Bryan and College Station Press Release
Austin, TX – February 14, 2017 – XYZ Atlas, a groundbreaking public art project from acclaimed artist Jennifer Chenoweth, is pleased to announce the project’s next phase in the adjacent cities of Bryan and College Station, Texas. Over the next four months, a series of pop-up art installations that encourage community involvement and feedback with the project and Bryan / College Station will occur before this phase of XYZ Atlas culminates with a comprehensive exhibition debuting in downtown Bryan May 5, 2017.
Noteworthy for asking why humans feel a sense of belonging to place, XYZ Atlas maps experiences and collects stories that document our highs and lows. Launched in Austin, Texas, Chenoweth first took XYZ Atlas to A&M for GIS Day in November 2015, where passersby documented their own emotional experiences on a large-scale map of the surrounding area with flags and markers. Similar site-specific mapping events will be held throughout Bryan and College Station this spring, allowing the XYZ Atlas team to conduct in-person interviews and collect visual assets. A web survey in both English and Spanish will provide another platform for people to share their experiences and engage with their community.
In a cross-disciplinary partnership with Texas A&M University, Chenoweth and her team are working with the College of Architecture; Texas Target Communities; the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs – Department of Multicultural Services; Urban and Regional Science Student Organization (URSSO); and the College of Liberal Arts. Other area partners include: Arts Council of Brazos Valley; City of College Station; City of Bryan; Downtown Bryan Association; Bryan & College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau; Texas Cultural Trust; and Blinn College.
“With unprecedented support from community stakeholders and organizations in Bryan and College Station, I’m excited to map and record the diverse perspectives of the local population,” Chenoweth said. “Few studies have this kind of insight into where and how people experience emotional highs and lows. My hope is that the information, stories and data that are uncovered through this project will help make Bryan and College Station more inclusive, healthy and valuable to those who live there.”
In the process of expanding XYZ Atlas to Bryan and College Station, Chenoweth strengthened the science behind the interactive project, whose unconventional nature invites a depth of intimate responses from underrepresented or disadvantaged populations. Through a collaboration with Texas Target Communities, a research program housed in the College of Architecture, a framework was developed so that all collected data can be cataloged for research, exhibition, and teaching. With experience in participatory community development and civic engagement across the state, Texas Target Communities gave the XYZ Atlas team a better understanding of how data gives evidence to personal experience.
Jaimie Hicks Masterson, Associate Director of Texas Target Communities adds, “We are so thrilled to train the XYZ Atlas team on strategies to reach out to residents in Bryan and College Station. Their work is not only beautiful art and valuable data, but also grounded in participatory planning practices for the diverse communities within a community.”
In addition to scientific use, these responses will be visualized through a series of interactive pieces playing with time, space, and perspective. The free exhibition of XYZ Atlas – The Experience Map of Bryan/College Station opens May 5 and can be viewed through June. It is set to include an indoor display and an outdoor transformation of multiple locations in downtown Bryan. Several interactive, multimedia representation of the XYZ Atlas survey data will be displayed – including 3D printed objects, handmade drawings, digital maps, and sculptures.
More information about XYZ Atlas in Bryan and College Station will be released over the coming months. The online survey can be found at http://www.xyzatlas.org/survey.
About XYZ Atlas
XYZ Atlas is a multi-year project mapping shared experiences through art
Established in 2013, this body of work has been exhibited at SXSW, the Texas Tribune Festival, East Austin Studio Tour, and through SXSW Eco’s Place by Design competition, which highlights design projects engaged in promoting social, economic, and environmental change.
Major support for XYZ Atlas is provided by a competitive grant from the National Endowment for the Arts: Challenge America, and an award from Mid-America Arts Alliance: Artistic Innovations, Texas Commission on the Arts, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. The XYZ Atlas is a Fisterra Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For general information, please visit http://www.xyzatlas.org/.
About Jennifer Chenoweth
Jennifer Chenoweth is an Austin-based visual artist and cultural producer. For nearly 20 years, Chenoweth has explored her art process through Fisterra Studio, where she makes contemporary art in any material that fits the idea, from drawings to large sculpture to interactive collaborative projects. Her personal style has earned her a reputation as a critically acclaimed figure in Austin’s art community, in part because of her ability to utilize visual art as a tool for social change through inspiration and connection.
From 2015-2016, Chenoweth served on a team for an ArtPlace project in Austin, Drawing Lines. In 2010, she founded a nonprofit, Generous Art, to empower artists and strengthen communities. ###
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