Archive for June 23rd, 2009

23
Jun
09

Exhibition: ‘Fourteen Places to Eat: A Narrative Photographing Rural Culture in the Midwest’ by photographer Kay Westhues at the Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, Indiana

Exhibition dates: 31st May – 19th July, 2009

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There are some really good photographs on the Kay Westhues ‘Fourteen Places to Eat’ website (under the Archives heading) split into categories such as Commerce, Domestic, Landscape, Patriotism, People, Places to Eat and Structures. It’s well worth your time looking through these excellent photographs!

There is an interview with Kay Westhues on the Daily Yonder website.

All photographs © Kay Westhues used under Creative Commons 2.5 License with proper attribution.

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Kay Westheus. 'CSX railroad building, Walkerton' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘CSX railroad building, Walkerton’
2005

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Kay Westheus. 'Man with patriotic cast, Original Famous Fish of Stroh' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Man with patriotic cast, Original Famous Fish of Stroh’
2005

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Kay Westhues. 'Knox laundromat' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Knox laundromat’
2005

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The Snite Museum of Art announces the opening of the exhibition: ‘Fourteen Places to Eat: a Narrative: Photographing Rural Culture in the Midwest’, opening on Sunday, May 31,2009.

Kay Westhues is a photographer who is interested in documenting the ways in which rural tradition and history are interpreted and transformed in the present day. Kay shares her intention for this series of work:

“For the past five years I have been working on a series of photographs depicting rural culture in Indiana and the Midwest. This project was inspired by my memories of growing up on a farm in Walkerton, Indiana, and observing first hand the shifting cultural identity that has occurred over time and through changing economic development. I moved back to Walkerton in order to help care for my aging parents in 2001.

These photos mirror my personal history, but I am also capturing a people’s history grounded in a sense of place. My intention is to celebrate rural life, without idealizing it.

The overall theme since the project’s inception is the effect of the demise of local economies that have historically sustained rural communities. Many of my images contain the remains of an earlier time, when locally owned stores and family farms were the norm. Today chain stores and agribusiness are prevalent in rural communities. These communities are struggling to thrive in the global economy, and my images reflect that reality …

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Kay Westheus. 'Chicken bingo, Francesville Fall Festival' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Chicken bingo, Francesville Fall Festival’
2005

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Kay Westheus. 'Patriotic hammers ($3.00)' 2005

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Kay Westhues
‘Patriotic hammers ($3.00)’
2005

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Kay Westheus. 'Parked trailer, Ligonier' 2006

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Kay Westhues
‘Parked trailer, Ligonier’
2006

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Kay Westheus. Lunch at the Crockpot, Walkerton (The Young and the Restless) 2007

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Kay Westhues
‘Lunch at the Crockpot, Walkerton (The Young and the Restless)’
2007

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“Most recently I have focused on the complex relationship between farmers and domesticated animals. I make many of my images at Animal Swap Meets and sale barns, places where animals are bought and sold. Family farms are quickly being replaced by large-scale food production, and these events still draw smaller farmers and the local people who support them.”

Why fourteen places to eat?

“One of my biggest complaints after moving to Walkerton was that there were not enough places to eat out. Or, rather, practically no places to eat out. So I was happy when news arrived that a new restaurant was opening there. Imagine my surprise when I read a letter to the editor in the local paper against the new restaurant. The letter stated we already had enough places to eat in this town. The writer counted a total of fourteen places to eat, which included four restaurants, three gas stations, four bars, a truck stop, a convenience mart, and a bowling alley.”

Text from the Artdaily.org website

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Kay Wesheus. 'Momence Speed Wash, Momence IL' 2007

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Kay Weshues
‘Momence Speed Wash, Momence IL’
2007

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Kay Westheus. 'Mary Ann Rubio, Family Cafe, Knox' 2007

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Kay Westhues
‘Mary Ann Rubio, Family Cafe, Knox’
2007

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The Snite Museum of Art
at University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

Opening hours:
Tues – Wed 10 – 4pm, Thurs – Sat 10 – 5pm, Sunday 1 – 5pm

The Snite Museum of Art website

Kay Westhues ‘Fourteen Places to Eat’ website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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