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W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents ‘Solastalgia: On Hold’ by William Ransom Opening Feb. 23, the exhibit will display the Vermont-based artist’s sculptural works. An artist’s talk is scheduled for Feb. 24.

Willim-Ransom-576x768 W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents ‘Solastalgia: On Hold' by William Ransomfailure cascade, detail; 2019; basswood, poplar, clamp; 62 x 9 x 116 inches

Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery’s upcoming exhibit presents sculptural works from Vermont-based artist William Ransom. The title of the exhibit is “Solastalgia: On Hold” The display will open on Feb. 23 and the sculptures will be on display through March 19, with a virtual talk by the artist on Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Staniar Gallery is open to W&L community members only via swipe card access to Wilson Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (seven days a week). The exhibit can be accessed remotely through a virtual gallery tour, and the artist’s talk will be held over Zoom. Links to both the tour and the talk, which are free and open to the public, will be posted to the gallery’s website: https://my.wlu.edu/staniar-gallery/current-season/william-ransom.

The exhibition, featuring new work by Ransom and collaborative work created with W&L sculpture students in Sandy de Lissovoy’s Land and Passage class, examines the notion of “solastalgia” — the sense of distress and uncertainty resulting from environmental change and degradation or slippage in societal foundations. The work in this show is based on the premise that the solace of a known landscape or a familiar view can be lost if the natural rhythms sustaining it are disrupted. Ransom’s work pairs his personal story and history with the larger national story and legacy of race, justice and unrest and considers the existential unease that comes with recognition of the truth of our collective history and an acknowledgment of perpetuating systems that have defined our nation from the start.

Ransom was born and raised on a dairy farm in Vermont, and his work and life continue to be informed by his early material experiences and engagement with the cycles and rhythms at the intersection with the natural world. Ransom received a bachelor’s degree from Bennington College in 2004, and he earned a master’s degree in sculpture from Claremont Graduate University in 2008. He currently teaches sculpture at Marlboro College in Vermont.

The Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.