"The 5:44" with Denis O'Hayer, Arts

Artist Vanessa German Remixes Spelman’s Buchanan Exhibit

Vanessa German will be presenting a program in the gallery called "There Is No Map: You Make It Up As You Go Along" Wednesday night at the Spelman Museum of Fine Art.
Credit Norton Gusky/Wikimedia
Audio version of this story here.

The Spelman Museum of Fine Art is putting one artist in dialogue with another … in a manner of speaking.

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The museum is exhibiting the works of Southern artist Beverly Buchanan, who was known for her celebration of the lives and the architecture of the rural South. Wednesday night, Pittsburgh-based artist Vanessa German will be presenting a program in the gallery called “There Is No Map: You Make It Up As You Go Along” which will present a remix of the traditional artist talk.

With German’s own body of found object sculpture and poetry, there is more than a surface-level parallel between her and Buchanan, and she will be focusing on one overlap in particular.

“I think about the way that Beverly Buchanan had a reckoning,” German said. “At a point in her life where she was an adult, already had a full career. Choosing to be an artist and choosing to really go for it and to take that step was the hardest decision that she ever had to make.”

The program will include interactive elements, and German encourages people to bring objects with them.

“An object that means something to them,” she said. “There’ll be a way that they can participate in a making with that object. So something that is special, that charges them in some way. That will become part of a creation that we’re working on together. So it should be something that they feel okay to leave in the space.”

“Vanessa German: There Is No Map: You Make It Up As You Go Along” takes place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Spelman Museum of Fine Art.