CLINTON — The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at the Hamilton College campus will host the exhibit, “Elias Sime: Tightrope,” now through Dec. 8.
Tightrope, refers to the precarious balance between the progress technology has made possible and its detrimental impact on the environment. More than 25 works of art of varying scales are on display.
Sime’s brightly colored tableaus are made from found materials including thread, buttons, bottle caps, electrical wires, and computer detritus. Repurposing salvaged electronic components — such as circuits and keyboards — that the artist often buys at the open-air market in his hometown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he lives and works, Sime creates his intricately woven compositions. These works highlight the often overlooked or unseen beauty of the humble materials he employs as well as the problems of environmental sustainability they present.
As part of the exhibition, the artist created a site-specific sculpture at the Wellin Museum titled, Flowers & Roots, inspired by peonies found in Hamilton’s gardens, with their twisted and complicated roots exposed. Flowers & Roots was constructed with the assistance of a group of students during the summer. At more than 9 feet tall and 17 feet wide, the work is comprised of repurposed computer parts, electrical wire, bronze and cement.
In addition, the exhibition includes a selection of works from his earlier series Ants and Ceramicists, comprising stitched yarn on dyed canvas and often incorporating found objects within the stitching, a commentary on the resiliency and community of both ants and traditional artisans.
The Wellin Museum’s open storage evokes a modern-day cabinet of curiosities, with objects representing a wide range of media, time periods and disciplines of study. The floor-to-ceiling glass cases in the museum’s Archive Hall feature highlights from the teaching collection as well as works on loan. Among the objects on view are Greek and Roman antiquities, art of the ancient Americas, and Native American pottery and rattles.
Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays. Call 315-859-4396, visit www.hamilton.edu/wellin.