‘City, Village, Exurbia’ Brings the World to Greensboro

Emily Hicks
Staff Writer

A_E, 4_4, city, village, exurbia review, emily hicks, PC_ Emily Hicks

PC: Emily Hicks

As the spring semester winds down, you might feel as if you have been bitten by the travel bug. If so, take a walk through the newest exhibition in the Weatherspoon Art Museum to fulfill your travel wishes without ever having to leave campus.

From now until July 8, the museum on campus hosts a new exhibit: “City, Village, Exurbia” which is full of unfamiliar places for those of you who are looking for something new.  “A few of these landscape images no doubt will appeal to—and beckon—would be travelers,” said the exhibit’s summary on The Weatherspoon Art Museum’s website.

Escape from the minute skyline of the Gate City for a while as you view sights from around the world – ranging from densely populated cities to large, open expanses of nature. “City, Village, Exurbia” has something for everyone. The exhibition is bursting with artistic perspectives of all the sights to see outside the edges of suburbia.

“City, Village, Exurbia” features the artwork of 24 different artists, dating back to the mid-1910s. The eldest work of art is that of Joseph Pennell, produced in 1916. The piece, named “The Great Chimney, The Motor Park,” is more architecture-focused and illustrates the British munition factories. In these factories, workers worked tirelessly to support England during World War I. The exhibition attracts the attention of a variety of art enthusiasts, with depictions of cityscapes depicted in black and white, color, simplicity or intricate linework. “City, Village, Exurbia” hosts a refreshing balance of simplistic sketches alongside more detailed works, with subjects ranging from cityscapes to rolling hills with expansive skies.

As far as the inspiration behind the Weatherspoon’s newest addition, the museum’s resident curator of collections relates it, thematically, to another feature in the museum, titled “Baggage Claims.”

“I wanted to organize an exhibition from the collection that related in theme to ‘Baggage Claims,’” said curator of collections, Elaine D. Gustafson. “Since it was on view at the same time.”

Gustafson relates the two exhibitions through travel, in that “City, Village, Exurbia” expounds on the theme of travel found in “Baggage Claims.” While “Baggage Claims” shows the physical necessities of travel, the new exhibition is highly focused on the destinations in which travel can take a person.

“The title of [‘Baggage Claims’] refers to the actual baggage we use to move from place to place as well, as the mental baggage that prompts or is a result of geographic travel,” Gustafson said. So, if “Baggage Claims” peaked your interest, take a look into “City, Village, Exurbia,” located just down the hallway on the right.

Personally, Gustafson’s favorite piece is one of the older ones displayed from the collection. Produced in 1925, the simplified sketch titled “Verona” by Ben Silbert is one of the more candid pieces in the collection. “The artist emphasized the site’s vertical topography and reduced its architectural elements to simplified geometric forms,” Gustafson said.

The simplified forms used by the artist in Silbert’s “Verona” can be seen in many of the other works in the new exhibition, which is free to the public. If that is not your speed, check out some of the more intricate pieces in the collection. Similarly to Silbert’s “Verona,” a majority of the pieces feature simplified renditions of city views and landscapes around the world, alongside more natural works surrounding open skies, woodland cottages and smooth fields.

To view “Verona” and many other incredible works of art, come visit the Weatherspoon Art Museum during any operating hours. The museum is located at 500 Tate St. Greensboro, North Carolina. Join the Weatherspoon Art Museum for a brief guided tour April 12 from 6:30 – 7 p.m., which will meet in the Ivy Gallery.

Categories: A & E, arts, Arts & Entertainment


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