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Photography exhibit features tornadoes’ destruction

August 23, 2011
By cnp
Posted in Exhibit

Clarksville, Ark. --- Russellville photographer Liz Chrisman will present her exhibit "Between Tree Lines: a memoir" throughout September at the University of the Ozarks' Stephens Gallery as part of the University's Artist of the Month series.

The exhibit is the first one of the 2011 Fall Semester and will run from Sept. 1 through Sept. 28 in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, in the gallery.

"Between Tree Lines: a memoir" is an exhibition of unpublished photographs captured two months after the devastating tornadoes that hit the region in the spring of 2011. According to Chrisman, the collection features "peeks into the pieces of humanity appearing through the wreckage in a variety of places from Denning, Arkansas, all the way to Joplin, Missouri."

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"Between Tree Lines: a memoir" is an exhibition of unpublished photographs captured two months after tornadoes ripped through parts of Arkansas and Missouri.

Chrisman, a 2009 graduate of Arkansas Tech University who is pursuing a master’s degree in multi-media journalism, said a church she grew up in, volunteer cleanup efforts, and jaded controversy all inspired her to document and present the destruction left by the tornadoes.

"The church that was destroyed in Denning on May 25 was the one I grew up in; the one my mother was married in; where I felt the purest of energy in," she said. "I was the last to document its standing on April 25, 2010. Volunteering efforts of cleanup in Joplin put me face to face with a lot of feelings about materialism, community and hope. In July, I travelled to six different city sites that were affected by the month of tornadoes and waiting two months aided in my endeavor as I was able to proceed unnoticed. Jaded controversy has fueled me to make a statement with this body of work: When tragedy strikes, it knows no face, no emotional value and no population statistics. There are no city or place indications in this work for that reason and each piece has been paired with careful selection and titled in an ambiguous manner to preserve a significant meaning."

According to Chrisman, 50 percent of the profits made from selling her photography in the exhibit will be donated to the American Red Cross to aid the communities that were hit by the tornadoes. For more information on the exhibit or the Artist of the Month Series, please contact the University’s Humanities and Fine Arts Division at 479-979-1349.