Import/Export Art Exhibition Brings Global Perspective to Kent Campus

Kent State School of Art professors Joseph L. Underwood, assistant professor of art history, and J. Leigh Garcia, assistant professor of print media and photography, collaborated to co-curate an international, outdoor art exhibition. They have partnered with The Global Understanding Research Initiative (GURI) on a juried exhibition entitled “Import/Export,” which invites artists to reflect on the ways in which imports and exports affect their local spaces. 

The exhibition consists of 25 images that were selected by juror Dawit Petros, visual artist and professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. More than 100 submissions were received from an international call for art. Each image will be printed onto an 84” x 60” canvas and stretched over a metal frame for display throughout Kent State University’s Kent campus in a public, outdoor exhibition from April 5 through May 15, 2021. A virtual artist talk with Petros will occur on Friday, April 23 at noon. 

“Import/Export” examines how the movement of people, goods, and information affects local communities, politics, economies, and environments. The exhibition explores the impacts of  migration, tourism, food cultures, natural resources, agriculture, manufactured goods, digital information, and cultural expressions.

“The movement of culture is an interesting theme of this project,” Garcia said. “It is very open ended, the theme can be interpreted in many different ways.”

Dr. Underwood also worked on the GURI exhibtion “We The People,” which was showcased on Kent State University’s Kent campus in the fall of 2019 and in downtown Cuyahoga Falls in the fall of 2020. The exhibition featured 25 panel photographs of refugees living within the Northeastern Ohio region. The photos, shot by photographer Erin LaBelle, were accompanied with a short biography and statement. “We The People” closed on December 7, but the Global Understanding Research Initiative continues the theme of global understanding in “Import/Export.”

Learn more on the exhibition webite

POSTED: Friday, March 12, 2021 02:03 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 02:23 PM
Grace Carter