The University of Nevada, Reno Departments of Art, Geography and the Low-Residency MFA at Lake Tahoe have joined together to host “Land, Water, Place: An Art and Science Collaborative,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 28 at the Nevada Museum of Art.
During the joint symposium, scholars, curators, academics and students will present interactive discussions and talk about different ways of perceiving and communicating the complex relationships between people, land, water and the idea of place. It is hoped that through these meaningful conversations, attendees will take away a more wholistic view of what place means to them and how ideas around our relationships to land and water may be seen through different lenses and still share common themes.
“In proposing collective engagement in ‘Land, Water, Place,’ this event offers ways the Department of Art will work across disciplines and out in the world, engaging with Northern Nevada as a site for research and creativity,” Kelly Chorpening, chair of Art, Art History and Design, said.
“The question of where art and geography intersect is an interesting one,” Adam Csank, chair of Geography, said. “I like to think about the way that artists perceive space and the world around them as similar to the way that geographers view space. Geography after all is about connections – connections between people, connections between places, connections between people and place and connections between the environment and society. Artists and Geographers often view the world through similar lenses.”
Students and faculty in geography, art and poetry will present alongside museum curators and scholars. Presentations by students and faculty from the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe include Amy Smith (Poetry, Low-Residency MFA), Sarah Lillegard (Interdisciplinary Arts alumna, Low-Residency MFA) and Rick Parsons, director of the Holman Arts and Media Center. The event will also feature keynote speaker T.J. Demos, director of the Center for Creative Ecologies, UC Santa Cruz.
In addition, Chorpening and Csank will present a case study: “Drawing in Social Space,” co-led by graduate students Betta Manalo (Geography) and Bobby Lee (Art, MFA). The inspiration behind the study comes from the remote participation of Nourredine Ezarref, an artist from Marrakech, whose work engages with hydro-politics in rural Morocco. This project received Ozmen Global Studies Faculty Research funding, and the outcomes will be shown in an exhibition that Chorpening is co-curating at Drawing Room London in September 2023.
“The Ozmen Institute for Global Studies is delighted to partner with the Nevada Museum of Art and University Departments of Art and Geography to raise awareness about the importance of water on our planet,” Sudeep Chandra, professor and director of the Ozmen Institute for Global Studies, said. “Water policy, politics and the science that goes into understanding ecosystems requires society to look at these topics from many different viewpoints. An art museum is a perfect venue for holding discussions around the topic of water because its kind of space lends itself to develop in creative discourse and dialogue.”
The symposium is presented by the University of Nevada Reno in collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art with support from the Benna Arts Excellence Endowment.