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The Places We Live: Social Practice Artworks

Lexington, Ky.— Transylvania University’s Morlan Gallery presents “The Places We Live,” an exhibition of artists working in social engagement from Feb. 21 through March 29.

Six social intervention artists from across the U.S. will activate local and regional spaces while exhibiting tangible art objects from those programmed interventions. The artists include Meredith Knapp Brickell, Wes Janz and Sean Starowitz of Indianapolis; Maria Lind Blevins of Morehead, Ky.; Mark Menjivar of San Antonio, Texas; and Michael Strand of Fargo, N.D.

Social practice artists embrace a variety of methods to engage with community, both directly and indirectly. Brickell is one the artists who decided to work directly with the Lexington community. Over the last six months, she has travelled frequently to meet with a group of girls from the Northside neighborhood. This group of 7-11 year-olds—called Busy Bees—has ventured into neighborhoods with cameras and notepads to document communities. The project, titled “Sidewalk Stories,” also has been facilitated by neighborhood resident Felice Salmon. It will culminate in a Busy Bee-created fanzine, which will be on display in the Morlan Gallery as part of a larger in-gallery installation documenting the project.

A variety of other social interventions will be included in “The Places We Live”—including Menjivar’s “My Sadness Goes On and On…,” a listening station of collected sad songs submitted to him from contributors around the world. Also, Janz’s installation, “Crazy for Cages,” examines the U.S. prison industrial complex.

Morlan Gallery, located in Transylvania’s Mitchell Fine Arts Center, is open weekdays noon to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed the week of March 13 for spring break.


Special events and hours


Art Talk with professor Emily Goodman, “What is Social Practice Art?” | Wednesday, March 1, 5:30 p.m.

Weekend Hours | Sunday, March 5, 2-4 p.m.

Evening Hours | Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 17, 5-8 p.m. 

Lexington Gallery Hop | Friday, March 17, 5-8 p.m.

Film Screening and Panel Discussion with Sean Starowitz and Appalshop | TBA

Art Talk with Sean Starowitz Wednesday, March 22, 5:30 p.m.

Art Talk with Meredith Knapp Brickell and Wes Janz | Wednesday, March 29, 5:30 p.m.

Closing Reception for the Artists | Wednesday, March 29, 6:30-8 p.m.