AMHERST, Mass.- On Thursday, April 7th, at 4:30 p.m., British art student Cari Powell will give a free public presentation at the Mead Art Museum about her ongoing artistic project involving a historic house, Rotherwas Court, from which a paneled room in the Mead's collection originates.
Powell, a student of Hereford College of Art in the West Midlands of England, has spent the past year creating mixed media installations in response to Rotherwas Court, a once prominent aristocratic seat in the county of Herefordshire. Her artistic process resonates with her subject: Powell redraws and remakes photographs, objects, film and projections in ways that play with contextual and informational transfers.
Powell will be visiting Amherst to study the Mead's room from Rotherwas Court. Completed around 1611, this elaborately carved, walnut-paneled room was dismantled in 1731; purchased by an art dealer in 1913; and sold to the New York collector Herbert Lee Pratt. Pratt, an 1895 graduate of Amherst College, bequeathed the room to his alma mater in 1944. The Mead Art Museum installed the room in a purpose-built gallery, where it has been on continuous display since the museum's opening in 1949. Additional information about the room is available on the museum's Web site: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/collection/overview/european/rotherwas.
Powell's previous knowledge of the room has been limited to documents about Rotherwas Court and to the physical remnants of the room's original context within the now unrecognizable, industrialized Herefordshire landscape. At Amherst, Powell will continue her reassessment of the room's changing meanings in relation to its different contexts. In response to her experience of the room at Amherst, she will continue her artistic project in a studio space generously provided by the Frost Library. Powell hopes that the resulting work "will allow for an evaluation on how we perceive places culturally, when the evidence we are provided with is selective and discordant in its provision."Powell will share the fruits of her ongoing explorations in a public talk, entitled A Cultural Biography of the Rotherwas Room. The presentation will be followed by a reception. This event is free and open to the public.
A complete schedule of the museum's spring events is posted on the Mead's Web site: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/schedule. The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit the museum's Web site, www.amherst.edu/museums/mead, or call 413/542-2335.