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Visiting Artist Response: Lowrey Sims

Lowrey Sims spoke at the Weisman Art Museum on Wednesday, December 5. She presented part two of her lecture series, however I was unable to attend part one. Regardless, her topic for the night was “Aesthetics or Utility? Art Engaging the Environment�- an interesting topic considering America’s recent heightened awareness of all things eco-friendly.

Her method of presentation was a Power Point, where she basically went through different themes while showing examples from different artists. A main focus of hers in looking at these different artists and exhibitions was to think up a new way to present this theme of ‘environmental art’ in an exhibit.

One major idea of Sims was that artists are, in a way, taking the role of scientists and researchers. I liked this idea of artists taking on a new(er) role of truly becoming the vanguard of such social change as this, and really making things happen with what they create. Within this theme, she presented three types of practices related to sustainable art: “engagement of land/scape�; “recycling/reclamation�; and a “response to social issues through the production of objects as discourse�.

My favorite theme that she talked about was the art engaged with landscapes. Some of the examples she had were very cool. One artist created a hill on a plot of land and planted hundreds of trees all around it, in a spiral. It turned out looking pretty amazing. Another example she had were some photographs taken half-submerged in water. The distortion of color and surreal look of the surrounding landscapes was very intriguing, as well. These pictures focus our attention to the beauty in nature and place in us a new idea of the interaction between creating art out of nature.

Overall, I enjoyed hearing Lowrey Sims’s lecture. I think the points and themes she brings up (by showing outside examples) are truly important- especially in this day in age. Luckily, the public (and especially the art world) is thinking in a new manner and taking action to save our planet.