Visual Studies Alumna organizes symposium on making art outside metropolitan areas

April 05, 2018

Visual Studies Alumna organizes symposium on making art outside metropolitan areas

With an aspiration to have her art practice bring geographic diversity to the field of contemporary art, through the challenging use of rural material, language and lived experience, Visual Studies alumna Dulcee Boehm artworks emerged from this "rooted position and brings lived rural experience- informed and analyzed through a critical academic lens- into the gallery and into an art conversation."

Since graduation in 2012 in Visual Studies and Psychology, Dulcee has pursued an MFA in New Media at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and continues her pratice of performative and object-based works where particular attention is paid to country culture, bodies, farm work and food. Boehm has exhibited in a variety of spaces from the former Mess Hall (2012) in Chicago, Illinois to an old cattle barn at Grin City (2014) in Grinnell, Iowa. She also co-founded a nomadic residency & exhibition program called Say Uncle in 2015. Boehm also continues to be part of Ox-Bow School of Art & Artist Residency as a staff member since 2010. 

Currently, Boehm is co-director (with Cory Imig) of the Beyond Alternatives symposium, focusing on artist-led projects outside large metropolitan areas. Since beginning Say Uncle in 2015 (with Benjamin Cook) the Central Illinois area has revealed itself, welcoming Say Uncle, as a landscape full of small art communities in small cities and towns. Through touring work and holding exhibitions at a number of spaces, threads and conversations have begun and came to the surface during the Regional Alternatives discussion Jason Judd and Sight Specific Arts (formerly the Bloomington-Normal Arts Collective) organized last spring. It was enriching to have conversations about artist led projects in the place where the work is actually happening.

Beyond Alternatives is a response to this growing energy, and is intended as another jumping point for Central Illinois to continue with its work in broader conversation.  It deliberately is not a how-to sort of symposium, instead it brings critical minds together that are already doing arts organizing in collaboration with institutions, cities, each other and those invested in going beyond a grassroots approach. Beyond Alternatives aspires to have a conversation that is open to the specificity of places outside of large metropolitan areas sustaining both the challenges and opportunities those places offer to artists and organizers.

This year's edition will occur on April 6-8, in Urbana Champaign. The event is sponsored by Blue Moon FarmSixty Inches from Center partnership funded by Illinois HumanitiesBluestem Hall, the City of Urbana Public Arts Program, and the Visitors Committee + Art & Design Department at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for funding & resource support.

You can read more about (and register for) the symposium here:

For more information on Dulcee's Practice, visit her portfolio site



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Page last modified April 5, 2018