Mode of Program Participation

Performances and Arts

Participation Type

Performance

Presentation #1 Title

Yonder: Contemporary Paintings and Sculptures that Explore Appalachian Identity & History

Presentation #1 Abstract or Summary

In Appalachia, much of how the area is viewed comes from outsiders’ perspective. Outside voices concentrate on the problems the area faces by giving the region a flat, one dimensional view of poverty while imagery in popular culture continues to play into false stereotypes. I have created a body of artwork titled Yonder that focuses on giving a more honest and vibrant depiction of the area. As a native West Virginian, I aim to regain some control of the region’s voice. My work comments on some of the struggles the area faces by showing personal scenes of loss as well as devastating industrial disasters that have befallen our state time and time again. The Hawk’s Nest Tunnel Disaster, the Sago Mine disaster, the Buffalo Creek Disaster, and Freedom Industries recent chemical leak are all addressed in this body of work. Perseverance and preservation of the people and culture are recurring themes. The color choices and mark making in my work recall a childlike quality that aids the viewer in leaving behind their previous biases and stereotypes so as to be able to look at these images with fresh eyes. This is quite a large body of work, and I can adjust the number of pieces depending upon the space available. There are 7 paintings that are 4ft in length, a Crankie measuring approximately 2ft x 3ft, and several other small pieces that can be arranged easily. This presentation aims to promote dialogue about Appalachian identity and aims to raise awareness and discussion about industrial disasters throughout West Virginia’s history.

At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1

Mindy Sizemore is a contemporary painter living in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Raised in rural West Virginia by parents who were skilled in woodworking, sewing, painting, and other traditional and non-traditional crafts, she has always had a strong sense of the importance of art instilled in her. She earned her B.F.A from Shepherd University in Studio Art with a concentration in painting in 2015. Currently she is enrolled in graduate school working towards a Master's in Teaching with a concentration in Art Education and an Appalachian Studies Graduate Certificate. In her free time she swims in the river and feeds her beagle too much ice cream.

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Yonder: Contemporary Paintings and Sculptures that Explore Appalachian Identity & History

In Appalachia, much of how the area is viewed comes from outsiders’ perspective. Outside voices concentrate on the problems the area faces by giving the region a flat, one dimensional view of poverty while imagery in popular culture continues to play into false stereotypes. I have created a body of artwork titled Yonder that focuses on giving a more honest and vibrant depiction of the area. As a native West Virginian, I aim to regain some control of the region’s voice. My work comments on some of the struggles the area faces by showing personal scenes of loss as well as devastating industrial disasters that have befallen our state time and time again. The Hawk’s Nest Tunnel Disaster, the Sago Mine disaster, the Buffalo Creek Disaster, and Freedom Industries recent chemical leak are all addressed in this body of work. Perseverance and preservation of the people and culture are recurring themes. The color choices and mark making in my work recall a childlike quality that aids the viewer in leaving behind their previous biases and stereotypes so as to be able to look at these images with fresh eyes. This is quite a large body of work, and I can adjust the number of pieces depending upon the space available. There are 7 paintings that are 4ft in length, a Crankie measuring approximately 2ft x 3ft, and several other small pieces that can be arranged easily. This presentation aims to promote dialogue about Appalachian identity and aims to raise awareness and discussion about industrial disasters throughout West Virginia’s history.