BOONE, N.C. — A large-scale print installation by April Flanders, associate professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Art, was recently purchased by an anonymous donor who has gifted it to the Asheville Museum of Science.
The piece, “Advance,” is an acquisition for the museum’s permanent collection and explores the impact of invasive species on the ecosystem. The installation specifically addresses the breadth of the invasive species problem in North America and Hawaii.
Flanders, who has taught in the art department since 2006, is passionate about addressing the issue of invasive species.
“The permanent placement of this piece in a museum that celebrates science provides exposure that could really raise awareness of this problem,” she shared. “I want people to understand the complexity of the invasive species issue and how we are all a part of the system that creates it, so that we can work together on solutions.”
To create the piece, Flanders gathered locally invasive plants to print brightly colored sheets of paper using a layered monotype process. She then researched and cataloged 77 animal species invasive to the United States and created paper cutouts of each animal from her printed papers. In all, she spent more than a year creating the 270 pieces — all of which were cut by hand — that compose “Advance.”
Before finding a home at the Asheville Museum of Science, “Advance” traveled nationally and internationally. It was displayed most recently in the International Printmaking Biennial at the Douro Museum in Peso da Régua, Portugal, and in the “Ink & Imagery” exhibition at Blue Spiral 1 gallery in downtown Asheville.
Currently, Flanders is researching and creating work that addresses the delicate balance in the Great Lakes ecosystem by contrasting native, nonnative and invasive species. Once complete, this body of work will include a series of mixed media collage pieces, a set of large prints and a site-specific installation.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.