A friend of mine, who I met from working on a Creative Collaboration project with me, had her senior art show this past week. Although I was unable to make the opening reception, I did make my way down to the West Main Artist’s Co-op yesterday to view the last day of her work being displayed. Even though those reading this blog will no longer be able to view her artwork in person, I did snap a few pictures- so you didn’t miss out completely . Her show btw, was called Unraveling: A Snapshot of 21st Century Americana and it featured photographic-based imagery.
Her show was inspired by things she’d learned during world travels to places such as Germany, Israel, and Honduras. I was going to paraphrase what she had said in a statement for Unraveling, but it’s best I just quote it.What she wrote and what she produced artistically was very powerful and moving to me. ” As an American living in the twenty-first century, I know I am one of the luckiest person to have ever lived. Rarely have I known a day where I was hungry or cold or in constant fear of death. In fact, the opportunities afforded to me have enabled me to think and speak freely, travel and be well educated. Traveling in particular has had a great impact on my world view. In Germany, I observed efficiency at almost every level, from food production to city planning. On an Israeli kibbutz, I learned true community. In Honduras, I was humbled by how simply the people lived, as they did not have much to complicate their lives. These gifts demand from me that I give something back: what I have observed and learned about my home country from afar. Unraveling is essentially a show about reverse culture shock. Returning from these various nations should advent in a recalculating of one’s awareness. For me, it was an amazement at the resources wasted to create the next whim of those with power, either monetarily or in government. The empty building captured through the lens of my camera are essentially the epitome of this greed and wastefulness. While people nation- and world-wide are starving and homeless, hundreds of empty strip malls sit with gleaming black parking lots. Our expansive automobile-centric nation has become the international symbol for extravagance and selfishness. America’s physical and economic infrastructure have been so poorly designed and maintained that now our culture is coming undone, unraveling.What are we as Americans willing to do, to give up in order to create a more healthy nation? Where do we want our city, state, country and the world to be in ten, twenty, fifty years? We need to look to people like environmental essayist and poet Wendell Berry. Some lines of his poetry have been worked into Unraveling, knit out of items no longer needed or wanted. These words were photographed outside, where Americans need to go more often and contemplate: to get outside, away from cars, conveniences and the busy-ness of the typical American daily life. We need to decide who we as a nation want to be and what thread our we want our future to follow. The question we now face is, will we continue to unravel in the direction of self-centeredness and self-indulgence or will America realize the opportunity it now has to ‘knit together’ as a truly United States of America, a responsible and conscious member of the international community. Together let us end this abuse of a beautiful gift, our land” – Katy Corbin, 2012
I hope her statement has touched you as much as it has touched me. After reading that and viewing Katy’s work, it truly did inspire me. Katy herself is an inspirational person. When you’re younger you see/meet certain people and you think “I wanna be like that when I grow up”, well Katy’s one of those people to me. Here’s some more of her work from that exhibit.
Although her exhibit is over, West Main Artist Co-op is still there. It’s located at 578 West Main Street and is open from 3-6 pm Thursdays and 10 am-4 pm on Saturdays. On the 3rd Thursday of every month they have an Art Walk from 5-9:30 pm. Not only do they have awesome art to view, but a gift shop to buy something unique, AND classes to take! I was just browsing their website (www.westmainartists.org) and found out they’ll be having an Offset Letterpress Class starting March 19th for six weeks from 1-5 pm every Saturday. I’m for sure going to try to make it to those! Everyday I find out there’s more to the burg then I thought haha!