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Thorne Art Exhibit Explores America's Self Image

Model for "My America" by  Sungho Choi
Model for "My America" by Sungho Choi

KEENE, N.H., 8/4/11 - America’s shared culture is explored in Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity, an art exhibition on view Friday, September 2 to Sunday, December 4, at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College. Infinite Mirror explores America’s self image through paintings, prints, photographs, and video by 42 artists whose insightful works reveal the triumphs, tragedies, relationships, and traditions that inform our notions of nationhood.

Keene State English Professor Michael Antonucci presents a guided walk through the exhibit at 6:30 p.m. Friday, September 9, during a reception hosted by the Friends of the Thorne from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Gallery.

This exhibit is part of Keene State’s Biennial Symposium “What Sustains Us,” Wednesday to Friday, November 2 to 4, during which time the Thorne hosts a panel discussion to include one of the curators of Infinite Mirror.

Infinite Mirror centers on the U.S. founding principal of E Pluribus Unum- out of many, one-a concept that acknowledges the country’s diversity and expresses its unity around shared values.

American artists of African, Arab, European, Asian, Latino, and Native American descent examine patriotism, communication, the struggle for acceptance, and what it truly means to be an American in the 21st century. Humor, heartache, anger, apprehension-all emotions are evoked by these works, raising questions about race, class, gender and age.

“The images reflect the complex dynamics between people and within the minds of individuals as they participate in and contribute to a composite, inestimable culture. We, as Americans, would need an infinite mirror to see our full reflection.” said Blake Bradford, Infinite Mirror curator and director of education of Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Four main themes run through the exhibit: Self-Selection, Pride, Assimilation, and Protest, providing audiences with the opportunity to re-examine both the story and storytellers of the quintessential “American dream.” In analyzing the diversities in the American population, Infinite Mirror speaks to myriad experiences and the ways we form and connect to an American identity.

Infinite Mirror is developed by Artrain, Inc. and Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, Pa., and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. Presented with support from the Institute of Museum & Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Also on exhibit is Figuratively Speaking, open Friday, September 2 to Sunday, October 2. Stephen J. Lucey, assistant professor of art at Keene State, curated this exhibit of portraits from the Thorne’s Permanent Collection. A portion of this exhibit will remain on display for the Friends of the Thorne’s education program for area schoolchildren October 14 to November 3.

The exhibits, reception, and educational program are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Sunday to Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. The gallery is closed September 5 for Labor Day, November 11 for Veterans Day, and November 23-27 for Thanksgiving break.

The gallery, located on Wyman Way on the Keene State campus, is accessible to people with disabilities. To request accommodations for a disability, please call the gallery at least two weeks before your visit. For information, call 603-358-2720 or visit

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