Steenbock Gallery to Open Samantha VanDeman Exhibit
“Lost Schools” exhibition portrays interiors and objects found in abandoned schools.
“Lost Schools,” an exhibit featuring photographs by Samantha VanDeman, will be on display August 15 to September 23 in the Steenbock Gallery. An artist’s reception will take place on Sunday, August 21, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public. The Steenbock Gallery is located at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, 1922 University Ave., and is open Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
“About a year ago, I started making frequent trips to Gary, Indiana,” says VanDeman. “During that time, I started to photograph the interiors of abandoned structures. I wasn’t sure why I became so fascinated with the buildings: I just knew that I wanted to photograph them before they were gone. Lost Schools is an ongoing photographic series that evolved from my many explorations. I began this project by looking at empty rooms and remnants that remained in the spaces. Looking deeper, I began photographing… [and] examining how these objects provide links to memory, nostalgia and loss. I’m interested in how quickly these schools were forgotten about… as if one day, the teachers walked out and didn’t look back… With the destruction of these schools, any memory of these places will be erased from time. Photographs and artifacts will be all that remain.”