The Agrarian Figure with Johne Richardson
January 22 – April 27, 2014
Kansas City based painter Johne Richardson has captured a diversity in the agrarian man and woman. His paintings will be combined with figurative pieces from the permanent collection to inspire conversation about what it means to live and work on the land and in our natural surroundings.
Type casting the agrarian figure does not result in a singular form. Included in this exhibition are cowboys, farmers, musicians, soldiers, fathers and mothers, students. Who they are and how they are portrayed greatly varies. Explore the diverse ethnicity, religions, social positions, jobs, idealized and realistic portrayals of the agrarian figure.
Randy Waln: Degeneration of the Family Farm
March 26, 2014 – July 27, 2014
Peru State College art professor and photographer, Randy Waln, has assembled a collection of digitally manipulated photographs of his family’s farm now abandoned. The recent color images are contrasted by small, historical black and white photographs of his family farm.
On their own Waln’s images communicate a sense of loss as generations have moved off the land. Cars and trucks are left to sit and rest. Plants have overgrown their intended boundaries and fallen down trees obstruct views and walkways. The viewer is confronted with man’s influence, or lack thereof, as nature tries to reclaim the land.
“The color prints of the farmstead are subjective interpretations of its ‘present’ state. The amplified color and texture, and the expressive rendering, capture that sense of the extraordinary we often associate with places that hold significant meaning for us. It is that special personal appeal the place has because of memories associated with it. The objective reality of the camera’s recording is one of decay and ruin. The process of filtering the objective photographic images through memory and familiarity forms a fiction true to the remembrance in its intensity and enhanced grandeur,” Waln said.
The pairing of the black and white photographs serve to create to further sense of loss, not just for the degeneration of the built structures but the activity the people brought to the place. In each of historical farm photos, a person is the central subject. Hints of the condition of the farm are visible in the background. The liveliness the human subjects bring to the historic photographs is completely lost by their absence in the color images.