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Austin Peay State University’s The New Gallery opens season with exhibit by APSU professor McLean Fahnestock

Austin Peay State University (APSU)

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s The New Gallery, with support from the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts and the APSU Department of Art + Design, recently opened its 2018-19 exhibition season with “McLean Fahnestock: Undiscovered Country.”

Fahnestock is a media artist who works across modes of communication, from video and photographic images to sound, text and display.

McLean Fahnestock - Undiscovered Country
McLean Fahnestock – Undiscovered Country

She is inspired by the presentation modes found in the institutions that specialize in the delivery of knowledge – museums, libraries and the media. Fahnestock considers each of these and their roles and contrasts them with heuristic experiential modes of acquiring knowledge.

She mines these same locations and their archives for the materials she uses in her work.

Fahnestock’s projects are concerned with exploration. Using her own family legacy as a footpath, she is tracing the arc of exploration from the first spark that motivates an adventure to the final resting place of the ephemera and the propagation of the mythic character.

Specifically, she is examining South Pacific exploration through the lens of her grandfather and great uncle’s voyages. They sailed the South Seas for the American Museum of Natural History in the late 1930s – early 1940s, and their artifacts and recordings are found in several museum and library collections.

Fahnestock’s explorations begin in the institutions that house the archives and tell the tales of these acts and expand out into the field, re-imagining and representing material. She is drawn to the character of the explorer, with their singular focus on frontiers in spite of risk­–the possibility they could see something authentically new that could then lead to a place in history.

“This year, we’re opening up our exhibition season with a celebration of one of our own faculty members,” Michael Dickins, director of The New Gallery, said. “McLean joined the Department of Art + Design as an assistant professor of art in 2016, and currently serves as our foundations coordinator. I have been familiar with McLean’s work for several years, as we have collaborated on several video projection/sound projects. I am honored to be able to work with her in my role as gallery director. The discussions, planning and installation of this exhibit has been personally rewarding, and I am excited for her to unveil her newest works that combine video projection, sculpture and discovery.”

McLean received a BFA from Middle Tennessee State University and a MFA from California State University Long Beach. Her work has been exhibited and screened across the United States and internationally in Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Germany and Japan.

She has received an ARC grant from the Durfee Foundation, two Hoff Foundation grants, and was awarded a Professional Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council for Long Beach. Her work was included in a DVD compilation of short videos by the LA Film Forum. She was a finalist for a 2012 Vimeo Video Award and was recently named “Most Promising New Artist” at MADATAC 05, in Madrid, Spain.

The exhibit opened on August 27th at The New Gallery, located in the APSU Art + Design building, and runs through September 21st. Fahnestock will be giving a public lecture on her work at 6:00pm on September 18th in the building’s Heydel Hall. A reception will take place from noon-1:00pm on September 19th, with a gallery talk featuring Fahnestock beginning at 12:30pm. All events are free and open to the public.

For more on Fahnestock and her work, visit: www.mcleanfahnestock.com

Hours for The New Gallery are Monday – Friday, 9:00am– 4:00pm. The gallery is closed on weekends and holidays, and its hours follow the University’s academic calendar.

For information on this exhibition, contact Dickins at


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