Vernacular Architecture

These works and curated shows inspired by vernacular architecture and the vanishing American rural lifestyle.

 Barn Relics
64" x 24' x 18"
mixed media construction



The silo type structure is an old banister off a building that was in Ephraim, UT salvaged from demolition for me by Adam Larsen. The objects in the drawers are what I imagine a youth stashing in the nooks and crannies of a barn. It was a fun piece to construct.




 Lifeline

The glass jar suspended below the barn structure, built around the other salvaged banister, contains water with growing algae and micro lilies. I like the conceptual tie of the water that does not look desirable to drink yet it supports life to an old barn that looks dead and forgotten but may not be.










Senior Class Portraits
This is an installation of 40 images of barns taken by Shawn Herndon, David Gianfredi, and myself. They are all 4"x 4" mounted to foam core. The grid is flexible depending on space. I now have 100 more images taken on my travels to Idaho and Washington to add to this piece for the next installation. My wife might be correct in thinking I currently have a slight obsession with barns.

 
Beyond Structure:

Representations of the American Barn

One hundred years ago over sixty percent of Americans lived in a rural community, most of those on family farms. Today that number has plummeted to below fifteen percent. In the face of sweeping urbanization, industrialization, and globalization, the American landscape has changed. The rural lifestyle, once the foundation of American society, is eroding. The barn, formerly the center of the family farm, is obsolete.


In times of rapid change individuals and communities cling to that which is old, familiar, and comfortable. We strive to hold fast to the seemingly stable and unchanging. Each of the artists featured in this exhibition utilize the image of a barn in their work because of its place in the vernacular landscape. Whether idealized or captured in a state of decay, these artists recognize that these seminal buildings are reminders of a way of life that these structures supported and sustained. They represented a life rooted in the land that still emulates the qualities of hard work, self-sufficiency, frugality, courage, solidarity, and strength.  It is a life that is mindful and compassionate of the community. Indeed, maybe that is why the image of the barn is more important now than it ever was before. These images are not just nostalgic reminders of what is lost but a recognition of what is at stake in an ever-changing world.

This show was shown in three different locations
The Granary, Ephraim, UT  May - Sept. 2016
B.F. Larsen Gallery, BYU, Provo, UT Oct - Nov 2016
Jacob Spori Gallery, BYU-I, Rexburg, ID June - July 2017

 

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