“Mirror Muir: The Cumberland Mountains” is a new exhibition at The Gadsden Museum of Art by collaborative multimedia artists Meredith Laura Lynn and Katie Hargrave. The exhibition explores 19th-century American environmental writer John Muir and his continued legacy in the Southeast. Included in the exhibition are new sculptures, videos, and collages made with imagery the artists captured during a visit to the John Muir Trail in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
The artwork takes John Muir’s 1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf as a starting point. This 19th-century travel diary documents Muir’s own difficulty walking through the rural South, and though the writer’s racist and sexist worldview is apparent, the text has been used by mainstream conservationists to advocate for the preservation of the trail he walked through the Southeast.
Hargrave and Lynn make the John Muir Trail strange by creating sculptures, videos, and collages that distort the experience of being on the trail through the use of mirrors and reflections within the work. Through the work, the artists discuss the overlap of consumerism, mainstream conservation movements, the romanticization of westward expansion, and attitudes towards the outdoors.
About the Artists:
Katie Hargrave (b.1985) and Meredith Laura Lynn (b. 1984) are artists and educators who work collaboratively to explore the historic, cultural, and environmental impacts of public land. Their work has been shown at Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA), the Wiregrass Museum of Art (Dothan, AL), Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN), House Guest Gallery (Louisville, KY), and has been published by Walls Divide Press (Memphis, TN). Together they have been artists in residence at Signal Fire (Portland, OR). Hargrave is based in Chattanooga, TN and recent exhibitions include The Front (New Orleans, LA), Neon Heater (Finley, OH) and Alabama Contemporary Art Center (Mobile, AL). She has been an artist in residence at Epicenter (Green River, UT), Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts (Rabun Gap, GA), and the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT). Lynn is based in Tallahassee, FL. Her solo work has recently been shown at the Morris Graves Museum of Art (Eureka, CA), Miami University of Ohio (Oxford, OH), and the Alexander Brest Gallery (Jacksonville, FL). She has been artist in residence at the Jentel Foundation (Sheridan, WY), the Kimmel Harding Nelson (Nebraska City, NE), and the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT). Hargrave and Lynn met at the University of Iowa, where they both earned MFAs. katiehargrave.com meredithlauralynn.com
March 4, 2022 – April 30, 2022