A ‘golden spike’ is a signifier of extreme environmental and/or climatic change—a tipping point—in the geologic record. In Golden Spike Beavers, Gray, and Van Beckum explore the concept of the Anthropocence—specifically, the landscape as evidence of the human epoch—via proxies and models of landscape that are situated in the past, present, near future, and distant future. This three-person exhibition incorporates multiple media that access time and scale via distinct matrices of art historical and environmental contexts.
In Golden Spike desire is a pathway for considering the inherently contradictory relationship between humans and our environments. We simultaneously consume aesthetic beauty from landscapes, while treating them as sites of extraction and destruction. The work then disorients our relationship to the environment and landscape. Through painting, photography, and sculptural installation, the artists co-opt image, orientation, and perspective, asking the viewer to consider landscape as the keeper of deep time, environmental histories, and prospective futures.
Isabel Beavers is a multi-media artist and educator based in Los Angeles, CA. She explores ecologies, environmental histories and scientific storytelling through a range of media including video, animation, sculpture and sound. She is a 2019-30 Resident Artist with CultureHub LA. Her work has been exhibited at the New York Hall of Science, the MIT Museum, IceBox Projects, Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s William Morris Hunt Memorial Library, Emerson Media Arts Center, the Waterworks Museum, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin Thaer-Institut, and Mountain Time Arts in Bozeman, MT. She is the recipient of the National Service Corps MLK Drum Major for Service Award and was the first artist to be awarded a Tufts Institute on the Environment (TIE) Graduate Environmental Research Fellowship. Her work is in the permanent collection of Boston Cyber Arts, The Association for Gallatin Agricultural Irrigators in Montana, and Framingham State University.
Allison Gray is an oil painter based in Somerville, MA. She explores changes to the environment and climate through still life painting. She holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from The School of Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Babson College. Her work has been exhibited at the Perlman Teaching Museum at Carleton College, The Gallery at Atlantic Wharf, Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s William Morris Hunt Memorial Library, Galatea Fine Art, and Beard & Weil Galleries at Wheaton College. She has attended residency programs at Vermont Studio Center and Cuttyhunk Island Artists’ Residency, and her work has appeared in New American Paintings.
William Van Beckum is a photographic artist working with appropriated imagery to explore anthropocentrism through the lens of landscape photography and social media. He has exhibited in non-traditional venues such as the New England Scenic Trail and Emerald Necklace parks, as well as Area Gallery at The Yard, Monmouth Museum, Gallery 263, Emerson Urban Arts Media Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s William Morris Hunt Library, and the Photographic Resource Center. He is the second place recipient of the Yousuf Karsh Prize in Photography, and was awarded Best Oral Presentation at the University of Massachusetts Environmental Research Colloquium. He was the Resident Artist for the New England Scenic Trail in 2017. William earned his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and his BA from Emerson College. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Studio Art at Wellesley College.