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Stark Museum of Art explores the meaning of Home

Stark Museum of Art explores the meaning of home in its latest exhibition “The West as Home,” which began July 23, 2021. Over 100 works of art and two videos present different aspects of the concept of home through the eyes of artists of the West. Sections on land, shelter, interior space, and family address how artists interpret their ideas of home. Reflecting on what the concept has meant for others can help us to define what home means to us today. The exhibition remains on view through January 22, 2022.

“We are so glad to have you back home,” Stark Art and History Venues Director Trina Nelson Thomas said at an Open Reception Friday.

Curator Sarah E. Boehme, Ph D said it was refreshing to see so many after 16 months of no events due to COVID.

“There are three ways to define home: dwellings, interior spaces and family,” Boehme said. “We hope this exhibit offers new perspectives while engaging visual questions and spark curiosity.”

Highlights of the exhibition include three new acquisitions for the Stark Museum of Art’s collection.  “Covered Wagon under Clouds in Desert Landscape” by Albert Groll and “Brother Eagle” by Thomas Blackshear II reveals the importance of land as a home place. A “Guest Book” with the cover carved by Andy Anderson serves as a reminder that a home can be a haven for visitors as well as occupants.

A video interview with artist Linda Lomahaftewa with examples of her work provides a contemporary artist’s concept of home. A second video of the Couse-Sharp Historic Site gives a view of the homes and gardens created by two of the painters in the exhibition, E.I. Couse and Joseph Henry Sharp.

Other works on view for the first time include two paintings of house interiors by John Young-Hunter and a grouping of photogravures documenting different types of houses by Edward S. Curtis. The importance of the environment can be seen in “Old Galisteo” by the ever-popular Fremont F. Ellis and “December Afternoon” by Gene Kloss, an artist new to the collection.

”The West as Home is the newest exhibit from our permanent collection. You will see a range of artworks curated to explore the associations we make when considering the meaning of home,” Ryan Farrell, Director, Exhibitions and Collections, said.

“COVID-19 presented challenges and great opportunities as our exhibit team worked to expand the lens of the story of The West as Home. The exhibition features two videos highlighting the artwork of Linda Lomahaftewa (Hopi/Choctaw) and The Couse-Sharp Historic Site in Taos, New Mexico. The artist interview featuring Linda Lomahaftewa prompts visitors to consider the West from the perspective of a contemporary indigenous artist and to explore how her work intersects with the works on view in the exhibition. The video from The Couse-Sharp Historic Site explains why Taos, New Mexico was the chosen home of artists in the Taos Society of Artists. Both videos contribute significantly to our understanding of how the west is viewed as home,” Jennifer Restauri Dickinson, Director, Education said.

The exhibition includes the works of artists from different backgrounds, both Euro-American and indigenous.

“After a year of spending time at home, we thought this would be a good opportunity to consider how we think and feel about home. Our focus on the West also highlights the reality that home can be both a welcoming spot and a contested place. A museum exhibition can be a place for perspective on that history,” Boehme said.

Live music was provided by David Gonzalez and friends.

The exhibition includes sections on land, shelter, interior space, and family and addresses how artists interpret their ideas of home. Reflecting on what the concept has meant for others can help us to define what home means to us today.

The Stark Museum of Art houses one of the nation’s most significant collections of American Western art and is located in the heart of downtown historic Orange, Texas. Paintings, sculptures, prints, and rare books interpret the West from 19th-century frontier artists to the 20th century artistic colonies in New Mexico and focus on the stunning land, dramatic people, and diverse wildlife of the American West. The Museum features artists such as Frederic Remington, John James Audubon, John Mix Stanley, and Charles Marion Russell. Also featured is a significant collection of American Indian objects, including baskets, pottery, clothing and jewelry.

Stark Museum of Art is located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange and is open Wednesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, visit Starkmuseum.org