“Local Ecologies,” which will be exhibited at three University of Massachusetts institution galleries during the 2019-20 school year, features commission artworks by artists who have lived and worked in eastern Massachusetts.
The traveling exhibition was organized by Kirsten Swenson, an associate professor and art history coordinator at UMass Lowell; Sam Toabe, gallery director at UMass Boston; and art historian and curator Rebecca Uchill, a full-time lecturer in art education, art history and media studies at UMass Dartmouth.
Onsite curators are Toabe at UMass Boston; Uchill and University Art Gallery director Viera Levitt at UMass Dartmouth; and Swenson and University Gallery coordinator Deborah Santoro at UMass Lowell.
“I am excited to work with UMass Dartmouth art history professor Rebecca Uchill and other partners on the exhibition “Local Ecologies” that is bridging the three UMass campuses with the theme we are all concerned about,” Levitt said. “It is an unusual collaboration bringing cutting-edge work by high profile contemporary artists, mostly created for the project.”
The shows will feature site-specific installations as well as public programs focusing on the natural and cultural ecologies of eastern Massachusetts.
“This initiative’s intent is to spark a transdisciplinary and cross-institutional exchange through place-based artworks and public discussions that respond to environmental and ecological issues specific to the region’s natural, social and economic histories and futures,” Uchill said. “This expansive project brings together artists, scientists, historians and activists engaged with our diverse ecosystems from coastlines to riverways as well as layered indigenous, colonial and industrial histories.”
The multidisciplinary works were created by contemporary artists: Dan Borelli, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Duy Hoàng, Sarah Kanouse and Nicholas Brown, Plotform: Jane Marsching + Andi Sutton, Matthew Mazzotta, Evelyn Rydz and Andrew Yang.
“These featured artists will bring into focus our region’s diverse ecosystems and land use histories, from the postindustrial Merrimack Valley and New Bedford regions to the evolving urban ecologies and environs of Boston,” Uchill said.
“Local Ecologies” debuts at the University Hall Gallery at UMass Boston in September before traveling to UMass Dartmouth in November and UMass Lowell in late January.
“There are public talks and events specific to each campus, course offerings and a scholarly online publication. It’s so much more than a gallery show,” said Uchill.