'Field Notes: Revisions' Opens Oct. 29 at U.Va.'s Ruffin Gallery

October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010 — Concern for the environment and culture is at the heart of "Field Notes: Revisions," an exhibition that opens at the University of Virginia's Ruffin Gallery on Oct. 29 and runs through Nov. 26.

A Final Friday reception will be held Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. following conversations with the artists at 4:30 p.m.

A group of five artists – Robert Capozzi, Lorrie Fredette, Dylan McManus, Laura Moriarty and Jill Parisi – will arrive in Charlottesville Sunday evening with a truck full of materials and will work collaboratively for five days to create the installation. Each artist will address the environment through various conceptual and technical means, creating images and objects in reaction to the natural environment.

The exhibit is a revisiting of "Field Notes, States of Mind," a 2009 exhibit that took place in upstate New York near where the artists live and work.

"The experience of working together collaboratively resonates with the group; they decided to amplify the interactive aspect of the installation with more opportunity for cross-pollination of ideas," Parisi said.

The group designed a dynamic installation process – a game involving "two unique decks of cards with five suites denoted by the artists' chosen icons and containing directives with regard to time and instructions," which determined the sequence of installation, Parisi wrote in the artist statement.

"They plan on 'playing the hand' which will determine the sequence and time allowed for each artist to work in the gallery. They will use a visiting artist studio in Ruffin as their staging area for this process," said Dean Dass, an art professor and chair of the studio art department in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. "Our post-baccalaureate students will be assisting in the process."

Each of the visiting artists creates artwork inspired by environmental issues, considering these concerns from varied perspectives. Before coming to U.Va., each researched topics of interest to them that will influence the installation.

Capozzi's work is concerned with the endangerment of animal species common to both upstate New York and Virginia. Fredette finds inspiration in medical and environmental news such, as the spread of Lyme disease. Moriarty creates sculpture and mixed media works guided by geographic tectonic maps. Parisi's interest lies in the botanical species of the Appalachian Range, including the loss of American chestnut trees and fungal disease that infests dogwoods. McManus' work centers on issues related to man's place in the world; he often works with the theme of child-soldiers such as those in Somali.

"These artists use the term 'environmental' in a very broad sense," Dass said. "There is just a foreboding quality to a lot of the work, an ambiguous sense that things are wrong in so many ways that we dimly understand."

"Ultimately the goal of 'Field Notes: Revisions' is to use a loose, interspersed approach in order to create a unique installation," Parisi said.

Anspaugh Fifth-Year students Daniel Ballard, Emily Corazon Nelson, Elizabeth Stehl, Leila Harris, Vashti Harrison and Rachel Callahan are working with the artists to create the installation.

— By Jane Ford