices from the community as possible in shaping it.  

To gather data for the art piece, Herbert and Whelihan surveyed current students and employees, as well as alumni, and asked them to respond to one of five questions: 

1. What's the most important thing you do or are doing at Landmark College?
2. How has Landmark College changed you?
3. Tell us something significant that happened in your life prior to coming to Landmark College, and how that has contributed to the Landmark community.
4. If we were able to take a picture of your brain that enabled us to see its true power and potential, what might we see?
5. What 3 or 4 words best describe the Landmark College community?

The artists received hundreds of responses that together painted a wonderful mosaic of images, words, stories, and observations.  They sifted and sorted the different perspectives and voices to create an exhibit that can be read in a variety of ways, and that allows multiple ways for participants to enter and interact with the exhibit.  In order to extend their collaboration, they invited artist friends from around the country (and one from Australia) to choose a quote or quotes to work with to inspire a piece for the show. 

Attendees may find the framework provided valuable while 'reading' the exhibit:

1) The large panels along the upper wall of the gallery are each dedicated to showcasing some of the answers to three of the questions 1-3.  There are many books that can be opened and read, both verbally and visually.

2) Downstairs, two pieces work directly with question #5, the words people used to describe the Landmark community.  One is digital and the other is a glass panel mounted on an oak stand (made by Allen Duckless), around the corner to the left.

3) On the wall of the lower gallery are sticky post it notes with an array of responses to questions 1-4.  You are invited to add to the wall by writing on the sticky notes provided.

4) On pedestals and the floor in the main gallery space are pieces made by artist friends in response to specific quotes.  Some of these exhibits invite you to leave your fingerprint or take a picture with a Polaroid camera.

5) In the space to the right of main gallery, you will find chairs, and light from reading lamps, and are invited to pick up a blank book and write your responses to the show, or feedback, or whatever else you are inspired to write.  One question you could respond to is: What else do we need to understand in reading the Landmark community?  What hasn’t been said?  What message did you take away from your reading? What surprised you?

6) Please talk with the people around you about what you are reading and seeing and experiencing

Meet the Artists: Tuesday, April 30, 12 - 3 p.m.

Where:  Landmark College Art Gallery is in the Fine Arts Building
Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


About the Artists

Christie Herbert has taught at Landmark College since 1986, and currently teaches ceramics in the Fine Arts Department. She is in the last semester of an MFA program in Visual Arts at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.  This exhibit was done as part of a sabbatical during 2013 Spring Semester.

Linda Whelihan is an artist/teacher who is committed to developing creative projects that strengthen community through shared dialogue and active engagement. She has a Masters of Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is currently working on the Maasai Weaving Project, a community effort to empower women and bring attention to environmental problems in Kenya by transforming discarded plastic bags into marketable items.

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