Architecture defines us as a culture, it encompasses the places we live, the structures we build to hold our cultural wealth, our places of worship, and our government institutions. We can trace our history through architecture by looking at the way buildings were constructed and maintained, or altered to fit a new cultural use. The theme of architecture in art has been a focus of mine not only in my personal work but it has been an element that has attracted my attention in the work many other artists. Curating this show has allowed me to explore the depths of this diverse theme and pull together artists from many different disciplines. When selecting the artists for the exhibit I wanted to present a diversity in the media represented as well as a diversity in the type of architecture depicted. There are skyscrapers, ancient landmarks, tract houses, futuristic cities, vernacular architecture of Africa, images of the future, and images of the past all represented in the exhibit.
The title “Building the Future” draws from the idea that the structures we build mark a specific place in time. However, these structures are made, for the most part, to last well into the future. Some buildings may remain hundreds of years, cycling through a multitude of updates, renovations, and repurposes, while others are left to crumble into ruins. Whatever the fate of these structures they all mark time through the way they are used or misused. Every time we as a culture construct a new building we are making a mark on our future. Art and Architecture are inextricably bound, and the convergence of these two interlocked elements of society create a captivating reflection of each other.
Trends within cultures ebb and flow through the structures societies build and the objects housed within those structures; one influencing the other in equal measure. Art and architecture reveal the values within a society and are part of what define a culture beyond written history. Every artistic movement throughout history has left its mark. From the exuberance of movement found in Late Baroque design, to the hard edge geometry of the De Stijl movement of the early 20th century, these waves of influence have been an evolution of or a reaction against the cultural ideals which preceded them.
I would like to thank all of the artists who participated in this collection of works inspired by architecture. Eric Baillies, Emily Belknap, Mark Bradley-Shoup, Rachel Bruya, Karl Borgeson, Mary Fischer, Rick Hintze, Richard Jones, Michael Kautzer, Ted Lott, Marissa Mackey, Ryan Myers, Andy Rubin, Allan Servoss, Trina May Smith, and Eric Thomas Wolever.
Ann Orlowski, Curator