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Press Release

Contact:
Eric Sloss
412-268-5765

For immediate release:
July 25, 2005

Carnegie Mellon's Regina Gouger Miller Gallery Presents Groundworks: Environmental Collaboration in Contemporary Art

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Regina Gouger Miller Gallery will present an exhibition entitled Groundworks: Environmental Collaboration in Contemporary Art, curated by Grant Kester, running October 14 through December 11, 2005. Groundworks is an outgrowth of a five-year project by 3 Rivers 2nd Nature in Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts interdisciplinary research facility, the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. The exhibition is being organized by the Jenny Strayer, director of the Miller Gallery, and will travel to additional venues, to be announced. A series of artist talks will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition and a formal symposium will take place October 15 and 16. Scheduling and additional information will be posted on www.cmu.edu/millergallery as it becomes available.

"From debates over global warming and Alaskan oil drilling to the impact of suburban sprawl on the countryside, an understanding of the environment has never been more important. Groundworks will give viewers the opportunity to see projects by some of the most innovative artists and art collectives working on environmental issues today," said Kester. "The exhibit is truly global in scope, with participants from Argentina, Austria, Japan, India, Germany and England, as well as the United States. The sculptures, models, installations, maps and images on display run the gamut from Ichi Ikeda's 80,000 Liter Water box project to Navjot Altaf's remarkable designs for water pumps in rural India to Park Fiction's magical urban park-as-art work in Hamburg, Germany."

Groundworks will feature project documentation, images, drawings, wall texts, diagrams and maps that are intended to inspire conversation about new developments in art and environmental activism. The exhibition will provide an overview of recent projects, bringing more established practitioners into conversation with emerging groups in the United States, England, Austria, Japan and Argentina including Ala Plastica, Jackie Brookner, Tim Collins and Reiko Goto, Stephanie Flom, Ann Rosenthal, GroundZero Action Network, The Harrison Studio, Walter Hood and Alma Du Solier, Ichi Ikeda, Tom and Connie Merriman, Laurie Palmer, Park Fiction, Platform and WochenKlausur.

The exhibition will feature documentation from a series of long-term residency projects in which national and regional artists worked collaboratively with the residents of communities and neighborhoods in the Monongahela River valley through 3 Rivers 2nd Nature. The exhibition features projects from these artists, working in Western Pennsylvania, in the context of a growing national and international environmental art movement.

"These resulted in a range of inspired proposals for re-imagining the future of Pittsburgh's urban and rural spaces and will encourage visitors to see the city in an entirely new way. The exhibit, which also features a large media component including video and computer-based projects, should be of interest to fans of contemporary art as well as anyone with a desire to challenge their preconceptions about the natural world and our relationship to it," Kester said.

The Regina Gouger Miller Gallery is producing a fully illustrated color catalogue that will accompany the exhibition. Since so much of the work in the Groundworks exhibition crosses disciplinary boundaries between art and activism, science and policy, a diverse team of scholars will provide catalogue essays, including noted scholars: Maurine Greenwald, associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Pittsburgh; Maria Kaika, university lecturer in urban geography at Oxford University; Andrew Light, assistant professor of environmental philosophy and director of the Environmental Conservation Education Program at New York University; Grant H. Kester, associate professor of art history at the University of California, San Diego; and Malcolm Miles, reader in cultural theory, School of Art and Design, University of Plymouth.

Altria, Inc., The Heinz Endowments, The Andy Warhol Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation have provided funding for the exhibition.

The Regina Gouger Miller Gallery opened in January 2000 with the mission to support the creation, growth and understanding of contemporary art through exhibitions, projects, events and publications. The gallery aspires to engage diverse audiences, to create and strengthen communities through art, and to stimulate, provoke and encourage contemplation of the visual arts of our times. The Miller Gallery is free and open to the public. It is located in the Purnell Center for the Arts on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.5 p.m. and by appointment. Visitor parking is available in the East Campus parking garage off Forbes Avenue and on weekends in the Morewood parking lot.

For more information about the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, visit www.cmu.edu/millergallery or contact Jenny Strayer at 412-268-3877 or jstrayer@andrew.cmu.edu. For any other information, please contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or ecs@andrew.cmu.edu.

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