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Installing the show: The Mountain and the Bumblebee spotlights the environment and consumption ethic

Posted by Kathy Smyser on Mar 24, 2016 6:00:00 PM

MBB_4.jpgAs Chris McGinnis worked today to install the Mountain and the Bumblebee exhibit in the PCA&D Gallery, he remarked:

“Even the show uses electricity. The show is a product of the contradiction that we are both stewards and exploiters of the natural world. It asks what we can do to reconcile that contradiction.”

McGinnis spent the day installing this environmentally aware show which includes wall art, huge paintings, sculpture, sound equipment, video screens and more, assisted by Quinn McNichol, Acting PCA&D Gallery Director, and Alexandria Bonner, fine art senior. The exhibit opens tomorrow, March 25, at 10 a.m. with a Curator's Talk by McGinnis and runs through April 22, in Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s Main Gallery, 204 N Prince Street, Lancaster PA 17603. The public is invited to the Curator's Talk and all events associated with the exhibit.

In addition to tomorrow's Curator's Talk at 10 a.m., other events surrounding the exhibition are:

  • Geological Talk “Chiques Rock and the Bumblebee” by Jeff Howe, Friday, April 1 at 10 am, Atrium
  • First Friday Reception, Friday, April 1, 5 – 8 pm, Gallery
  • Landscape Poetry Reading hosted by Linda Brown, Friday, April 1 at 7 pm, Atrium

MBB_5.jpgAccording to McGinnis the exhibit is compiled of painters, video artists, sculptors and poets from across the country, who are taking a look at society’s consumption ethic and examining the day-to-day impact of our livelihoods on the natural world. For instance, McGinnis has reconstructed a poem by Altoona poet Todd Davis, focusing on Pennsylvania’s mining and consumption of coal, into wall art in the shape of a mountain from the coal region.

McGinnis hopes that the exhibit will inspire the viewer to think about the implementation of progess and expansion and the growth of cities and technology, and come to their own conclusions. Participating artists, several of whom are involved in environmental causes, include:

According to McGinnis, the inspiration for the exhibit comes from the geologist and land surveyor John C Fremont, who led a prestigious expedition to explore the Rocky Mountain territory in 1842. In his travel log Fremont records an unlikely high‐altitude encounter with a bumblebee where he imagines each of them to be the first of their species ever to brave such geological extremes. This unlikely encounter is suggestive of America’s unique brand of landscape nationalism that has historically attempted to reconcile both expansionist and conservationist thought. Romantic descriptions of Fremont’s adventures were published in the Emigrant’s Guide to California and effectively united the interests of science and nature within the cultural framework of national inheritance.

MBB_1.jpgChris McGinnis is an artist, curator and educator working in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, with over ten solo exhibitions and over 40 group exhibitions in recent years. He has created projects for the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and The Rivers of Steel Heritage Area. He is co-founder of the Pittsburgh-based Alloy Arts Organization and regularly attends national and international artist-in-residence programs. His work has been published in the National Studio Visit Magazine, European Art Magazine, The MFA Now catalog, Manifest’s International Painting Annual as well as numerous local and university publications including Pittsburgh’s Post Gazette and The Tribune Review. Chris has worked for institutions across the country including Carnegie Mellon University and The University of Arizona. He is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Director of the University’s Kipp Gallery, where the Mountain and the Bumblebee was first exhibited.

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