August 22, 2013

GREEN ACRES Spotlight: Mara Adamitz Scrupe’s Scat Project

When you think about modern art, what images come to mind? Perhaps bright synthetic colors blanketing a canvas, industrial material constructed in a unique fashion, or oblong shapes contorted in some meaningful way. Whatever your initial impressions are, it is safe to say that upon entering a contemporary visual arts gallery, one generally expects a certain level of uncertainty. This summer at AAC we deliver just that, but in way that will challenge your view contemporary art.

One of the most talked about components of the GREEN ACRES exhibition is the Scat Project, a collection of photographs taken by Mara Adamitz Scrupe, featuring pictures of scat taken around her large property. Because her property doubles as an unofficial wildlife sanctuary, Adamitz Scrupe was interested to find out what kinds of animals visit the grounds throughout the year.

Mara Adamitz Scrupe - Scat, What Do Bear Eat?
Mara Adamitz Scrupe – Scat Project

 

Mara Adamitz Scrupe, Scat Project: archival storage boxes for animal scat; aluminum display tables; archival pigment printed photographs of animal scat
Scat Project: archival storage boxes for animal scat; aluminum display tables; archival pigment printed photographs of animal scat

Collaborating with Stephan M. Vantassel from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Adamitz Scrupe was able determine what kinds of animals call her property home. Together she and Vantassel collected and analyzed scat from around her property. From about 25 samples, Vantassel identified the diets of black bears, red and gray foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and bobcats.

By determining the diets of the creatures that visit her property, Adamitz Scrupe now has a better understanding of what foods to offer should she wish to encourage these visits. Feeding a greater number of animals is beneficial for farmers who practice permacultural farming, who aim to develop self-sustaining ecosystems.

Agricultural improvements are one of the core concepts behind GREEN ACRES. Through her work, Adamitz Scrupe explores how investigating one of the most basic components of an ecosystem, scat, can improve agricultural practices. Although it may not be pleasurable for all eyes, the work of Adamitz Scrupe illustrates beneficial agricultural practices.

For some people it’s a challenge to determine how works such as those of Adamitz Scrupe could be considered art. Pinkline Project writer Orrin Konheim remarked, “Over the last couple years, I’ve been to art exhibits at the Arlington Arts Center more often and while I am still equally confused over what is and isn’t art and what said art is saying, I’m at least enjoying the process of sorting out that confusion.” All individuals experience contemporary art differently, and Konheim shows that even though you may not understand the works fully, the process of discovery and exploration is a meaningful adventure.  If you’re interested in discovering more about Adamitz Scrupe’s catalogue of wildlife, stop by the galleries and see for yourself!        

-Written by Benjamin Kernan, AAC’s Marketing & Development Intern

This exhibition is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. The Exhibition Award program was founded in 1998 to honor Emily Hall Tremaine. It rewards innovation and experimentation among curators by supporting thematic exhibitions that challenge audiences and expand the boundaries of contemporary art.

Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award

In Conversation: Nekisha Durrett + Zaq Landsberg

Saturday / April 27 / 1pm-3pm

Innovation Studio + Store

Join artists Zaq Landsberg and Nekisha Durrett for a conversation about the rewards and challenges of public art and the complex nature of monuments and memorials.

Performances by Isa Leal & Liz Ensz + Skye Fort in conversation with NO GRIDS NO MASTERS

Saturday / April 20 / 6pm-8pm

MoCA Arlington

An evening of performances by Isa Leal and Liz Ensz + Skye Fort in conversation with Ensz’s exhibition NO GRIDS NO MASTERS currently on view at MoCA Arlington.

2024 Art Classes for Kids, Teens, and Adults!

Register now! Classes begin April 7!

Less than 2 weeks left to register! Sign up today to secure your spot in one of MoCA Arlington’s award-winning programs! From drawing and painting to ceramics and mixed media, you are sure to find an inspiring art class. Enrich your creative journey with our talented instructors and explore the world of art in a fun and supportive environment.

CLOSE