The Rural Midwest Artists Cooperative: Homegrown
Homegrown is a collection of work from members of The Rural Midwest Artists Cooperative that explores connection to place through a variety of artistic media. Though the artists were all born and raised in different communities throughout the Midwest, their need to bring the voices of rural Americans to the white walls of the gallery has brought them together. Homegrown showcases small town work ethic and pride while simultaneously demonstrating that our similarities far out way our differences.
Jake Miller (website)
Stacey Rathert (website)
Abbi Ruppert (website)
Sophia Ruppert (website)
Nicole Shaver (website)
Kaitlyn Jo Smith (website)
Heidi Zenisek (website)
Founded in 2020, The Rural Midwest Artists Cooperative exists to highlight rural artists in the heart of the United States while enriching small towns and farm communities through outreach. In the spirit of Midwestern cooperatives, we unite regional artists to share resources amongst each other to promote them professionally while bringing the opportunity to view and make art to small, Midwestern communities. Through exhibitions, artist talks, and workshops, our goal is to foster a connection between the art world and rural communities by providing a platform for artists of the regions we serve. >>> RMAC website
Installation by the curator Kaitlyn Jo Smith:
Archival Inkjet Prints, PVA, 6” x 6”
Restitutions questions value and ownership in both virtual and physical space by replacing physical artifacts with virtual and artificial forms. The word restitution means both a restoration of something lost or stolen to its rightful owner, and a compensation for an injury or loss. Restitutions refers directly to this act of returning while also calling attention to those who settled out of court in 2015 after the 2007 closure of the American Standard pottery. Through the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, the U.S Department of Labor requires a plant to give its workers a minimum of 60 days notice before closing its doors. My father was one of 165 hourly production workers who lost their job at that factory with only 16 days notice. In the end, he received compensation in the form of $1,856.13 from American Standard Companies Inc. 22 original porcelain artifacts were culled from Tiffin, Ohio’s, former American Standard plant by my father and I. They were then 3D scanned, archived and reproduced off-site. By implementing augmented reality, I have digitally returned these relics to their original resting place. The documentation of this act is displayed alongside the 3D printed reproductions of the ceramic artifacts. This process virtually restores and physically emulates broken porcelain– long forgotten and then removed, while drawing attention to the conspicuously missing ceramics themselves.