Society & Culture

"Artists can change the status quo"

Video by Brianne Lehan and Lyon Duong/UF Photography. Artwork: "Spatial Intervention (1)" by Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch, 2002, courtesy of the artists. 

Kerry Oliver-Smith

curator of “The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene” at UF’s Harn Museum of Art

Kerry Oliver-Smith looked at the world around her and felt concerned. So she did what curators do: She turned to art to spark conversations that aren’t always possible elsewhere.

In her final exhibition as curator of contemporary art for the University of Florida’s Harn Museum, Oliver-Smith gathered works from 45 international artists to show the beauty of the natural world and the threats to its (and our) well-being. Her intention, however, is not gloom and doom, but inspiration.

“Artists can change the status quo,” she says. “I hope that when people leave here, they feel the urgency and importance of our world and what a miracle it is — and that they will put all their efforts forward to help us keep whole.”

After leaving the Harn March 3, “The World to Come” will travel to the University of Michigan Museum of Art from April 27-July 28, 2019. The exhibition is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, UF Office of the Provost, National Endowment for the Arts, C. Frederick and Aase B. Thompson Foundation, Ken and Laura Berns, Daniel and Kathleen Hayman, Ken and Linda McGurn, Susan Milbrath, an anonymous foundation, Visit Gainesville, UF Center for Humanities and the Public Sphere, UF Office of Research, Robert and Carolyn Thoburn, UF Biodiversity Institute, UF Center for Latin American Studies, UF Water Institute and UF Department of English “Imagining Climate Change” program with additional support from a group of environmentally- minded supporters, the Robert C. and Nancy Magoon Contemporary Exhibition and Publication Endowment, Harn Program Endowment and the Harn Annual Fund.

This is part of a series highlighting people at the University of Florida working to protect our well-being and the health of the planet, paired with works from the Harn Museum of Art exhibition “The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene.” See the full series.

Alisson Clark Author
January 4, 2019