Form and Content Gallery presents Unearth, new work by Sandra Menefee Taylor.  Unearth continues Taylor’s contemplation of land and how we regard it as we enter the Anthropocene Era. Taylor brings her current work into conversation with the nineteenth-century Realism of Jean-Francois Millet to explore the multiple layers of meaning and cultural status that are given to materials such as lace and dirt. She asks the audience to reconsider assumptions about how value is assigned:  In what frame/context do we make things precious? 

Artist Statement

Poet and farmer Wendell Berry says, “Soil is the one thing we have in common.”  Soil—the proper name for dirt—is an essential component of life, yet it is often associated with negative interpretations such as filth, low status, a brutal nature.

We are all of the earth, from the earth, and to earth we will return: ‘dust to dust’.

I bring images from Jean-Francois Millet into my current work, to acknowledge the long-standing debate in the Art world about the portrayal of people on/of the land. We must also consider the relationship between the words humility and humus, both weighted with judgment.  The Anthropocene era might be the time that the common soil beneath our feet will show us our most precious material.

Artist Biography

Sandra Menefee Taylor is a multimedia artist based in Saint Paul.  Throughout her career, she has pushed the boundaries of the role of artist and fostered collaborations with nonartists and professionals in the fields of health care, agriculture and religion.

She has extensive experience as a presenter and teacher in a variety of settings, most notably ten years as artist in residence for the Amherst Wilder Foundation’s Adult Day Health program. 

Her art has been collected nationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum, Franklin Furnace (NY), El Archivo (Mexico City) Artists Book Works (Chicago), and numerous private collections.

She has been a Form+Content member since 2012.

October 31 -December 2, 2019

Opening reception: Saturday Nov 2, 6:00 - 8:00 PM