With Effigy : Hemric, Washburn takes us into a constructed domestic space as a psychological extension of a Yadkin Valley, North Carolina tobacco farmer. Washburn explores junctures between consumerism, folklore traditions, and the built environments of rural American subcultures with found materials and objects of that region.
Sarasota, FL – December 8, 2021 – Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design today announced that Danner Washburn’s Effigy : Hemric site-specific installation will be open to the public on December 11, 2021 through May 8, 2022.
The exhibition will invite visitors into a constructed domestic space—a shelter of sorts— inspired by the life and experiences of a Yadkin Valley, North Carolina tobacco farmer named Hemric.Effigy : Hemric takes the form of a shelter fabricated from found materials and objects from the Yadkin Valley region, including natural elements, such as branches and leaves, and commercial objects, such as tarps and plastic. This installation will occupy the John & Charlotte Suhler Gallery and will be sectioned off into rooms that will feel like a home. The exhibition also includes new paintings and sculptures in dialogue with the domestic space.
“We’re thrilled that Sarasota Art Museum can support the creation and exhibition of Danner Washburn’s new work Effigy : Hemric.This project is uniquely personal and responds to powerful forces and generational changes that have impacted the environment and the region that Washburn calls home. Visiting the exhibition forces viewers to consider the impact the tobacco industry once had on a region and way of life. Danner’s work invites us in, and inspires empathy and understanding of a lost way of life and livelihood,” stated Sarasota Art Museum Executive Director Virginia Shearer. “Through this physical representation of identity, Washburn asks us to consider how we are meant to cope, evolve, and survive when destabilized.”
Effigy : Hemric is the second iteration of a series where the artist fabricates the lives of Yadkin Valley, North Carolina tobacco farmers through domestic spaces. Washburn first investigates the histories, cultures, and lived experiences of these tobacco farmers before constructing their narratives through found and reclaimed objects, both natural and manufactured. The immersive installation explores how intangible qualities—psychologies, beliefs, traditions, and politics—materialize in constructed space.
According to Washburn, “The individual that the show centers around, Hemric, has received more than a million dollars in government payments for tobacco farming. Compared to Dinkins, whom the Atlanta show was inspired by, this sum is substantially more. Because of this, the exhibit here in Sarasota exudes greater affluence, both in size, objects, and materials. My hope is that visitors can immerse themselves in the installation and meditate upon this alternate reality — examining their own inner world.”
Washburn imagined this series during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Relegated to his home, Washburn began to reflect on the idea of personal, domestic space—how it is designed, decorated, and inhabited. Washburn also spent time during quarantine on long walks outside around his neighborhood. He began to notice the differences between his own home and others’ and recognized how personal space is an extension of psychology, whereby space acts as a Rorschach readout of personal identity.
Washburn grew up in the Yadkin Valley region of North Carolina and recently moved back. Upon his return, Washburn was reminded of his childhood growing up on a farm in tobacco country—exploring the land and living with animals. Now back in this region, Washburn started to consider the vernacular of urban areas, specifically, how people’s varied economic backgrounds, beliefs, traditions, politics, recreations, etc. manifest in physical spaces. In contemplating the relationship of economic backgrounds, Washburn researched the demographics of the Yadkin Valley region and in doing so, he came across tax records, many of which belonged to tobacco farmers. The tobacco industry in the Yadkin Valley sustained economic prosperity for the region for decades, but this was disrupted, and now, tobacco farmers struggle to keep their businesses alive.
DRAFT QUOTE SPACE FOR DANNER – “Through my work I hope to elevate and commemorate the cultural pride of this region’s peoples through the creation of domestic spaces that reference the affluence and comfort of yesterday.”
This exhibition is part of the Museum’s newest initiative, IN THE MAKING, that promotes artists of the next generation. This initiative furthers Sarasota Art Museum’s mission to be a platform for education, exposure, and experimentation. IN THE MAKING offers important early career support, exposure and experience.
Effigy : Hemric is the inaugural exhibition for this initiative. The Museum is honored to support Washburn in creating this site-specific, immersive installation, designed specifically for the Museum’s John & Charlotte Suhler Gallery.
Danner Washburn creates narrative domestic spaces that capture a community’s story and culture in an immersive installation that materializes the intangibles of psychology, belief, and tradition within the constructed space.
Danner Washburn (b.1994, North Carolina) utilizes sculpture, painting, sound, and installation to study the junctures between consumerism, folklore traditions, and the built environments of rural American subcultures. Washburn has exhibited in the United States and Italy, with recent exhibitions including: Tobacco Mosaic Virus (Effigy : Dinkins), whitespec (whitespace gallery), Atlanta, GA; SECAC Juried Exhibition, UT Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN; Gathered IV Juried Exhibition, MOCA GA, Atlanta, GA. He currently resides in Winston-Salem, NC.
Effigies: Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Danner Washburn
Thursday, February 10
Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium
Pricing: FREE for members, $20 not-yet members
Assistant Curator Emory Conetta will explore the works of Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Danner Washburn currently on view at the Museum; specifically, how each artist uses unconventional materials to create an effigy of a person, place, or memory. This program coincides with extended gallery hours. We invite you to enjoy the exhibitions before and after the program.
Danner Washburn Effigy : Hemric
Thursday, March 10
Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium
Pricing: FREE for members, $20 not-yet members
Artist Danner Washburn (b.1994, North Carolina) and Assistant Curator, Emory Conetta, will discuss the artist’s current exhibition,Effigy : Hemric. The program will explore Washburn’s process of collecting and transforming found objects and his interest in the Yadkin Valley (North Carolina) tobacco culture and industry. This program coincides with extended gallery hours. We invite you to enjoy the exhibition, Effigy : Hemric, before and after the program.
Additional Museum Updates
Open 7 Days a Week
Beginning in December, Sarasota Art Museum will be open 7 days a week. Previously, the Museum was closed on Tuesdays. The first open Tuesday is December 7.
Second Sundays @ SAM
Free Day has moved to the 2nd Sunday of the month (from the last Sunday of the month), but the same engaging and explorative programs remain! Second Sundays @ SAM programming includes: Musical Interludes on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza;Mary’s Front Porch storytelling performance for all ages where they can share their imagination and creativity; What’s Your Medium? is an intergenerational art activity for discovering various artistic mediums; and Ringling College Studio + Digital Arts Free Studio Day Activities. Support for Second Sundays @ SAM is provided by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.
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