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A quarter acre of the North Carolina Museum of Art park is currently planted in a corn maze. This site-specific Land Art piece, From Teosinte to Tomorrow, acts as the symbolic entrance to the exhibition ART’S WORK IN THE AGE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY: SHAPING OUR GENETIC FUTURES that opens October 17 at the Gregg Museum and the Libraries. Renda will discuss the genesis of the project as a whole, and introduce some of the 17 artists represented in the exhibition.
Art’s Work/Genetic Futures places art at the center of discussions about the future of biotechnology. By presenting works in which artists appropriate tools and techniques of modern biotechnology that have until recently been the exclusive purview of scientists. The exhibit provokes questions about freedom of expression in both art and science and shows how artists and designers can contribute materially, rhetorically, and conceptually to biotechnology’s development.
Molly Renda has served as exhibits program librarian at the NC State University Libraries since 2011, and with Fred Gould is co-director of the ART’S WORK IN THE AGE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY: SHAPING OUR GENETIC FUTURES project. For the Libraries she develops, designs, and produces exhibitions that leverage the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center resources, as well as showcase faculty and student research and university history. Her background in painting and printmaking has informed a thirty-year career in graphic design. Renda holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts where she studied with Bob Blackburn and Dale Henry, and later worked at Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop. She served as executive editor for design and production for DoubleTake magazine (1994–99), published by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Her book and publication design have been recognized by Communication Graphics, Graphis, the AIGA 50 Books, 50 Covers exhibition, and the Association of American University Presses.