The Great Plains Art Museum’s last exhibit for 2013 will be “The Degeneration of the Family Farm” by Randy Waln. The exhibition will run Sept. 30 through Dec. 15, and the artist will be present for a First Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4.
Waln’s exhibit pairs historic photographs of farm families with interpretative photographs of the farm’s present state. The black and white historical photographs were taken by family members to document their lives and times on the farm. The digital prints of the decaying and now abandoned farmstead with their highly saturated color and richly developed textural surfaces contrast with the historical photos. The colorless images of people from the past give a presence to the images of the place still present, revealing the bond between the two.
While the exhibition has abundant, bright and cheerful color, there is a sense of melancholy of past and passing. It seems that soon, perhaps, nothing will remain but memories.
Waln said about his work: “I don’t consider myself to be a photographer. I have too much respect for photographers to do that. I started out as a traditional printmaker, making woodcuts, etchings, and lithographs. To me photography is not an end, but a means. I still consider myself to be a printmaker; only my tools have changed. All I’ve ever wanted to do as an artist is create meaningful images. My original intent was an exhibition of just the color prints, but the coincidence of the family pictures and the prints on my computer made it apparent that together they were not only more meaningful, but also more universal in the story they tell.”
The Great Plains Art Museum is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sundays (closed Mondays, holiday weekends and between exhibitions). There is no admission charge. For more information, call 402-472-6220, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.unl.edu/plains/gallery/gallery.shtml.