Joan Linder: Operation Sunshine

January 06, 2017

January 27 – March 19, 2017, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

The Faulconer Gallery will open a new exhibition on January 27, 2017. In her exhibition, "Operation Sunshine," Joan Linder '92 investigates the environmental history of brownfields and toxic waste sites near Niagara Falls by making meticulous drawings of the empty fields, chain link fences and the files stored away in archives. She uses drawing to consider how history can get buried: as artifacts and chemicals in the ground, and as documents in the archive. The act of drawing becomes a way to slow down and pay attention anew to the damage that has become hidden in plain sight.

"Operation Sunshine" includes more than 80 drawings of actual sites and documents, which she recreates by hand to tell a story such as 1950s research about the impact of radioactive fallout. On March 7 and 8, visitors will have the opportunity to observe Linder's work-in-progress, "Toxic Archive," as she draws in the gallery (see below for details). "Operation Sunshine" is offered in conjunction with the college's Rosenfield Symposium on Technology and Human Rights, March 7-9.

Faulconer Gallery will host a series of free, public events related to the exhibition:

  • Artists@Grinnell, Thursday, Feb. 9, 4 p.m., with Haitian-born artist and curator Edouard Duval-Carrié, who incorporates religious traditions and the history of Haiti, the Caribbean and Florida, into his art with a wide range of images.
  • Community Day, Saturday, Feb. 25, 1:30 – 3 p.m. Participants of all ages are welcome to tour the exhibitions and enjoy a variety of hands-on activities and refreshments.
  • Concert: Piano by Royce Wolf, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 11 a.m. Wolf, associate professor of mathematics and statistics, will play selections by Mendelssohn, Rzweski, Ives and Mozart.
  • 20 Minutes@11, Wednesday, March 1, 11 a.m., with Liz Queathem, senior lecturer in biology, who will speak about a selected work from "Operation Sunshine," while considering the environmental impact of toxins in Iowa.
  • Artists@Grinnell Drawing in the Gallery, Tuesday, March 7, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, March 8, 10 a.m. – noon and 1 – 3 p.m. Visiting artist Joan Linder will work on her "Toxic Archive," drawings of documents related to toxic waste sites.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and admission is free. The Faulconer Gallery is in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell. For more information about the exhibitions and related programs, call 641-269-4660.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or

The college also welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child's safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the college expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child's safety and sees that the child complies with directions of college personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.