On the road with artists Katie Hargrave and Meredith Lynn

Even with WMA’s spring quarter still in full swing, the museum’s staff is hard at work making final arrangements for summer exhibitions. Included in the upcoming schedule is Sight Lines, a collaborative project by artists Katie Hargrave and Meredith Lynn, that “explores the mediation of nature through the lens, the vehicle, air conditioning–through modern machines.” 

In preparation for the exhibition, Katie and Meredith recently traveled out west to Joshua Tree, California, and sent us this update from the road. You don’t want to miss this unique exhibition, which opens in WMA’s Blumberg Gallery on the evening of July 18th at Art After Hours and will be on display through September 28.

Greetings from Joshua Tree, California! We write this from a picnic table outside an Airstream trailer parked in the desert, where we have spent the last few days shooting photo and video for our upcoming exhibition at the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

Our project started a couple years ago when we were driving across the country, returning from an artist residency with Signal Fire in eastern Oregon. We noticed how many people experience the United States through an RV, and how those vehicles  facilitate a sort of relationship to nature. We began thinking about the various tools and machines we use to get closer to the wilderness, and how these modern trappings allow access to the outdoors, while always maintaining a safe barrier between us and the outside.

In January, we rented a van, turned it into a camera obscura, and drove it around state parks in Florida. The process involved blacking out all the light into the cargo area of the van (we covered the windows in black sticky plastic) except for one, small hole. That hole acts as a lens, and an image of the outdoors was projected onto the inside of the van. The camera obscura is old technology, the term was first used in 1604, and so it helped us consider the longer history of humans building tools to better understand the natural world.

We decided that we needed a different landscape to capture though, and so we came to the high desert of California. We’ve been living in an old Airstream for the past few days, appreciating the comforts (and inconveniences) of this lifestyle that we’ve been fascinated by for so long. We camera obscured it, and got some footage of the mountains and boulders projected onto the super-efficient furniture and appliances.

We also rented a van again and blacked out the windows and drove it around. This time we focused on Joshua Tree National Park, an area recognized since time immemorial by indigenous peoples and more recent European settlers for its desert oasis, namesake trees, views of the San Andreas Fault, and the unique ecosystem where the Mojave and Colorado Deserts meet.

It’s been an amazing week, and we’re really excited to come home and check out the footage we took. We can’t wait to share the work at the Wiregrass later this summer.

-Katie Hargrave and Meredith Lynn

Youth Art Education Policy

Outside of tours, family days, and open house events, individuals who are not enrolled in a class are not allowed in WMA classrooms except by written permission of the Executive Director. Parents may not join children in the classroom during instruction times in order to ensure an atmosphere conductive to creativity. It is important to limit the number of adults to keep the focus on the kids, their learning, and to accommodate limited seating in the studio. Parents are welcome to stay in the museum during class but must remain outside of the classroom during instruction time.

Museum educators are experienced in creating positive learning environments for all ages and are required to go through a background check to ensure the safety of our students. Parents and guardians are encouraged to visit the studio at the end of class to see what their child has created. All docents and volunteers working with children are also required to go through background checks.

Thank you for understanding our policy and priority on the safety and well-being of participating students.

Throughout the year, WMA will host “Meet the Educator” days where parents and their children can come to the classroom to meet the instructor before beginning classes and camps. 2019’s schedule is as follows: January 30 from 4pm-6pm, May 29 from 4pm-6pm, and August 28 from 4pm-6pm.

Refund Policy

The Wiregrass Museum of Art may cancel any class with insufficient enrollment; students will be notified and given a full refund. If a student withdraws at least 1 week before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for the full cost of the class. If a student withdraws 24 hours before the class begins, he/she will be refunded for half the cost of the class. There are no refunds after the start date of class, and membership fees are nonrefundable. Students are not enrolled until complete payment is received.