A Display of Light and Dark in Greenland
March 21, 2016
Beyond the melting ice shelf, most Americans known very little about Greenland. Johnson State College Fine Arts Professor and Chair Ken Leslie has visited the Arctic country several times, and his Tuesday, March 29, multimedia presentation and exhibit of images, video and stories will illuminate this special place that experiences the extreme of light and dark.
Free and open to the public, Leslie’s presentation, “Greenland and Other Arctic Projects,” will be held at 4 p.m. in 207 Bentley Hall.
His presentation is tied to an exhibit of his work through Saturday, April 9, in JSC’s Julian Scott Memorial Gallery, located off the Dibden Center for the Arts’ main lobby. The gallery is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and during performances at Dibden Center.
Over the past 20 years, Leslie has completed more than a dozen art projects in both winter and summer in the Arctic, including sites in Alaska, Baffin Island, Svalbard, Iceland, far northern Norway and Finland and, most recently, in Ilulissat, the third largest city in Greenland, with a population of 4,500.
“Of all these Arctic areas, Greenland is especially remote,” he said. “The population of 57,000 is spread across a landmass equivalent to that of the entire United States east of the Mississippi. People – primarily Inuit and Danish – for the most part live in small villages, with no roads connecting them.”
Earlier, Leslie spent time in at a museum in Upernavik, 400 miles above the Arctic Circle, where he was the guest of the Upernavik Museum and painted, exhibited and worked with local artists.
“I painted in the dark – having learned that turning on electric lights only blinded me to seeing the richness of those special darks,” he said. “The museum invited me back for a summer experience the following year, during which time the sun never set.”
Leslie is well-known for his limited-edition and one-of-a-kind artist’s books and 360-degree panoramas painted on large folded wheels of paper, often depicting changing seasons or the span of a day. He uses both the books and the panoramas – which he calls “Arctic Cycles” – to depict Greenland and other sites in the Arctic. His website can be found at http://www.kenleslie.net.