In the last three years, Indiana University has been home to the Global Remixed Festivals. Starting in 2017, the IU Arts & Humanities Council has brought artists and scholars from across the world to come share their craft with the students and residences of Bloomington, Indiana. Each spring semester the A&H Council presents a diverse series of performances, exhibits, films, public lectures, and conferences dedicated to the global and contemporary impact of one world culture. This year as a part of the Bloomington Bicentennial, we are celebrating Indiana Remixed and exploring what it means to live in the Hoosier state. Indiana Remixed will ask vital questions about the ways we create art, community, and meaning in our state. As a center for IU history, the Wylie House will be participating for the first time during this year’s Remixed Festival.
Call and Response: Creative Interpretations of the Wylie House is an eight-artist exhibit that discusses the lesser-known histories of people associated with the 1835 home. Each artist will create installation pieces that consider the women and children who lived in the home, the African Americans who worked in the home, the displaced Native Americans who once lived on the land the Wylies farmed, the immigrants in town, and the lives of the men and women whose sexual identity fell outside the heteronormative culture.
The process of this exhibit started back at the end of the fall semester with a call out to artists and an open house tour. Each artist submitted a detailed plan for their artworks and gave information about where it could be in the home and how it interacts with the other objects. We then went through and picked out eight of the submissions to be a part of the exhibit. From there, the artists have been given a few months to work on their pieces. During this time, we have been visiting their studios and seeing the process of their pieces. The work will be installed later this month.
Projects like this have been explored throughout history museums and historical house museums across America. One that comes to mind is the Mining the Museum exhibit from 1992-93 by artist Fred Wilson. This exhibit, in the Maryland Historical Society, took a deep dive into the museum’s collections and brought up many hidden objects. Wilson took pieces that were tucked away for decades and showed them in a new light by displaying items with controversial histories together. Another example of this kind of exhibit was at the Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House historic site in 2018. The Makers In The Mansion: A Transformed African American Community at Woodlawn through the Artisan Eye exhibit had six African American artists create installation pieces to place in the home, similar to what we are doing here at the Wylie House. With this exhibit, we would like to be a part of this new tradition of showing the forgotten or ignored histories of America.
Join us on March 5th for the opening reception from 5-7pm at the Wylie House. The exhibit will be up from March 5th-September 12th.
For more information about the exhibit and more stories from the Wylie House, feel free to explore the links below!
Written by Bethany Habegger