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Where are the birds? Retracing Audubon: Artwork by Krista Elrick

July 12, 2021 | 12:00 pm

The Lunch and Learn Lecture Series features interesting and informative virtual programming that provides a behind-the-scenes view of the festival’s offerings in the visual arts, music, theater and dance.

Where are the birds? Retracing Audubon is an exhibition and book project reexamining John James Audubon’s epic life journey and the production of his hugely popular Birds of America. Elrick retraced Audubon’s journeys to learn more about him and what had happened to the birds, animals, communities and landscapes he traveled through. Much to her surprise, she found the lushly forested watersheds and waterways that Audubon had passionately described in his journals vastly altered with many of the bird species extinct and their supporting habitat all but disappeared. Wishing to pay homage to what had been lost, Elrick made dozens of black-and-white images of the country she traveled through as it looks now, some 170 years later. Elrick’s book, A Country No More: Rediscovering the Landscape of John James Audubon is a fascinating volume that gives us a fresh and provocative perspective not only on the changing American landscape, but on Audubon himself, his times, and his enduring legacy.

This presentation will be in panel discussion format with panelists Krista Elrick, Mary Anne Redding and Gregory Nobles.

Visit the TCVA website for more information about Elrick’s exhibition at the TCVA.

LOCATION: Virtual via Zoom Webinar

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, July 12 at Noon

LENGTH OF EVENT: 90 minutes

COST: Event is FREE; registration required

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Turchin Center for Visual Arts at turchincenter@appstate.edu or 828-262-3017.

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.

About the Artist and Panelists


Anna Deveare Smith
Photographer Krista Elrick has been an exhibiting artist and activist for more than 35 years. She has worked with scientists and Indigenous peoples throughout her career, all of whom have helped her to reframe and refine her ideas about environmental and cultural change. Elrick is interested in the changes that have occurred in natural ecosystems over prolonged periods of time as a direct result of human intrusion into the landscape. Film-based, in-camera exposures, combined with silver gelatin prints, are the foundation of her creative work.  While her photographic process is rooted in the 19th century, it is today’s wetlands, forests, and watersheds that serve as her backdrop. In tandem, migratory birds and the ecosystems that sustain them are the focus of her current body of work. She sees these once harmonious relationships as disrupted. Because of this disruption, she photographs the land in fragments and then construct collages to create newly pieced dynamics.

Elrick’s recent projects include Grasslands/Separating Species, with photographs by Krista Elrick, Dana Fritz, David Taylor, Jo Whaley, and Michael Berman with essays by Mary Anne Redding, William deBuys, and Rebecca Solnit (Radius Books 2010) in conjunction with an exhibition at 516 ARTS in Albuquerque; and Imagine a City that Remembers: The Albuquerque Rephotography Project, by Anthony Anella and Mark Childs, foreword by V. B. Price, photographs by Krista Elrick (University of New Mexico Press 2018). Elrick received an MFA from Arizona State University in 1990 and now lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A Country No More is her first solo book.

Anna Deveare Smith
Mary Anne Redding has more than 35 years’ experience working as a curator, archivist, librarian, educator, arts administrator, and writer. She received a B.A. in English literature from Ohio University, an M.A. in arts administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an M.L.S. from the University of Illinois, as well as an advanced certificate in museum studies from Arizona State University.

Recent exhibitions include Where Are the Birds? Retracing Audubon: Artwork by Krista Elrick (2021), Creative Democracy: The Legacy of Black Mountain College (2018), Art from Down Under: Australia to New Zealand (2018), and Collective Vigilance: Speaking for the New River (2017), all at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University; Contemplative Landscape at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe (2011–2012); and A Passionate Light: The SX-70 Polaroids of H. Joe Waldrum at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History and the New Mexico History Museum (2011).

Her publications include Gila, with photographer Michael Berman (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2012), and, with Krista Elrick, Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe (Museum of New Mexico Press 2009), which accompanied the exhibition of the same name at the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum.

Formerly the chief curator of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and curator for the Marion Center of Photographic Arts and chair of the photography department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, she is currently the curator of the Sioux City Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

Anna Deveare Smith
Gregory Nobles received his A.B. in history cum laude from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. He is now Professor of History Emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he spent 33 years as a faculty member and administrator. During that time, he held two Fulbright professorships — Senior Scholar in New Zealand (1995) and John Adams Chair in American History in the Netherlands (2002) — and residential fellowships at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, the Princeton University Library, and the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1995, he was elected to membership in the American Antiquarian Society and in 2004 was named to the Distinguished Lectureship Program of the Organization of American Historians. Nobles was the 2016–2017 Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American Antiquarian Society and in 2018–2019 the Robert C. Ritchie Distinguished Fellow in Early American History at the Huntington Library. He is the author, co-author, and co-editor of five acclaimed books, including, Whose American Revolution Was ItHistorians Interpret the Founding, with Alfred F. Young (New York University Press, 2011), American Frontiers: Cultural Encounters and Continental Conquest (Hill and Wang, 1998) and most recently, John James Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).


July 12, 2021
12:00 pm
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