Gallery Talk and Reception for Rebecca Allan: Fjord/Glacier/River

Rebecca Allan's ArtworkReception
April 2, 2015 | 5:30-7:30
Marsh Gallery, Eskenazi Hall

Gallery Talk
April 2, 2015 | 6:30-7:00
Marsh Gallery, Eskenazi Hall

Fjord/Glacier/River presents Rebecca Allan’s most recent paintings which have emerged from her travels in Norway. In Geirangerfjord, Allan made extensive drawings and studies of the waterfalls, rocks, and night skies that distinguish this majestic World Heritage site. These paintings reflect a response to the Norwegian landscape which is both exuberant and joyful but also reminds us of how urgent it is to preserve and protect our Earth’s natural resources, especially its water. Fjord/Glacier/River is presented by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute (iahi.iupui.edu) and the Rivers of the Anthropocene Project (rivers.iupui.edu).

Known for her richly layered and chromatically nuanced abstract paintings, Rebecca Allan has for many years concentrated on rivers and watershed environments as primary sources of investigation. Her work explores the ecology, meteorology, and geology of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and the Gulf Coast, among other sites. Working from a studio that overlooks the confluence of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers in The Bronx, Allan is inspired by a deep appreciation for the beauty of the natural environment overlaid with an awareness of its fragility and endangerment.

Fjord/Glacier/River presents Rebecca Allan’s most recent paintings which have emerged from her travels in Norway. In Geirangerfjord, Allan made extensive drawings and studies of the waterfalls, rocks, and night skies that distinguish this majestic World Heritage site. These paintings reflect a response to the Norwegian landscape which is both exuberant and joyful but also reminds us of how urgent it is to preserve and protect our Earth’s natural resources, especially its water.

Exhibiting in the United States and abroad for more than 25 years, Allan’s most recent solo exhibitions were presented at Hudson Opera House Gallery (Hudson, New York), ArtLab78 (New York), The American Church in Paris, Ringling College of Art and Design/Longboat Key Center for the Arts; Seattle Art Museum Gallery; John Davis Gallery (Hudson, NY); and Gallery 2/20 (New York).  Allan has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony.  She received her MFA from Kent State University and BA from Allegheny College. From 2006 to 2014 she was Head of Education at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City.

Artist’s Statement

“My paintings are rooted in the dramatic cycles of nature as well as a deep curiosity about science, and the forces underlying what we observe on the surface of things. Even when it is grounded in the visible world, a painting is a sensual invention that conflates real and conjured experiences. Rivers, glaciers, and fjords are central to this dialogue with nature and culture. They are complex arteries of history, culture, commerce, and ecology. This exhibition explores my relationship to particular landscapes from Norway to the Atlantic Northeast.

My process involves mixing pigments and layer color over time, in response to observed and felt experience. The language of color is a sanctuary within which the questions and problems of artmaking — indeed, of life — are confronted. I work within a transcendental American landscape tradition that includes painters such as Frederic Church, Charles Burchfield, Joan Mitchell, and Neil Welliver but I also draw from the works of Renaissance masters such as Giovanni di Paola and Pieter Breughel in my desire to invent a new, cosmological landscape.”

Co-sponsored by the Herron School of Art and Design.

Rivers of the Anthropocene Featured in IUPUI Center for Research and Learning Newsletter

CRL Feature: A MURI Team

This month, the CRL would like to feature a Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Institute (MURI) team.  We are very excited to have a team led by Dr. Jason M. Kelly, Dr. Phil Scarpino and Dr. Owen Dwyer.  The students are working on “Rivers of the Anthropocene – Stage 1: A Comparative Study of the Ohio River and Tyne River Systems Since 1750” 

The team will create a methodological and conceptual framework that better integrates Earth Systems Science with the human sciences and the humanities.  Secondly, it will provide a model for interdisciplinary and comparative studies of Anthropocene rivers systems.  Students will create:

  • a 3-day academic symposium/workshop
  • open-source data sets of historical GIS data relating to the Ohio and Tyne River Systems
  • an open-access, peer-reviewed edited volume featuring articles, revised from papers given at the symposium
  • a co-written research paper submitted to a major academic science journal

The students participating on this project are: Anthony Bozzo (Anthropology), Jeremy Maxwell (History), Keenan Salla (History), Lynette Taylor (History) and Andrew Townsend (History).  Andrew Townsend said “I joined the MURI team to get experience working in a group doing real world work.  Also, I thought it would look good on my resume for grad school. We are researching the human impact on the Ohio River system and compiling information that will be made available to future researchers investigating human efforts to purposely transform their environment according to culturally dictated plans.”

Lynette Taylor went on to describe the project, “Our overall project is addressing the needs for interdisciplinary communication between humanities and sciences in regard to the human influence on the environment and climate change with a special focus on the riverine systems of the world. The current narrow focus is on a comparison of the River Tyne and the Ohio River as these two rivers are somewhat similar in geographic latitude, weather, and use. This first phase of the project is concerned with creating a searchable metadata database that contains a comprehensive collection of available data on the river watershed foci. This database will be incredibly helpful to people in nearly every discipline from history through geology in providing a one-stop repository of information.”

Jeremy Maxwell stated, “The mentors that I’m working with are great. Dr. Scarpino is experienced and really knows his stuff Dr. Dwyer is really chill and great to work with. Dr. Kelly is a genius. He also wears colorful socks, so he has that going for him.”