‘Distorted Senses of Proportion’ at MVCC has lecture, exhibit

Published Mar 15, 2017 at 4:00pm

UTICA — Artist Rachel Abrams will present the lecture “Distorted Senses of Proportion” at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in Information Technology Building room 225 at Mohawk Valley Community College.

The lecture will be followed by an opening reception for her exhibit of the same name — an installation of work related to environmental concerns — in the Juergensen Gallery across the hall.

Her “Distorted Senses of Proportion” will be on view until May 5. Gallery hours are 1-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Abrams’ lecture will discuss how artists can use their work to inform and engage a community into action, using her dedication to environmental conservatism and experiences as examples. She also will discuss how students can translate what they are learning into various careers within the arts, drawing on her own experience as a preparator at the Museum of Modern Art and assistant to the director of operations of The Drawing Center. She will demonstrate archival techniques for storing and handling art, variations in hanging devices, and considerations when installing artwork in a public or private setting.

The exhibit includes sculptural installations and mixed-media works that focus on how ecosystems and life cycles are affected by climate change, overpopulation, and invasive species. Action and consequence will be addressed through the exhibition of works focused on endemic versus non-native flora and fauna. Each fragmentation of the gallery space will reflect an ecosystem.

Drawings and sculptures will be both environment and invasive. The blurring of endemic and introduced will put to question placement, time, and consequence.

The exhibit title is a slight modification to a phrase from “Silent Spring,” Rachel Carson’s text from 1962, which addresses our environmental actions and the ensuing consequences.

“Future historians may well be amazed by our distorted sense of proportion. How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?”

Abrams lives and works in Brooklyn, and has had several national solo exhibitions. She earned her master of fine arts degree in glass from Alfred University and her bachelor’s of fine arts in studio art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.