Pitzer College Launches Emerging Artist Program

William Ransom Welcomed as Inaugural Pitzer Artist in Residence

Claremont, Calif. (December 19, 2008)—Pitzer College Art Galleries inaugurates its new Emerging Artist Program with its first artist in residence, William Ransom. Ransom creates meticulously crafted, large-scale sculptural works from recycled and found wood reminiscent of Martin Puryear’s post-minimalist sculptures and installations.

Ransom will transform Pitzer’s Lenzner Family Art Gallery into an experimental hub December 2008 through and January 2009, culminating in a site-specific installation that includes composting and other biological, entropic activities. Fusing the old and the new, Ransom combines nostalgia for bygone materials and production methods with sustainable solutions for a future lifestyle.

Referencing the long-standing tradition of agriculture and farming practices, Ransom presents a world that is both fecund and regenerative, and that confronts the tenuous relationship between the natural and man-made environment. Comprising of an elegant yet rustic lean-to, fashioned from recycled mulberry tree branches, the structure becomes a center of life-giving activity. Under its canopy, a garden—developed from seeds found on Pitzer College Campus—grows side-by-side thriving compost, while a life–size replica of a tractor made from recycled and found wood provides an alternative nesting area for the chickens in the student’s organic garden.

Ransom reminds us of the age-old human practice of bringing nature indoors—cut flowers, floral wallpaper, evergreen air fresheners—and reverses the process by using the waste products from the Pitzer garden to create a room-sized terrarium. By engaging the entire community, Ransom’s open-ended, interactive project pushes the work into the social sphere and blurs the distinction between artist and audience and public and private space.

Join the artist, William Ransom, for a discussion of his work at the Lenzner Family Art Gallery at Pitzer College on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

About Pitzer Art Galleries

Pitzer Art Galleries exist to provide visually arresting and memorable exhibitions that promote the value and understanding of contemporary art within a local, national and international context. The Galleries are comprised of two sites, the Nichols Gallery—committed to solo and group exhibitions by national and international artists both emerging and established— and the Lenzner Family Art Gallery—a space for risk and experimentation dedicated to emerging artists working in all media. Through curatorial creativity and visionary programming Pitzer Art Galleries seeks to provide context, support and a critical framework for artists and curators working today and by doing so inspire meaningful dialogue that fascinates, inspires and invigorates.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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