"Fingerreisen," an art exhibition in the McMaster Gallery, is a rare depiction of two-dimensional maps and spaces constructed in a three-dimensional manner. The art collection, made by Elisabeth Pellathy and Lee Somers, pays homage to the topographic features that flat maps represent.
Upon entering the quaint gallery, various cut outs of landscapes on stilts cast shadows on the light wooden floors to the right of the entrance. The mountains of layered recycled piano wood rest towards the back of the exhibit, while walls are covered with varying displays of topographic and cartographic art. There is a video depicting map lines merging and separating with each other, and a sound cassette tape titled, “Beijing calls” is available for attendees of the gallery to listen to as they inspect the artwork.
Somers is from the southwest United States and creates art inspired from existing places in a wide range of locations, including mountains and deserts from his childhood. He is currently a professor at the University of Montevallo in the town of Montevallo, Alabama, and works primarily with ceramics and mixed-media, analyzing the marriage of natural history and cultural history on landscapes.
Pellathy's work focuses on the gradual decline and disappearance of species, language and culture. She uses the mediums of drawing, printmaking and electronic media to create her pieces. Pellathy works at the University of Alabama in Birmingham as a new media assistant professor.
Fingerreisen" opened on Aug. 25 with an opening reception featuring both Pellathy and Somers, and will remain in the McMaster Gallery until Thursday, October 6. The McMaster Gallery is free and open from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed for major university holidays.