IT'S NOT ABOUT ME!
Second Floor Gallery
May 29 - July 24, 2021
“Through my art, I have come to realize the only person I can truly understand is myself. My best work questions what, how and why I do what I do.”
“It’s Not About Me”
“It’s Not About Me” is an exhibition of Jamie Burmeister’s gallery work at the Blanden Art Museum. Burmeister often says, “The only person I can truly understand is myself. My best work questions what, how and why I do what I do.” For over 10 years Jamie has been creating small 4” tall sculptural figures he calls vermin. These vermin have been installed in galleries, museums and public places throughout the world. Many of the pieces in the exhibition are wall hung drawings, paintings and constructions that have vermin interacting with the “artwork”. These vermin are self portraits often found constructing the artwork. The pieces that do not have vermin still include the artist’s interest in humor, absurdity and the mundane. Many of the pieces have a shift that occurs as the viewer gets closer to the work. The piece is one thing from afar and changes as the details of the piece are discovered.
BROTHERLAND: WAR IN UKRAINE
May 22 - Aug 7, 2021
“All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal.”
Brotherland: War in Ukraine Exhibition
Since protests in Kyiv drove President Viktor Yanukovych from power in February 2014, eastern Ukraine has been convulsed by a Russian-led insurgency that evolved into a full fledged war centered in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, an industrial region known as Donbas.
I’ve been photographing the war, and civilian life surrounding it, since its early days in April 2014, one of very few photographers to have continually worked on both sides.
Now, after six years, the war grinds on, stuck in an uneasy stalemate while delivering a steady stream of death and injury. For civilians living near the demarcation line, conflict is like the weather, an uncontrollable condition of the environment with which one must contend daily. Everyone continues their business as best they can with a practiced sense of normalcy, revealing the remarkable human ability to adapt and carry on.
For soldiers, enthusiasm for the cause, whether fueled by propaganda or patriotism, is tempered by the toil and terror of survival.
My portrayal takes a humanistic perspective to consider that the vast majority of people touched by this war, civilians and soldiers alike, on all sides, are victims whose lives have been irreversibly altered by forces beyond their control – forces that, as in all wars, originate with a deliberate choice to kill. My pictures also emphasize the inherent absurdity of armed conflict: the shock of the unimaginable juxtaposed with the utterly mundane.
The difficult truth is that if war can happen in Donbas, it can happen anywhere.
Creating Unity: A Centennial Celebration
Works by Women Artists from 1890-Present from the Blanden Permanent Collection
January - December 30, 2021
About the Exhibit
Art inspires us to visit the concept of “Unity” and see ourselves as part of a bigger Universe.
- Leni Kae
Significant strength centers on unity. The universe is a perfect example of this strength. As we look out into the cosmos, everything seems to be in its place, doing what everything should be doing, harmony in the sky. As humans, there has always been a fascination with the stars and their steadfast qualities. On earth, we try to find and establish unity and order inspired by the universe. As human culture developed the concept of order/unity, this focus has changed history, art, and much more.
In this exhibit, the Blanden invites visitors to explore the concept of unity in multiple ways: Unity as a principle of art and design, Unity in the context of honoring the combined effort by American women that fought for a voice in Democracy, and unity as the collective creative vision of women artists.
Unity, as a principle of art, refers to how parts of artwork work together, the "Gestalt" – or the whole. Artists accomplish this whole through working and understanding the mechanisms of art. These mechanisms are the elements and principles, how they interact with each other, and the viewer's perception of the interaction. Unity, as it relates to history and creative output, has its roots in this basic understanding of the whole working together for a creative outcome.
This year America unites with celebrating American women that fought for a change and struggled to have a voice and input on US governance. Starting with the Progressive movement in 1890, American women rallied together to reform society and politics. The main objectives of this group were to eliminate problems caused by industry, urban living, immigration, and political corruption. The group's triumph came on August 18, 1920, with the signing of the 19th Constitutional Amendment. Unifying under a single voice is a powerful device used to accomplish great things and provides clear perceptions.
This exhibit showcases women artists whose works have been collected over the years and preserved in the Blanden Permanent Collection. By exclusively featuring women artists spanning centuries, subjects, and mediums, their works display a unified change in perceptions of an art world dominated by male artists. Museums all over the world are focusing on highlighting great women artists to rewrite the narrative, pulling back the years of darkness, and submitting to the world stage great artists.
Unity is accomplished in many ways. Within the setting of history and visual art, The Blanden's presentation offers engaging narratives and discourse which frame an environment of learning and understanding. At the heart of this simple understanding and perception is a connection to a powerful universe and one another.
Additional information forthcoming for the following:
Clark Grinde Outsider's Perspective - Second Floor Gallery Aug 7 - Oct 2, 2021
Sandra Williams - Subterranean Fires - Second Floor Gallery Oct 16 - Dec 18, 2021
Roger Nass - Personal Connections - East Gallery Aug 21 - Nov 13, 2021
Perspective of Architecture: Blanden Collection - West Gallery January 2022