Arts & Culture

Bolivar Art Gallery Presents New Online Exhibits Exploring Concepts of Home, Truth

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photo of "Terrestrial Apparatus Poised for Lights Out" by Casey McGuire
photo of work from in "PROTAGONY: $100 for Truth" Esther Neff created art in response to video by Anya Liftig

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Bolivar Art Gallery is currently presenting two online exhibitions of creative minds from across the nation. “Home As Situation” features the work of over 40 artists examining the concept of home — a place many of us are spending even more time in during a global pandemic. “PROTAGONY: $100 for Truth” is a mulitmedia project organized by Esther Neff exploring the concept of truth through the lens of 12 artists. Both shows are free to the public on the Bolivar Art Gallery website now through Dec. 4.

“Home As Situation” addresses notions of home in unexpected ways, challenging traditional notions of home and proposing new approaches to understanding its complexity and fluidity. The exhibit contains work that seeks to examine where ideas of home intersect with themes of cultural identities, colonization, access, refuge, politics of space, labor, community infrastructures and many others.

This exhibition was originally created in 2019, but with the current era of stay at home orders, political unrest and protest against racial injustices, new layers have been added to the artists' collective experience of home. 

“Home As Situation” was curated by Becky Alley, Bolivar Art Gallery director, and Rae Goodwin, professor and director of Foundations in the UK School of Art and Visual Studies.

Click here to view “Home As Situation.”

“PROTAGONY: $100 for Truth” features an assembled body or “jury” of 12 artists: Lorene Bouboushian, IV Castellanos, Christen Clifford, Shawn Escarciga, Ayana Evans, Simone Johnson, Anya Liftig, Iki Nakagawa, Sierra Ortega, Elaine Thap, Bret Schneider and April Vendetta. In this exhibit each artist is offered $100 in exchange for a “statement of truth” in the form of a brief text and three-minute video. Once all videos were received, Esther Neff created interpretations of each artist’s judgments of truth.

Neff is a doctoral candidate at the City University of New York in theatre and performance studies. Founder of Panoply Performance Laboratory, she is a theorist and researcher with work in journals, handbooks and essay collections. Neff created this multimedia project by working with the group of artists to interpret different judgments of truth in brief performances resulting in material remains such as sculptural objects and wall works.

In relation to “Home As Situation,” this social performance frames self-jurisdiction and social substantiation as homeboundings or homebases and acts of truth-evaluation as homing devices. 

Click here to view “PROTAGONY: $100 for Truth.”

While the Bolivar Art Gallery has temporarily closed its doors to visitors and converted its galleries to classroom space, it remains committed to its mission to engage students and the public in contemporary themes and issues meaningfully impacting artistic and curatorial practices.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, part of the College of Fine Arts, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studiesart educationcuratorial studies and digital media design.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.