August 12, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-The Mead Art Museum will present Off the Beaten Track: Contemporary Mindscapes, an exhibition of contemporary interpretations of a time-honored topic, the landscape. The show will run from Tuesday, Sept. 9, until Thursday, Dec. 18. In conjunction with the exhibition, conversations with some of the artists will be held on Friday, Sept. 12, and Wednesday, Nov. 5.

Using the concept that one's immediate surroundings provide a springboard to realms that are unexpected, innovative and even provocative, Off the Beaten Track features the work of 12 contemporary artists and underscores the recent prominence that the genre of landscape has attained. The artists included in the exhibition are Hugo Bastidas, Bettina Blohm, Tara Donovan, Julie Hedrick, Gail Gregg, Lloyd Martin, Ezra Parzybok, Shuli Sadé, Adam Straus, Doug Trump, Margaret Tsirantonakis and Grace Bakst Wapner.

Although each artist has his or her own vision, all share certain affinities: some work is cerebral, some whimsical, but all of it explores a traditional subject in a non-traditional manner. This exhibition can in no way be a comprehensive compendium of contemporary landscape, but it brings together twelve engaging voices. The work falls into three loose groups: landscapes that reflect the world and society, magical environments and more abstract dreamscapes.

Off the Beaten Track was organized by Trinkett Clark, the curator of American art at the Mead. An illustrated catalogue is available. The exhibition and publication were supported in part by the David W. Mesker (Class of 1953) Fund and the Department of Fine Arts.

On Friday, Sept. 12, at 4:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium, the Mead will present a conversation with two of the artists, Julie Hedrick and Shuli Sadé. Hedrick works in oil and encaustic, creating luminous, abstract landscapes. Sadé produces work that fuses photography and painting as she explores the industrial landscape. The artists will first screen two short films and then discuss their work. This event will be followed by a reception at the Mead. Admission is free and open to the public.

Grace Bakst Wapner will speak on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 4:30 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall (Fayerweather 115) about the evolution of her recent group of ceramic sculpture, "The Scholar's Garden."

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. More information can be obtained on the museum's Website at or by calling the museum at 413/542-2335. All events are free and open to the public.