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Elsewhere, a new mixed-media installation by New York-based Colombian artist Carlos Andrade and Trinidad-born American artist Todd Ayoung, is on exhibit in the gallery at Lafayette’s Williams Center for the Arts through March 10. This installation looks at how mass media representations affect the artists’ perceptions of and relationship to natural and manmade disasters.

Free, public events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, there will be a panel discussion on artistic responses to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States in Williams Center room 108. Participants will include Carly Berwick, associate editor for ARTnews, and Lee Klein, arts writer and poet. Klein is juror for the Arts Community of Easton (ACE) exhibit After the Eleventh currently on view at Connexions, 213 Northampton St., Easton. The event is sponsored by ACE and the Williams Center art gallery. A reception for Andrade and Ayoung will follow the discussion, concluding at 5 p.m.

Also on Feb. 24, a closing reception for After the Eleventh will be held noon-4 p.m. at Connexions. Michiko Okaya, director of the Williams Center gallery, is treasurer for ACE and has served as a grant writer for some of its public programs. The Williams Center hosts ACE’s monthly general meetings.

At noon Wednesday, Feb. 27, Ayoung and Andrade will speak at a brown bag luncheon in Williams Center room 108, with lunch available for $3. They will also be in residence at Lafayette’s Experimental Printmaking Institute.

Elsewhere is built around images of smoke from manmade disasters and the artists’ experiments with “meltdown” caused by natural disasters. The exhibition has evolved from What is Left Over, the exhibition originally scheduled for the Williams Center gallery. First exhibited in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the fall of 2000, What is Left Over featured two mixed-media installations about natural disasters (earthquakes) and a third that considered a manmade tragedy.

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, shifted the focus of the exhibition subtly from the natural to the manmade. Ayoung writes that the exhibition prompts “the viewer to question the distinction between natural and manmade disasters.” The title Elsewhere is a reference to Salman Rushdie’s book on the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, in which Rushdie argues that — contrary to the popular perception that the movie is about a longing for home — the film is actually about a longing to be elsewhere. Andrade and Ayoung visually raise this notion of “elsewhere” to reflect on the question: How do the events of Sept. 11 change our views of home and elsewhere?

“Untitled Commandments,” one of the original works in What is Left Over, will serve as the backbone for Elsewhere. Visitors are an integral part of the exhibition, as their movements activate slide projections of smoke. Although “Untitled Commandments” has wall-mounted, house-shaped sculptures reminiscent of the Montana cabin of Theodore Kaczynski (the Unabomber), it does not refer to a specific tragic act.

“In Elsewhere, a series of 15 boxes with small houses on top are installed through the gallery space like the discs of a human backbone, linked together with metal conduits that spill out onto the floor,” writes Anne Barlow, curator of education and media programs of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, in the exhibition catalog essay. “This is a body that has been blown to bits: If tossed in space, the discs would revolve like a tornado, just like Dorothy Gale’s home in The Wizard of Oz. Smoke is kept low in the gallery by several fans in the ceiling, creating a sense of disaster, and recent aftermath. Inside the boxes are melted objects — mostly toys from China and Colombia — that can be viewed from below: ‘mini-meltdowns’ that act as commentaries on the cheap labor that underpins global trading patterns.”

Andrade has had solo exhibitions at Malca Fine Art in New York and Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia and the Galeria Jenny Vila, both in Cali, Colombia. His works have been in 10 group shows since 1987, held in Colombia, Denmark, France, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. He received the Gordon Peers Male Award from Rhode Island School of Design, where he earned his bachelor’s in fine arts, and won Lista of Honor from Greenfield Community College, where he received an associate’s in fine arts.

Ayoung has been featured in solo exhibitions at a dozen locations in Denmark, Austria, and throughout the U.S. His art has been in more than 30 group exhibitions since 1990, including ones hosted by Galleri Sct. Agnes, Roskilde, Denmark; Brooklyn Museum; Yale University; Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford, Conn.; Reed College, Portland, Ore.; and Center for Pan-African Culture, Kent State University. He is the recipient of a Philip Morris fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation travel grant, and several other grants, fellowships, and awards. Ayoung received a master’s in fine arts for sculpture from Yale University in 1998.

Gallery hours are noon-5 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday; and 2-5 p.m. Sunday, and before public performances in the Williams Center. For more information, call the gallery at 610-330-5361 or email Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The exhibition series is presented under provisions of the Frederick Knecht Detwiller Endowment. The gallery is funded in part through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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