Carolyn Webb: Two Ways of Looking at an Elm Tree

August 2 - November 30, 2012
Two Ways of Looking at an Elm Tree

The University Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in conjunction with the Summer College and the Department of Art, Architecture, and Art History, is pleased to announce the work by Carolyn Webb, selected by a jury from a number of entries. The work on two 12 x 24 foot banners will be mounted on the south façade of the Fine Arts Center on the UMass Amherst Campus. It is intended to energize this public space and to spark the thinking of the UMASS creative community about the nature of public art and to articulate those ideas in the context of the UMASS Campus. Two Ways of Looking at an Elm Tree, I and II by Carolyn Webb will be on view during this summer and fall semester and is part of the Amherst Biennial which will take place in October and November 2012. Two Ways of Looking at an Elm Tree, I and II is also part of the “Museum Without Walls” program at UMCA, a series of temporary public art projects.

The banners will be installed August 2 with an opening reception from 4:30 – 6:30pm.

Carolyn Webb, an abstract sculptor and UMass alumna, used both digital technology and traditional printmaking techniques to create Two Ways of Looking at an Elm Tree, I and II . The image is based on an Elm tree near the Campus Pond – one of the ‘Gift Trees’ on campus. Both the tree and the creation of the work are metaphors of intellectual growth. The tree serves as allegory for higher learning with its roots in a localized place, nourished by the academic environment, and finally flourishing in the student community. Simultaneously, the work by Webb symbolizes a creative process where disciplines cross-fertilize. Traditional knowledge and time-honored practices are applied in conjunction with the latest scientific and technological advances to give rise to new expressions. The organic nature of the tree is at once organized and random – just as the experience of learning so frequently is.

The UMCA interns Sarah Horowitz (M.A.’13) and Mark Thomas (B.A.‘13) have responded to Webb’s interest in ‘gift trees’. They researched the history of trees on the UMass campus and its unusual trees, commemorative trees, and heritage trees. A map of the UMass Arboretum and more information on trees on campus can be found here or in a printed version at the UMCA.


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Carolyn Webb Events

Opening Reception
August 2, 2012
Front Facade of the
Fine Arts Center