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Ozarks professor to showcase landscape-inspired art

January 24, 2012
By cnp
Posted in Art

Clarksville, Ark. --- University of the Ozarks Assistant Professor of Art Dawn Holder will present her art exhibit "Terra Excerpta" throughout the month of February in the university's Stephens Gallery.

The exhibit is part of the University’s Artist of the Month Series and will run from Jan. 30 to March 1 in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, in the gallery.

Holder, who joined the Ozarks faculty in July 2011, grew up in Atlanta and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and her master’s degree in fine arts from Rhode Island School of Design. Her exhibit features landscape-based installations, which combine delicate porcelain sculptures and a variety of mixed media. She said her show’s title, Terra Excerpta, which means "selected or extracted land," is a play on phrases such as terra firma (solid ground) and terra incognita (unknown land).

"Terra Excerpta refers to my carefully crafted and delicate bits of landscape, which, through the act of creation and installation, have been plucked out of their natural context, the outside world, and have been placed into an artificial gallery setting," Holder said. "This fabricated landscape blurs the lines between interior and exterior space, using the white cube of the gallery to frame the boundaries of the outside world.  By recreating these natural forms, I am mimicking society’s desire to sculpt, tend, manicure and otherwise control their natural environment."

Holder said that the word "landscape" refers to the "visible features of an area of land:  physical elements of terrain and land formations; groundcover and vegetation; human-made buildings and structures; and the transitory elements of light and weather. The idea of landscape encompasses the integration of both natural and cultural elements, for the existence of landscape is predicated on either humankind’s appreciation or manipulation of the natural world. My work employs the trope of landscape as a metaphorical, terrestrial, emotional, and psychological space."

"My installations are a reliquary of time and labor, populated by a proliferation of repeated forms, ranging from the natural to the artificial.  These spaces are uncanny, dreamlike environments, into which the viewer may wander and become immersed.  I enjoy the directness of working with clay, its sensitivity and tactile qualities, as well as its versatile range of historical and haptic associations.  My work incorporates a diverse range of other materials, taking into account both their cultural associations and their sensory qualities."

The exhibit is free and open to the public on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Ozarks Assistant Professor of Art Dawn Holder will present her art exhibit Terra Excerpta throughout the month of February.