Daily Archives: April 28, 2008

“Big Box Reuse” by Julia Christensen coming this fall

Henry R. Luce Visiting Professor of the Emerging Arts Julia Christensen has recently finished writing a book that will be published this fall by the MIT press. This is their description of her work:

America is becoming a container landscape of big boxes connected by highways. When a big box store upsizes to an even bigger box “supercenter” down the road, it leaves behind more than the vacant shell of a retail operation; it leaves behind a changed landscape that can’t be changed back. Acres of land have been paved around it. Highway traffic comes to it; local roads end at it. With thousands of empty big box stores spread across America, these vistas have become a dominant feature of the American landscape.

In Big Box Reuse, Julia Christensen shows us how ten communities have addressed this problem, turning vacated Wal-Marts and Kmarts into something else: a church, a library, a school, a medical center, a courthouse, a recreation center, a museum, or other more civic-minded structures. In each case, what was once a shopping destination becomes a center of community life.

Christensen crisscrossed America identifying these projects, then photographed, videotaped, and interviewed the people involved. The first-person accounts and color photographs of Big Box Reuse reveal the hidden stories behind the transformation of these facades into gateways of community life. Whether a big box store becomes a “Senior Resource Center” or a museum devoted to Spam (the kind that comes in a can), each renovation displays a community’s resourcefulness and creativity–but also raises questions about how big box buildings affect the lives of communities. What does it mean for us and for the future of America if the spaces of commerce built by a few monolithic corporations become the sites where education, medicine, religion, and culture are dispensed wholesale to the populace?

Watch for this book in your libraries and bookstores this fall!

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Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Visiting Artist


Update: Georgia Wall wins top prize at AICUO

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO) awarded prizes to senior art students from private colleges throughout Ohio in Columbus on April 21st for Excellence in the Visual Arts. The top prize winner was Oberlin Senior Art Major Georgia Wall. She was the Grand Award Winner out of six top prize winners. She will receive a $2,500 cash award and the AICUO will also purchase a work of art from her for their collection. Her Senior Studio and Thesis exhibition and performance was this Saturday, April 26th at 10:30 p.m. at 186-2 W. College Street.
Stone Skirt, Georgia Wall

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Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Uncategorized


Oberlin Professor Pipo Nguyen-duy at MICA

This Thursday, May 1, Associate Professor of Art Pipo Nguyen-duy will be travelling to Maryland to speak at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). The talk, sponsored by the department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at MICA, will be at noon in Bunting Room 420, if you are in the Baltimore area. In the lecture, Pipo will focus on his work’s relation to themes of postcolonialism and globalization.

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Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Uncategorized


Reaction to AMAM “Running the Numbers”

from the AMAM websiteIf you haven’t been to the Chris Jordan exhibit “Running the Numbers,” yet, here’s another reason why. Steven Litt of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently wrote a very favorable review of the exhibtion, that can be found here. Litt describes the exhibition as a “Malthusian moment,” and says the work is “both haunting thought-provoking. Most important, it’s relevant.” Jordan has been making his rounds in the national media, too, appearing on the “Bill Moyers Journal,” “The Colbert Report,” and “The Rachel Ray Show.” The exhibition, in the Ellen Johnson wing of the Allen Art Museum, runs until June 8.

Read more about the exhibition at the Allen here.

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Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Allen Museum