Nancy Holt: Massachusetts

November 11 - December 10, 2021

Nancy Holt (American 1938-2014) Detail of Electrical System, 1982, installed at UMass Dartmouth in 2021. Photographer: Viera Levitt. Courtesy Holt/Smithson Foundation. © Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York
Nancy Holt (American 1938-2014) Detail of Electrical System, 1982, installed at UMass Dartmouth in 2021. Photographer: Viera Levitt. Courtesy Holt/Smithson Foundation. © Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS, New York

UMass Dartmouth hosts the multi-part exhibition Nancy Holt: Massachusetts, a major celebration of the renowned multimedia artist Nancy Holt and her connections to Massachusetts, and the Southcoast region. As part of this exhibition, CVPA Campus Gallery will host the first posthumous United States exhibition of Holt’s Electrical System (1982).

This exhibition opens November 11th at both the CVPA Campus Gallery at the UMass Dartmouth Campus, and the Univerisity Art Gallery at the Star Store Campus.

Exhibition Catalog

Symposium November 11, 2021

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Nancy Holt, Electrical System II: Bellman Circuit (1982) David Bellman Gallery, Toronto, Canada - 3/4 in. steel conduit, lighting and electrical fixtures, light bulbs, electrical wire - Length: 55 ft. (16.7 m); Width: 24 ft. (7.3 m); Height: 9 1⁄2 ft.(2.9 m) © Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS.
Nancy Holt, Electrical System II: Bellman Circuit (1982) David Bellman Gallery, Toronto, Canada - 3/4 in. steel conduit, lighting and electrical fixtures, light bulbs, electrical wire - Length: 55 ft. (16.7 m); Width: 24 ft. (7.3 m); Height: 9 1⁄2 ft.(2.9 m) © Holt/Smithson Foundation, Licensed by VAGA at ARS.

Electrical System is a room-sized sculpture by Holt that was exhibited at John Weber Gallery in New York City in January 1982 and at the David Bellman Gallery in Toronto in February 1982. The work is part of Holt’s series of Systems Works that reveal infrastructures of the built environment; each presentation works carefully with the exhibition space.

This dynamic, large-scale illuminated artwork responds to the specifics of each exhibition space. In the last academic year, three senior UMass Dartmouth electrical engineering students, Shedricke Mulbah, Derrick Manu, and Matthew LaVoie, worked closely with the Foundation, and CVPA Technician Shingo Furukawa, on designing this immersive room of bent circuits.

“This was my first time doing something like this — creating a structural piece and coming up with designs based on the historical specifications. When we finally got to the end of the project, the finished project will look just as it was in the pictures. Seeing the results of how everything turned out was marvelous — just knowing that we, as a team, completed the project,” said Shedricke Mulbah, an Electrical Engineering senior from Worcester, MA.

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Electrical Engineering students Shedricke Mulbah and Matthew LaVoie working on the prototype for Nancy Holt’s Electrical System, 1982. Photograph by Shingo Furukawa, Professional Technician.
Electrical Engineering students Shedricke Mulbah and Matthew LaVoie working on the prototype for Nancy Holt’s Electrical System, 1982. Photograph by Shingo Furukawa, Professional Technician.


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