Two photographs from my Midwest Sex Shops series will be included in the SPE Midwest Multi Caucus exhibition “On Fruited Plains.” I will be at the opening reception Oct. 1st from 7-9PM and part of a panel of artists discussing the work and exhibit on Saturday, October 3rd at 10-11AM in the Medallion C room of the Seelbach Hilton, 500 South 4th St. Louisville, KY. The exhibit is part of the 2015 SPE Midwest conference. This project was made with support from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
Exhibition Dates: October 1 – 31, 2015
Opening Reception: October 1, 7:00-9:00 pm
The Midwest is a varied place in terms of geography, culture, people, and viewpoints. Travel in any direction for a couple of hours and you will pass through a myriad of things to bewitch, excite, entice, and sometimes puzzle the eye. Stories, visual poems, and narratives exist everywhere, with some having a history that spans centuries and some that have sprung up recently, like some of the new myths and cultures that are to be found.
This concept of the visual story formed an important part of the juror’s process for this exhibition. While examining the work the jurors looked for works that told the stories of these fruited plains, whether they be old, new, complete, or just beginning. Some stories are more evident than others; some will form differently in each viewer’s eye. But all share a commonality of being borne out of the minds and experiences of the people who see the Midwest uniquely.
The caucuses themselves reflect this melding of the Midwest: its struggles, the small-town life, the rural life, the city life, and the varied backdrops against which these stories are played out. Midwest images are iconic, and they are strong. They are also, like the people and landscapes depicted, hardworking and reflective. They show people who are self-sufficient, yet who also are vulnerable.
It is these stories and images that we are proud to present here.
Jurors: Marivi Ortiz, David Martin, James Kueffner
Artists: Rachael Banks, Michael Borowski, Amanda Breitbach, Garrett Hansen, Julie Jaidinger, Zora Murff, Lee Ann Paynter, Matel Rokke, Alsion Smith, Alyss Vernon, Kevin Warth, Morgan Ford Willingham, Missy Ziebart