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Noting that Elsewhere’s collection of framed thrift-store art has been among it’s least cared for, Emily Lombardo acted as a guest curator over the course of her residency, cleaning, researching, and cataloging this collection. She then re-hung the works of kitschy embroidery, bucolic landscape and still life paintings, velvet icons, mass produced prints and string-art in the museum’s de facto second floor gallery. The exhibition, titled The Face of America, after a book by a Saturday Evening Post book from the 1950s with the same name, prompts reflection on these items as artifacts of American middle class culture of the late 20th century—highlighting the historic role of this kind of art in promoting values of comfort, respectability, religious expression, and domesticity. By arranging the works in tight thematic clusters the exhibition encourages ways of reading the works to produce new narratives that question and counter the dominant cultural meanings associated with their forms. A poem as exhibition check list consisting of an inventory of titles further unpins the significance of the works from their original context. It is included alongside the new installation as an inscription in a copy of the Post’s The Face of America, a photo-journal meant to express commonalities in American experience, which speaks to many of the same values presented in the thrift art.
 

 
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