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September 26, 2005
Contact: Brian Grubbs, Museum Studies Program, (785) 864-4543.

Reception for opening of luminous Hall Center exhibit set for Oct. 1

LAWRENCE -- A provocative and interactive art exhibit will soon go on display at the University of Kansas. "Two Cultures: Collection," by Texas artist Tracy Hicks, will be unveiled at a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the KU Hall Center for the Humanities.

Hicks will be present to discuss his work, which explores how scientific specimens become cultural objects when they are collected and preserved.

Marjorie Swann, associate professor of English, and John Simmons, director of the Museum Studies Program and collections manager for the herpetology collection at KU's Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Center, secured a grant from the Museum Loan Network that made it possible for the university to borrow the Asian amphibians from the Field Museum in Chicago. The installation will include molds and casts of these creatures, photographs, original field notes and equipment used to collect specimens in the field.


" This project will allow audiences to gain a better understanding of how science and culture interact in processes of collecting," said Simmons.

Hicks has a long record of successful exhibit installations. Using museum jars and scientific specimens, his recent work has focused on cultural interpretations of environmental and conservation themes. Hicks' art thus interrogates the practice of collecting and blurs the line between scientific inquiry and artistic expression.

Beginning Oct. 3, regular hours for the exhibit will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Groups may arrange for tours on Saturday afternoons by request.

For more information, please contact Brian Grubbs, (785) 864-4543, bgrubbs@ku.edu. To view the project's Web log, please visit http://www.tracyhicks.com. Images are available upon request.

This event is co-sponsored by The Commons, a joint venture of the Hall Center and the Biodiversity Research Center, based in Spooner Hall.

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