Press Release



Shaping America to Open Friday at MOA


PROVO, UT — The Brigham Young University Museum of Art (MOA) opens its newest exhibition Friday to showcase the dynamic shaping of America throughout the nation’s history.

Shaping America: Selected Works From the Permanent Collection of American Art is a five-year exhibition that illustrates how America is shaped by outside and inside influences over a period of 250 years. Pieces include furniture, paintings, Native American art and other works that convey the dichotomous variety in American artwork.

The public opening will take place at the MOA this Friday from seven to nine p.m. Attendees will celebrate the exhibition with American apple cobbler, ice cream, live jazz music and great artwork. World flags will also be displayed to pay homage to the global influences that make up our nation.

Marian Wardle, the American Art curator at the MOA and designer of the exhibition, said that America’s identity is constantly in-flux.

“America does not have a fixed and unchanging identity,” said Wardle, “but rather one in which a rich cultural mix is continually evolving. Our new exhibition, Shaping America, looks at how the visual culture of the United States has been formed not only by European art practices, but also in relation to practices within Native American, Spanish and African American communities in North America. The exhibition will encourage visitors to think about the interconnectedness of nations and the ever-changing character of America.”

Lynda Palma, the Shaping America museum educator, said this exhibition represents the richness of America’s evolving identity and artistic style.

“From its inception to our present time, America has embraced and absorbed a variety of peoples and traditions from across the globe,” said Palma. “What is especially compelling about our new Shaping America exhibition is its ability to convey, through art, the myriad cultural influences that have formed our great nation.”

Each piece in the exhibition represents a specific cultural influence.  Select works include community members’ responses communicated by sound tiles located nearby. An education kiosk at the end of the exhibition will include additional responses to specific artworks, as well as encourage visitors to write responses of their own on a Twitter feed.  Technological components keep this five-year exhibition vibrant and add a contemporary aspect to the visual shaping of America.

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