The University of Indianapolis is hosting an art exhibition in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center that concludes on Feb. 17, according to UIndy 360. The exhibit is titled “39.7684° N, 86.1581°,” which are the GPS coordinates of the gallery at UIndy, according to University of Tennessee Associate Professor of Art Jason Brown. Brown said the exhibition is meant to show the relationship between humans and the natural world.
“The exhibition is intended to be educational, but also hopefully a catalyst for conversation about a lot of issues of land use, water rights and land sovereignty,” Brown said.
Brown said “39.7684° N, 86.1581°” uses a variety of media to convey the different aspects of human impact on the environment. According to Brown, his piece uses raw coal in order to show the effects the coal mining industry has had on the Appalachian landscape.
“As you can see, this piece behind me here is one of many sculptures in which I just use raw coal as a reference to energy consumption. And there’s a piece in the gallery that I have there that has coal from Eastern Kentucky,” Brown said. Brown’s sculpture is made of coal and LED lights. “It’s part of my ongoing series about the impact of extractive industries on Appalachia.”
Brown is part of a group of artists called the Land Report Collective that has held exhibitions since Jan. 2015, according to Land Report Collective. Brown said that artists in Land Report Collective have always put motifs of climate and environmental impact into their art, while at the same time consistently updating their work.
“From the beginning, all of us were interested in ideas about human relationships to landscape and the natural environment, and the exhibitions are always a different and ever-changing collection of artwork,” Brown said.
According to Brown, the artists’ time as college professors has geared the group to focus on having exhibitions in colleges and universities.
“Half of us are teaching college students. It’s our bread and butter—our day jobs—but it’s also our passion, and then it’s a natural extension of a lot of our networks being connected to art and education,” Brown said.
According to UIndy 360, the exhibition’s final date, Feb. 17, will host a reception from 4-6 p.m. Brown said that the reception will allow students and faculty to communicate with the artists about the exhibition.
The group will head to Birmingham, Ala. to put on their next exhibition according to Land Report Collective. The exhibition will be open August through October of 2023 at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
“We’re always looking for more opportunities. We have a new member from Atlanta who’s [going to] be joining us for that show in Birmingham” Brown said. “We don’t have anything scheduled in 2024 yet, but I would imagine there are things on the horizon.”