GRINNELL, IA—Four exhibitions—united by a sense of community—will open Sept. 24 at Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery.
“‘Culturing Community: Projects about Place’” will “literally and figuratively bring the community of Grinnell into the art museum,” said Lesley Wright, director of the Faulconer Gallery and curator of the exhibitions.
“(Un)Seen Work: Traditions and Transitions” by Cedar Rapids artist Jane Gilmor; “Life and Death on the Prairie” by photographer Stephen Longmire; “Ideal X” by The Moving Crew which includes Grinnell artists Lee Emma Running and Jeremy Chen; and “Collect(ive): The Grinnell People’s Museum” by Kansas artists Marguerite Perret and Bruce Scherting combine in a lively show of installation art and framed photographs curated by Wright.
“‘Culturing Community’ is an experiment in uniting art and community in unexpected ways—some traditional and others quite untraditional,” Wright said. “These four exhibitions use art to get at the more complex and invigorating sense of the town of Grinnell, its people, and other small communities around the country.”
• “(Un)Seen Work” is an art installation in the form of a giant walk-in scrapbook based on more than 50 interviews with local residents. The exhibition celebrates their everyday work, “rarely acknowledged but vital to community health and success.”
• “Life and Death on the Prairie” is a photographic essay about northeast Iowa’s Rochester Cemetery, where one of the oldest cemeteries in the state is embedded in one of the best preserved prairies.
• “Ideal X” is an artists’ collective project that focuses on shipping containers that transport goods in and out of communities like Grinnell throughout the world. The exhibition first appeared in Rijeka, Croatia, and is a global and local project.
• “Collect(ive)” is a community collaboration that started with Perret and Scherting scanning artifacts from local collectors and creating new works from the found objects. The pieces will be installed in Faulconer Gallery, in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on campus, and in the Drake Community Library.
“These four perspectives create a picture of Grinnell that is a work in progress. By assembling bits and pieces of art to represent the community, we leave room for everyone to add more to the story,” Wright said. “We hope to culture a wider sense of Grinnell and to bring together new communities of people.”
“Culturing Community” is funded in part by a $10,000 Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Events related to the four-in-one exhibition include:
• Sept. 19, 3-8 p.m.: Ideal X container construction—participants may help to construct miniature shipping containers that will be part of the upcoming installation.
• Sept. 23, 8 p.m., Rosenfield Center 101: A lecture by visiting artists Nadija Mustapic and Toni Mestrovic on “Contemporary Croatian Art: Expressions of Transition.” Mustapic is part of The Moving Crew, creators of “Ideal X.” Co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program and Department of Art.
• Sept. 24, 5-7 p.m.: Opening reception with remarks by Wright and the artists at 5:30 p.m.
• Sept. 25, 7 p.m.: “Clean Start” by Gillian Hemme, a 2010 Grinnell graduate who developed the one-woman show based on stories of work in Grinnell.
• Sept. 29, 7 p.m.: Open mic night and reading by essayist and short-story writer Barry Lopez. Co-sponsored by Grinnell College Libraries and Writers@Grinnell.
• Thursdays, Sept. 30-Dec. 9, 12:15-12:45 p.m.: Yoga in the Gallery. Co-sponsored by Grinnell Wellness Program.
• Oct. 1, 4:15 p.m.: Screening of short films by Grinnell students about Ideal X projects.
• Oct. 4 , 7 p.m.: Panel discussion on “Sports and Wellness as Community,” led by Director of Athletics and Recreation Greg Wallace.
• Oct. 5, 7 p.m.: Performance by poet Gary Holthaus and musician Lauren Pelon celebrating “The Story of Music, Stories from Home.” Supported in part by Humanities Iowa.
• Oct. 12, 4:15 p.m.: Panel discussion on “Defining Community—the Influence of Discipline,” with faculty members Jon Andelson (anthropology), Karla Erickson (sociology), Liz Queathem (biology), and Shawn Womack (theatre).
• Oct. 16, 2:30 p.m., Drake Community Library: Artist talk and hands-on program with “Collect(ive)” artist Perret. Participants will create time capsules for their own personal museum.
All exhibition events are held in Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, unless otherwise noted. The four exhibitions will run through December 12 during gallery hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: noon – 5 p.m.; Thursday, Friday: noon – 8 p.m. or by appointment. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visit www.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery.