Opening Reception: August 28 from 3 to 5 p.m.
Our Tangled Choices: Art and the Environment brings together two prominent artists, Pat Musick and Michelle Lougee, whose work explores the fragility of our planet and, by extension, the choices humans make, both consciously and unconsciously, that impact the health of the earth.
Pat Musick is a contemporary American artist whose work, for over 50 years, has reflected upon our natural environment. She holds Master of Art and PhD degrees from Cornell University. Musick is the author of five books on art and the subject of a soon-to-be released documentary film, The Artist and the Astronaut, co-starring with her late husband, NASA astronaut Gerald P. Carr, Commander of Skylab 4. Carr also collaborated with Musick for the past 20 years. He served as engineer and fabricator, and often provided inspiration for the works.
Michelle Lougee is a fiber artist, sculptor, and ceramist. Her work addresses the impact of our consumerist society on nature through transforming trash, specifically single-use plastic, into art. Lougee is a member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery and her artwork has been shown at Kunstverein Teirgarten in Berlin, Convento de Santo Domingo Qorikancha in Cusco, Peru, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Art Complex Museum, and the Trustman Gallery at Simmons College.
This exhibition also features the voices of 11 community contributors, whose personal and professional lives are interconnected with the natural world. Sharing memories, musings, and observations, their responses open up multiple ways of understanding Musick and Lougee’s work. The community members who worked on this exhibition are Willa Bryant, Martha Carey, Rachel Coffield, James Crews, Alice Gilborn, Tina Hartell, Peter Hetko, Kathleen James, Bonnie Levis, Matt Proft, and Els van Woert. Environmental writer Megan Mahew Bergman, who also lives locally, led a writing workshop for the group.
SPECIAL EXHIBITION EVENTS:
Turn discarded plastics into sculptural objects! Artist Michelle Lougee draws from the American folk art tradition of memory jugs, made to commemorate the deceased with keepsakes from their lives. She’s adapted this practice to memorialize the wasteful and harmful accumulation of single-use plastics in our culture. Workshop participants will create fetish jugs, transforming mundane plastic items like bottle tops and contact lens packaging into objects of dystopian beauty.
SVAC has partnered with Artichoke Dance Company to bring a site-specific outdoor performance to our sculpture park. Company dancers, alongside Burr and Burton Academy student dancers, will respond to the beauty of SVAC’s natural surroundings and sculptures, including Pat Musick’s The Gatekeepers. The performers will dance with fetish jugs made out of single-use plastics by artist Michelle Lougee and several community members.
Pat will talk about her experience at the United Nations in 1990 when she attended an Earth Day conference that featured 40 astronauts and cosmonauts, discussing their view of earth from space. This formative event influenced her work for the next 25 years. She will also show some slides of art that addresses current environmental issues, such as the Red Alert. After the presentation, attendees will be invited to ask questions and share comments. This program will take place virtually via Zoom. On the day of the program, registered participants will receive the Zoom link via email.
Image: Pat Musick, Ra and Michelle Lougee, Diatomia