“For the Gods” Opens Monday at Hillstrom Museum of Art

The work of photographer and faculty member Priscilla Briggs examines the impact of globalization on India's economic and social structures.
Posted on February 13th, 2019 by

Priscilla Briggs, Suburbs #6, 2017, archival ink print, 18 x 27 inches

Gustavus Adolphus College Associate Professor in Art and Art History Priscilla Briggs spent the last month in Bangalore, India taking photos for her new exhibit, “For the Gods”, opening at the Hillstrom Museum of Art February 18. In addition to the opening reception to be held from 3–5 p.m. on February 24, Briggs will give a gallery talk at 3:30 p.m. on March 17.

Briggs’ work explores the intersections of progress, poverty, and the environment, while diving deeply into questions concerning the impact of globalization on the natural world and economic inequalities. “The intent of this work is to raise questions of cause and effect, within our world of finite resources,” she says.

While some of the works in the exhibit use metaphors to draw attention to issues that are less visible to the eye, such as the effect of globalization on tribal peoples, other pieces highlight the stark contrasts more concretely. One photo in particular shows a beautiful pool within a gated community in Bangalore, while a corresponding photo depicts a toxic river of sludge that flows near the gates to the neighborhood.

Briggs says these juxtapositions are important reminders that these issues expand beyond than the borders of India to the rest of the world, they are not isolated. “I see environmental issues as the crux of our time,” she says. “We are at a tipping point as a global village. India’s issues are our issues and vice versa for the planet. We all have things to learn from each other.”

In addition to Briggs’ work a second exhibit, “Recent Acquisitions of the Hillstrom Museum of Art”, includes several new acquisitions to the museum’s collection. Each of the 16 pieces featured was either donated to the museum or purchased using donated funds. Most of the artists included in the group are American, and nine of the artists are new to the Hillstrom collection.

The exhibits run February 18–April 18 and are free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held from 3–5 p.m. on February 24 with a gallery talk by Priscilla Briggs scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on March 17. Museum hours are Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday 1–5 p.m.



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