News Archive

Environment and Art Collide For Annual Berlind Symposium

Free event features panel of artists and scientists

3/12/2009 1:33:16 PM


LYNCHBURG – The Maier Museum of Art will present the 18th Annual Berlind Symposium on March 21 culminating in a panel discussion at 3 p.m. The Symposium is held in conjunction with the 98th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Evolutionary Drift: Works by Sue Johnson and Pam Longobardi.

Panelists will include artists Sue Johnson and Pam Longobardi, marine biologist, Wayne Sentman, and writer, Suzi Gablik.

Sue Johnson, who teaches art at St. Mary’s College in Maryland, explores contemporary themes such as genetic engineering, environmental crises and consumer culture in history, underscoring the artist’s role in picturing knowledge. Pam Longobardi, who teaches art at Georgia State University in Atlanta, addresses the psychological relationship between humans and the natural world, using painting, photography and installations. Her most recent work is created using plastic marine debris. Wayne Sentman, marine biologist with the Oceanic Society, is collaborating with Longobardi on a project centered on direct collection and removal of marine debris from the environment, involving other artists in the transformation of the material to create educational and interactive art.

With her groundbreaking book Has Modernism Failed? (1984), Suzi Gablik was one of the first cultural observers to confront the social situation of contemporary art, and her book struck a chord with a wide audience disillusioned by some modernist ideals. Has Modernism Failed? became one of the most popular and influential works of contemporary art criticism.

A special pre-panel session by Wayne Sentman will be held at 2 p.m. He will present information about various “ecotourism” programs offered by the Oceanic Society.

The panel will begin at 3 p.m. with both artists providing presentations about their source material to give context for the discussion to follow. The panel will be moderated by students Emily Hanson ’09 and Tiffany Robinette, former assistant to Johnson.

The Berlind Symposium is free and open to the public. A reception will follow. The Maier Museum of Art is located at One Quinlan St. For more information contact or 434-947-8136, ext. 3.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations