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Faculty collaborate at international art exhibition

Boise State students and alumni practice time-based art at the Idaho National Laboratory.
Walker’s students and colleagues performing time-based environmentally-conscious art at the Idaho National Laboratory.

Three artists and two scientists from Boise State University will participate in the European Cultural Centre’s exhibition, “Personal Structures,” in Venice, Italy from April to November 2024. This is a parallel exhibition to the Venice Bienniale, one of the world’s largest art events.

In their project, “Human Relationships to Western Landscapes,” three faculty in the Department of Art, Design and Visual Studies (Laurie Blakeslee, Caroline Earley and Kate Walker) collaborate with two Human-Environment Systems colleagues (Jodi Brandt and Megan Cattau) to present an exhibition about human relationships to landscapes and land use in the western United States during a time of climate crises and land degradation.

Idaho is traditionally thought of a rural, agricultural state, known for its vast wilderness. The projects in this exhibit explore these notions.

In Blakeslee’s photographs of a woman’s home garden and in Brandt’s video about her NASA funded beaver rewilding project, connections to that legacy of abundance and its current fragility are found. Cattau’s video, which presents National Science Foundation funded research on invasive species, and Walker’s video performances at Idaho’s nuclear superfund site, speak of threats posed to the land. Earley’s ceramic work explores land as a living system, the soil food web.

From individual place-based connections, to generalizable patterns derived from satellite imagery, this collection of work reflects on what it means to have a relationship with the land.

This project is made possible by generous grants from the School of the Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Research and Economic Development. Other support is thanks to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Idaho Commission on the Arts, Idaho Film Collection and the National Science Foundation.