The connection between disrupted nature and cultural conflict is explored in the exhibition “Out of Nature,” which will open at the De Pree Art Center and Gallery at Hope College on Thursday, Aug. 24, and feature recent work by internationally based artist Nancy Susan McCormack.
McCormack, who has been this year’s Borgeson Artist-in-Residence at the college, will deliver an artist’s talk on the exhibition’s final day, Friday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m. in Cook Auditorium of the De Pree Art Center and Gallery. A closing reception will follow in the gallery on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The public is invited to the exhibition, artist’s talk and closing reception. Admission to each is free.
McCormack’s work often addresses issues of constructed identity and personal development. In “Out of Nature” she broadens her focus and reflects on the role of the natural world, humankind’s influence on it and its ability to affect cultural change. The exhibition will feature print, painting and sculptural installations on walls and floors dealing with intercultural miscommunication, migration, pattern, reproduction, appropriation and conflict.
The initial inspiration for “Out of Nature” was a 2015 study published by the University of California, Santa Barbara and Columbia University that drew a connection between climate change and the drought that plagued Syria and the start of the Syrian civil war. The body of work imagines what would be left behind if a similar combination of natural disruption and cultural change occurred in the United States.
“Our daily life full of brightly colored devices, plastic containers and insignificant identifiers all to be objectively analyzed years later,” she notes in her artist statement. “Objects taken out of context and reimagined into a new narrative. Patterns suddenly revealed and everything seeming so obvious in hindsight.”
McCormack is a multidisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad. She has lived and worked throughout parts of Turkey, Berlin and New York, taking her experiences and parlaying them into her work.
She studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and later received her Master of Fine Arts degree in studio practice from The City College of New York in New York City. She has also worked extensively in archives and book/paper conservation. She is an avid consumer of contemporary culture, a lover of nature and a part-time Turkish cooking enthusiast.
The Borgeson Artist-in-Residence program is hosted by the college’s Department of Art and Art History, and was created through the generosity of Hope alumni Nancy and Clarke Borgeson. The 12-week summer residency supports the creation of new work through provision of a stipend as well as studio and living space on Hope’s campus. The artist-in-residence meets with department students and alumni, and concludes the residency with a solo exhibition and artist’s lecture at the De Pree Art Center and Gallery.
The De Pree Art Center and Gallery is located at 275 Columbia Ave., between 10th and 13th streets. The gallery is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.