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Art exhibits explore commercial development, surrealism

Feb. 25, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Art exhibitions currently on display at Western Michigan University explore the themes of commercial development and surrealism as interpreted by photographers from across the nation.

"Your Town, Inc." and "Lucid Directions" are on display at the University's Richmond Center for Visual Arts through March 19. All art exhibits are open to the public free of charge during normal gallery hours.

Gallery hours

  • Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: noon to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: close

"Your Town, Inc."
Monroe-Brown Gallery

Big-box buildings have increasingly dominated the American landscape since the 1960s. Author, artist and researcher Julia Christensen spent the last six years studying these monolithic, freestanding structures and their resulting cultural effects. "Your Town, Inc." exhibits photographs and new-installation works that examine how communities are changing in the shadow of corporate real estate.

Seventy-seven photographs from Christensen's book, "Big Box Reuse" (MIT Press, 2008), illustrate the ways in which communities throughout the United States creatively re-employ the structures constructed and abandoned by multinational corporations like Wal-Mart and Kmart. Resulting endeavors include a justice center, mega-church, senior resource center, elementary school and flea market.

"Your Town, Inc." is an exhibition that explores the state of our built environment. Among Christensen's photos of reworked buildings and parking lots, the audience will be asked to think critically about how their own towns have changed in light of corporate real estate. The exhibit was organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University.

"Lucid Directions"
Netzorg-Kerr Gallery

"Lucid Directions" is a collection of surrealist photography. Chicago-based photographer Alison Carey juried the submissions for this exhibit. "Lucid Directions" at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts was organized by Melissa Warner and made possible by a generous grant from the Friends of the Richmond Center.

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Media contact: Don Desmett, (269) 387-2455, donald.desmett@wmich.edu

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