[Photo by J. Russell]
Space, Land, and Concept in Art of the American West is all about discovery. The eighteen of us are spending sixteen weeks starting in January 2015 to explore the art, culture, and mythologies that exist in and pervade our understanding of the American West. This blog will document our conversations and will serve as a travelogue in May when we travel from Muncie, Indiana to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
To get us started we debated our various definitions of the “American West.” Not surprisingly we haven’t quite figured out what we mean by that term. We know it’s not here in Indiana, though at one point our state might have represented an unknown frontier. Some of us think the West begins at the Mississippi River. Some think it ends at the Pacific Ocean. Some think Texas is part of the West; others are not so sure. We all did agree, however, that to understand the West you have to (or at least will want to) go there and that this class will make us look differently at our own Midwestern terrain.
And this is only the beginning.