Held from Beneath: An Exploration of Cultural Sustainability includes an exhibition and events featuring visual art, poetry, music and performance that explore the concept of cultural sustainability. The exhibit features: Andy Perez, Camera Lucida (Roxell Karr & Jon Silpayamanant), Cynthia Norton/Ninnie Noises, David Iacovazzi-Pau, Erin Keane, Joyce Ogden, Rowland Ricketts, Russel Hulsey, Sara Soltau, Shelley Vaughn Hulsey, Shohei Katayama and Susanna Crum. These artists all participated in a day-long workshop on cultural sustainability with Dr. Rory Turner, who writes, “When we grapple with the challenges of sustainability, we need to consider not only the science of our impacts on the environment, but also the beliefs, values, and practices we engage in as participants and creators of a culture.” He goes on to say, “Looking forward, we need cultural innovation and creativity in envisioning and designing livable and environmentally friendly communities. If we look inward, we just might discover that the things we really care about most, the heart of our culture and of our humanity, are simple things, the warmth of friends and family, the beauty of nature and the arts, good chat, healthy nourishing food, and so on, things that we do not have to destroy the planet to acquire.”
About Held from Beneath, Carnegie Center curator Karen Gillenwater writes, “Much of the conversation among the artists has related to our geographic location and the aspects of this area, both cultural and environmental, that make it unique and sustain us. We have a shared culture that resides within the common experiences that we have of Southern Indiana and Louisville, whether we interact with the community as residents over years, or as visitors for a short time.” For this exhibit, the artists have created works of art, poetry and music in response to these ideas. Erin Keane was inspired to write a series of poems, exploring memories and the elements of daily life that make this place unique. Artist Andy Perez has created painted collages illustrating many of the visual elements and icons of the region. An installation by Camera Lucida features visual and sound elements culled from the artists’ interactions with local people and places.
Painter David Iacovazzi-Pau has created portraits of local residents who embody cultural or environmental sustainability. The diversity in our unique experiences and memories of shared spaces is explored by printmaker Susanna Crum in her cyanotype prints about Fontaine Ferry Park. And, through an interactive project, fiber artist Rowland Ricketts seeks to highlight the importance of relationships between individuals and the impact of those relationships on awareness of cultural practices within a community, while sculptor Joyce Ogden explores customs and practices around food and agriculture using the black currant plant as a metaphor.