Museum Features Umass Faculty Member Installation Art

Miami, FL Dartmouth, MA The installation artwork of Rebecca Hutchinson, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Assistant Professor of Ceramics, will be featured at the Lowe Museum in Miami, FL, now through November 9, 2003.

Miami, FL/ Dartmouth, MA—The installation artwork of Rebecca Hutchinson, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Assistant Professor of Ceramics, will be featured at the Lowe Museum in Miami, FL, now through November 9, 2003. 

Installation art is site-specific and usually consists of an ensemble of objects or effects that work together to create a whole. Artists deal with their own thematic concerns and consistently string certain elements throughout their installations. Although Installation art usually presents itself in the context of the gallery, it is not typical gallery art because it has little, if any, commercial value. Installation art must be displayed and subsequently dismantled, leaving documentation as its only trace. 

Entitled “Connected,” Hutchinson’s installation at the Lowe Museum uses organic materials and addresses concerns for the totality of ecosystem function. Her interests span investigation into collaborative, parasitic, and symbiotic ecosystem relationships. The work is comprised of multiple site forms, the components of which are pegged and woven. All woven forms are made from sisal fiber combined with porcelain clay and are woven on traditional warp structures that provide diversity in construction and directional flow of the piece. Hutchinson works within ceramic traditions of vessel making and material, but also moves into issues of collaboration, presentation, time, and environmental concerns. 

“My work is about the investigation of place, the nature of site and how object is incorporated or functions within the parameters of space,” said Hutchinson. “I find it important to work with the physical realities of the space as well as investigate the site’s cultural and environmental history. Through this observation and study of site, I utilize what I perceive to be the dilemma of place, building site responsive installation pieces.” 

The installation at the Lowe Museum is influenced by developmental theory and ecosystem research, according to Hutchinson, with specific reference to nesting and colonization habits of insects and birds. “My interest lies in the totality of ecosystem function; the diverse components within ecosystems that provides collaborative, parasitic and symbiotic relationships. This ecosystem research provides a myriad of metaphorical possibilities and structural directions.” 

The installations are comprised of multiple site forms, components are either handbuilt, press molded or woven. “In each installation, I am concerned with working closely with the sensitivity of how multiple forms interact in their placement to one another as well as within the space.” 

“Because my work is large scale and site specific, it crosses disciplines with ease,” she added. “It becomes multi-dimensional, working within the ceramics tradition of vessel and material as well as moves into issues of collaboration, presentation, time based work, and environmental concerns. The work has involved community groups, bringing together diverse peoples of varying interests working within the dynamics of the projects.” 

Hutchinson’s installation work has been displayed around the country and around the world, most recently at the Hartford School of Art (Hartford, CT), Northern Clay Center (Minneapolis, MN), University of North Carolina (Charlotte), the Edge Gallery (Denver, CO), Berea College (Berea, KY), and Allegheny College (Meadville, PA). 

Her outdoor site installations and collaborative projects include a site project at the University of Louisville (KY), an NEA Commissioned Clay Odyssey Site Project at the Archie Bray Foundation (MT), the Tucson Adobe Project at the University of Arizona, and an NEA Commissioned NCECA Site Project at the Arapahoe Community College (Littleton, CO). 

Hutchinson has received numerous awards, including the Healy Public Service Grant from UMass Dartmouth, a Sachem grant as part of the SouthCoast ecosystems workshop series (Woods Hole, MA), a UMass Dartmouth Pea Grant, Artist Fellowship Grant Panelist for the Virginia Commission for the Arts (Richmond, VA) and Resident Artist at Greenwich House Pottery (New York). 

A frequent workshop lecturer and guest artist, this year Hutchinson has served as a Visiting Lecturer at the Lowe Museum of Art (Miami, FL), Visiting Artist at the University of Louisville (KY), Workshop Presenter at the Appalachian Crafts Center (Smithsville, TN), and the Peters Valley Craft Center (Layton, NJ). 

For more information about this Installation project or her other work, contact Rebecca Hutchinson at (508) 910-6683. For information about the Lowe Museum, visit http://www.lowemuseum.org/. 


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