Social Geographies: Interpreting Space and Place

January 25, 2014 - May 18, 2014


Gallery Talk + Opening Reception
Sunday, January 26
Opening reception begins at 2:00 p.m.
Gallery Talk at 3:00 p.m. by Guest Curator Dr. Leisa Rundquist


The art world operates within geographic frameworks. Spatial divisions between “inside” and “outside” impact how the art world describes, identifies and validates artists featured within the exhibition, Social Geographies: Interpreting Space and Place. Whether deemed “outsider” – Henry Darger, Martín Ramírez, George Widener – or “self-taught” – Thornton Dial, Sr., Minnie Evans, Lonnie Holley – these artists bear categorical markers that organize their art but do not adequately speak of their art’s unique qualities and circumstances. In response to such prescriptive terms, Social Geographies asks viewers to experience artwork regarded as different, differently. Rather than presenting artists and their work through notions of marginality, the exhibition generates discussions of subjective and shared experiences told through concepts of space and place. To this end, Social Geographies engages artistic agency on multiple levels. The exhibition features 40 mostly large-scale works by American artists that represent space and place informed by their experiences of industrial encroachment, displacement, social exclusion, institutionalization and inequality. Consequently, the show investigates visual ways of mapping such experiences through layered material objects, panoramic formats, cartographic views, chronographic vistas, and visionary and vast worlds.


Social Geographies: Interpreting Space and Place was organized by the Asheville Art Museum and guest curated by Dr. Leisa Rundquist. For additional information, please visit UNC Asheville’s web page dedicated to this exhibition.


Individual supporters of this exhibition include:

  • Nancy Holmes in memory of Ted Oliver
  • Randy Siegel

We also give sincere thanks to funding from UNC Asheville’s:

  • Department of Art
  • Faculty Development Fund
  • University Research Council
  • Undergraduate Research Program
View selected works in the exhibition »