A dynamic group of artists explore the concept of state parks as complex sites that exist, ostensibly, to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic relevance, and recreational potential. State parks have also functioned as templates to examine how the U.S. thinks of, envisions, and exploits the outside. In many ways, state parks are neatly groomed physical manifestations of landscape paintings-rendered perfectly in greens and browns and providing an accessible, domesticated, and colonized wilderness. But, for many, they have unlocked a kind of egalitarian sublime and enabled understanding in the out-of-doors. This exhibition unpacks state parks as sites rich with conflict and complexities—where landscape, myth, identity, class, exclusivity, exploitation, wildness, tragedy, erasure, memory, leisure, spirit, holism, play, and adventure exert their individual and collective forces. The artists included in the exhibition turn over the show’s namesake so that we might see what they’ve seen, done, and remember, or discover who has been excluded and what’s been inadvertently missed.
State Park March 7 – May 1 2015