Where There Were Many

by Katie Hargrave and Amber Ginsburg
March 24 – April 29, 2015

Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts

Gallery reception on Thursday, April 30, from 4:00 – 5:30 pm, Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts. All are invited to attend.

Where There Were Many, a collaborative piece by Katie Hargrave and Amber Ginsburg, will provide a unique opportunity for Luther Art students to work with practicing artists on an art installation that will grow over the course of the exhibition.  Students currently in Joe Madrigal’s ART 111 3D Processes class will be the creative vehicle and labor force as they interpret the vision of Hargrave and Ginsburg.

Katie Hargrave

Katie Hargrave, of Hornell, New York, received a Dual Bachelor’s Degree in Painting and Art History in 2007 from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, helping to coordinate and curate her first gallery exhibitions while there. Hargrave then went on to receive her Masters Degree in Cultural Production from Brandeis University in 2009, an University of Iowa, Intermedia and Video, 2011. Pursuing her passion for the visual arts even further, Hargrave went on to receive her MFA in Intermedia and Video (with a minor in Drawing) from the University of Iowa in May of 2012. She has done several collaborative and solo shows between 2006 and the present and has helped to curate several outside exhibitions, as well. Most recently, Hargrave has worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Alfred University, an Adjunct Professor at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and an Archives Coordinator for Prairie Home Productions. She is currently an Art Editor for Anomalous Press and has an additional show upcoming in Minneapolis this year.

Amber Ginsburg

Amber Ginsburg, following her passion for art, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Ceramics from Illinois State University (Normal, IL) in 2006 before going on to gain her Master of Fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Sharing her love for the arts with Students of the Chicago area, Ginsburg served as an Instructor of Record for Ceramics II at Illinois State University in 2007 before going on to work as an Adjunct Professor [Art History and Ceramics] at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2009-2012. Beginning in 2005, she has had a variety of solo and collaborative shows across the Midwest. Ginsburg currently serves as a lecturer for the Division of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago and has several upcoming shows in 2015.

Artists’ Statement

Where There Were Many looks to the forest as a way to understand collaboration, ethics, growing, and undoing. Katie Hargrave and Amber Ginsburg, in collaboration with Luther art department students, will use the gallery as a dynamic and changing site to explore the metaphoric relationship between building and unbuilding in response to how we think about forests as natural and conversely contrived systems. Hargrave and Ginsburg install an exhibition and set into motion an ongoing intervention in the gallery where students will use repurposed wood to build a forest.

Where There Were Many is one in a series of works by Hargrave and Ginsburg that propose acts of undoing as opportunities for conversations about ethics and ecology. Their collaboration, as well as collaboration with the communities in which their work is shown, enact the politics as stake. In Where There Were Many, Hargrave and Ginsburg invite students into their research on the Nebraska National Forest, a hand planted forest in the treeless landscape of the Nebraska Sand Hills. Created in 1902, the forest is filled with cottonwood, red and yellow pine, and other majestic fast growing trees. These trees grow big in sand that normally does not support such growth, but in a strange twist, seeds from these trees do not germinate, forcing park rangers to constantly replant seedlings to maintain the idea of the forest. What happens to natural forest succession and natural landscapes when students hand-fabricate and plant trees in the gallery.

Collaborating for ten years, Hargrave and Ginsburg use American history as a research site and locates their work in narratives that are articulated through of use of material and actions action associated with the tool and sewing box.  Their installations are multi-media affairs that look back to notions of collective action situated in the cultural imagination of Colonial America.  The barn raising, the quilting bee, and the harvest celebration are both never far from their work nor their goal. Rather, the skills associated with these actions and the impulses behind them are re-performed to ask questions about the very present and complicated now.”

2014-2015 Katie Hargrave and Amber Ginsburg