Contemporary Artist Lesley Dill brings history to life at KSU's Zuckerman Museum of Art

Mar. 1—Lesley Dill, a renowned New York-based artist, brings historical and literary figures from America's past to life in a new exhibition at Kennesaw State University's Zuckerman Museum of Art.

The exhibition, organized by the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa and made possible by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities, opens to the public on March 14 and runs through May 14.

"Lesley Dill, Wilderness: Light Sizzles Around Me" features a collection of hand-painted and sewn textile sculptures and banners created by Dill over the past seven years. Her work carefully interweaves imagery, text and historical visionaries into stunning three-dimensional encounters.

Gracefully suspended from the ceiling, the clothing of each figure is delicately embellished with words and symbols drawn from their writings and experiences. Hand-painted banners hang on every wall of the gallery with further texts and imagery elaborating on their incredible stories. The exhibition represents Dill's ongoing investigation into the significant voices and personas of America's past.

For Dill, the "American" voice grew from early America's obsessions with divinity and deviltry, on fears of the wilderness "out there" and the wilderness inside us. The extremes of both shaped history and gave pulse and heat to the words of activists like John Brown, Sojourner Truth, Mother Ann Lee and Dred Scott.

Dill's works are a platform for promoting cultural literacy and American history. Her incorporation of language throughout the exhibition links her works to American literary tradition, while her sculptures and banners derive their power from the lives and words of the people her works represent.

The book "Lesley Dill, Wilderness: Light Sizzles Around Me," by Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich, is available in conjunction with the exhibition and features essays by Nancy Princenthal, Andrew Wallace and others.

Dill has had over 100 solo exhibitions. Her artworks are in the collections of many major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The public is invited to an opening reception on March 16 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The reception is free with a simple reservation. The artist will give a public lecture in person at the close of the exhibition on April 14 at 7 p.m.

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