“(un)Peopled: A Sense of Place” is a photography exhibit running Thursday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center at Stetson University. It includes more than 20 black-and-white and color images by Matt Roberts, associate professor of digital arts at Stetson University; Cristina Brandi, Brandon Narsing, Justin Nolan and Melodi Roberts.
“The display is an examination of people’s relationships to places and spaces,” said James Pearson, director of the Hand Art Center. “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted regular routines and forced folks to re-examine the spaces that are necessary, make them feel safe or vulnerable and can be replaced digitally.”
Brandon Narsing’s photos were taken during the COVID-19 pandemic and feature empty movie theaters, stages and other venues, and provide viewers with an opportunity to consider the role artists and performers play in everyday life.
The natural world is captured in Melodi Roberts’ images, and a sense of solitude is expressed in Cristina Brandi’s photographs of cityscapes and street scenes.
The intention of spaces is further explored in Justin Nolan’s and Matt Roberts’ works, which convey how people’s perceptions of places can change.
Nolan’s photos provide viewers with a constructed reality of space, and show how lighting, props and trimmings are used to elicit a specific emotion and sell a lifestyle.
Matt Roberts’ “Deadland” series documents deserted businesses. He took the photos at night and said the images capture buildings that were “once part of our daily routines and are now empty shells of desire surrounded by darkness, and stand as ghosts of progress and remnants of capitalism.”
The Hand Art Center is at 139 E. Michigan Ave. The hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Complimentary parking is available in the East Arizona Avenue parking lot off of Amelia Avenue, and in visitor parking spaces throughout the Stetson campus.
Exhibits at the Hand Art Center are free and open to the public. Masks and social distancing are required. The exhibits also can be viewed online at HandArtCenter.org.