Schmucker Art Gallery to host events as part of 150th anniversary of the Civil War

Gettysburg College's Schmucker Art Gallery will present an exhibition of paintings, photographs, and mixed-media installations by contemporary artist Lisa Blas as part of Gettysburg College's kick-off event for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. Blas' "Meet Me at the Mason Dixon" will be open from August 31 to October 7.

A gallery talk with Blas and Miguel de Baca, assistant professor of art history at Lake Forest College, will be held in Schmucker Art Gallery on August 31 at noon. Lunch will be provided.

A lecture by Kirk Savage, professor and chair of history of art & architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, "Remixing Memory: Toward a New Public Understanding of the Civil War," will be held in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition in Schmucker Hall's Paul Recital Hall on August 31 at 4 p.m.

An opening reception for Blas' exhibition will follow in Schmucker Art Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

Gettysburg provides an appropriate backdrop for "Meet Me at the Mason Dixon," as Blas took the history of this "hallowed ground" and its current resonances as the subject of her work. Blas traveled the Gettysburg National Military Park, as well as to the Antietam National Battlefield, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives and the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va., and many other sites, to investigate how national identity and cultural myths are shaped in response to this momentous period of American history.

Blas is a visual artist from Los Angeles, Calif., currently based in Brussels, Belgium. She utilizes portraiture, still life and site-specificity to reflect upon the visual culture and social history of past and present.

De Baca is assistant professor of art history at Lake Forest College where he specializes in American art, modernism and contemporary art. He is also the author of the essay in the accompanying exhibition catalogue.

Savage has written many books, most recently, "Monument Wars: Washington, the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape," which was named Outstanding Academic Title by Choice 2010. Savage also received the Wyeth Foundation for American Art Publication Grant, College Art Association and the 2010 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum for this title. 

The 1,600-square-foot Schmucker Art Gallery is a lively art space that displays seven to eight different exhibitions each year. Included in the gallery calendar are shows by local, national, and international contemporary artists, a faculty exhibition, a student exhibition, the annual senior art-major show, and exhibits of works selected from public and private collections.