Trying to find one's way is always done wisely with a map. Becoming increasingly more evident in contemporary art, maps, whether they are road, trail or topographical, link microcosms to macrocosms.
In its latest exhibit, "Lines in the Earth: Maps, Powers and the Imagination," which will run from Friday, Oct. 5, through Friday, Dec. 14, The Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents a multidisciplinary project examining, questioning and exploring how maps define the world.
Nothing could be more exemplary of The Center's new show than the use of maps during the Castle Rock Fire when "fire perimeter" maps on Web sites, in newspapers and on bulletin boards served as important information for evacuees and for the general safety of Wood River Valley residents.
"I think that we've become an increasingly map-centered society," said Courtney Gilbert The Center's curator of visual arts. "Tools like Google Earth and MapQuest give us immediate access to detailed maps that we might only have found in libraries or specialized atlases 10 years ago. And maps and cartography have been popping up in a wide range of artists' work, not just for aesthetic reasons but because artists realize they can use maps to comment on larger social, political and artistic issues."
The show will include several contemporary artists who incorporate maps or cartography within their work creating unusual and stunning visuals. Using maps to explore social, cultural and political geographies, artists reveal other perspectives.
Artists Jane Hammond, Joyce Kozloff, Dan Mills, Matthew Picton, Santiago Sierra, Lordy Rodriguez and Nick Lamia present extraordinary map designs, from butterfly migration routes to political influences represented by abstract topographical maps and two-dimensional representations of the world.
Kozloff "Targets" is a 9-foot by 9-foot wooden globe, which can be entered and display reproductions of government agency maps that reveal U.S. military targets. In addition there will be an exhibit by valley artist Bruce Kremer's maps from his years of journal keeping, which will open on Friday, Oct. 19, at The Center in Hailey.
"Lines in the Earth: Maps, Powers and the Imagination," is a free exhibit. The Center gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with free docent tours every Tuesday at 2 p.m.
On Friday, Oct. 12, and Friday, Nov. 23, the gallery will be open until 8 p.m. for Gallery Walk and will serve wine and hors d'oeuvres from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
For more details, visit sunvalleycenter.org.