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Spirit in the Land (Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, $29.95, 2023), the catalogue which accompanies the art exhibition of the same name, examines today’s urgent ecological concerns from a fresh perspective.

Through their artwork and writing, the artists show how cultural identity and traditions are deeply rooted in our relationship with the land, illustrate the restorative need to return to nature, and exemplify how biodiversity and cultural diversity are essential to our survival. The exhibition and catalogue center the voices of underrepresented artists, approaching ecological awareness and environmental, social, and racial justice from the perspectives of the marginalized communities most negatively affected by today’s crises. Acting as environmental stewards, the artists reveal nature to be a repository of cultural memory, a place of sanctuary, a contested site of resistance, and a source of spiritual nourishment. As land and water provide a sense of place and community, the exhibition aims to reconnect people to the natural world, illustrating our interdependence with all life on Earth. Spirit in the Land speaks to the urgency of today and projects a hopeful path for our future, where nature is cared for by humans, so that in turn nature may heal humanity.

Artists: Terry Adkins, Firelei Báez, Radcliffe Bailey, Rina Banerjee, Christi Belcourt, María Berrío, Mel Chin, Andrea Chung, Sonya Clark, Maia Cruz Palileo, Annalee Davis, Tamika Galanis, Allison Janae Hamilton, Barkley L. Hendricks, Alexa Kleinbard, Hung Liu, Hew Locke, Meryl McMaster, Wangechi Mutu, Dario Robleto, Jim Roche, Kathleen Ryan, Sheldon Scott, Renée Stout, Monique Verdin, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Charmaine Watkiss, Marie Watt, Carrie Mae Weems, Peter Williams

The exhibition will be on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University from February 16 to July 9, 2023.

The 136-page fully illustrated paperback catalogue was designed by Julie Klugman Braude. Spirit in the Land is distributed by Duke University Press and available for purchase in person at the Nasher Museum Store. Shop online.


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