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‘Land Of Wandering’ To Be Exhibited At Off Grounds Gallery In November

October 28, 2005 --

WHO:         U.Va. faculty, alumni and artist friends
WHAT:       Exhibit — “The Land of Wandering”
WHEN:       Opening Reception

Friday, Nov. 4, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Exhibit Dates and Hours

Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Saturday, Dec. 3

Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.

WHERE:   Off Grounds Gallery

                  300 West Main Street

                  First Floor, Ridge Street Entrance

After Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, they were sentenced to a life of wandering. The exhibition “The Land of Wandering,” which opens at the Off Grounds Gallery on Nov. 2, was created by a group of almost 30 U.Va. faculty, alumni and artist friends — both printmakers and writers. The artists joined together to explore the stories in the Book of Genesis. 

The project required a leap of faith on the part of the artists. They created prints then sent them to another artist to add to or change in any way they chose — layering each artist’s creative expression and printmaking technique on the work of the artist before them. The resulting collaborative works are a dialogue between artists that creates works that are greater than the sum of their parts, said McIntire Department of Art Professor Dean Dass, who teaches printmaking and courses on the art of book- and papermaking.   

“It’s the nature of the print studio to work together,” Dass said. “We think we’re going to get a better result that way, one that no one person would have expected.”

“The Land of Wandering,” which is both an art exhibit and a book, is the first part of an undertaking with the overarching title of “Exquisite History.” The larger venture is modeled after the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicles, which began with the Book of Genesis, followed by the history of the world up to 15th century Germany and culminated in the Apocalypse. Parts two and three of “Exquisite History” are: “New World,” which will bring the creation and fall to America; and “Gates of Heaven,” which will encompass a utopian vision that goes vertically through time.

Writers and poets play an integral part of the concept of “The Land of Wandering.”

Poet Lisa Russ Spaar, director of the U.Va. Creative Writing Program, applauds the collaborative scholarship of the project and the opportunity to explore the relationship between visual grammar and poetic grammar in her own poetry. The project touched on themes she has wanted to write about and several of her poems grew directly out of seeing the works coming out of the print shop.

Blurring the lines between printmaking and poetry, some of the printmakers imported texts from poems by Spaar and others into the images they created.

The book portion of the project further expanded the concept of collaboration. Four members of the group gathered around a computer, laying out the graphic design of the book. The process involved another layering as some of the pages are collages of the images and others involve editing and layering as the images passed through the collective talents of the group.    

The 168-page full-color book, titled “ex.hi, vol. 1,” is not like a catalog but is a further tightening of the project’s artistic expression, Dass said. “It pushes the project out of the print shop and allows the work to reach others.” Copies of the book will be available at the Gallery. The University of Virginia Press also is distributing it to selected art museum stores and art book stores — venues that “appreciate a fine piece of book art making,” said Penelope Kaiserlian, director of the press.

For more information contact the McIntire Department of Art at (434) 924-6123.

Contact: Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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