Wish You Were Here | Epiphany Knedler

July 30 - November 7, 2021

Visual Arts Center | Bates Trimble Gallery 

The Great Plains of the Midwest are known for their prairie fields and pioneer history, along with a landscape uninterrupted for miles. Although referred to as flyover country, this region is full of tourist destinations for the road-trippers making their way out West. Wish You Were Here examines the ways the Great Plains region is romanticized using legends, folklore and histories. This history is often commodified through roadside attractions where tourists participate in rituals, like photo-ops or buying souvenirs, as experience and inclusion in these histories. The nostalgia of these rituals often clouds tourist perspectives, creating complicity in continuing flawed narratives.

The images in this series reveal the reality of tourist interactions in roadside attractions rather than the typical picturesque postcards. The images highlight aspects of truth within the idyll, including concealed histories, tourist engagement, surrounding infrastructure and pastoral nature. 

Several of the pieces displayed in this gallery are available for purchase. For more information, please contact the Visual Arts Center at 605-731-2493 or visualartscenter@washingtonpavilion.org.

 

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