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University Art Gallery at NMSU opens trade-based interactive installation

The New Mexico State University Art Gallery invites the public to trade their art for works crafted by artists from all over the country, as ?Your General Store,? an interactive installation, is unveiled Sept. 3.


Picture of the inside of ?Your General Store?
The University Art Gallery at NMSU invites the public to trade their art for works crafted by artists from all over the country, as ?Your General Store? is unveiled Sept. 3. (Photo by Eric Swanson)
Picture of a blue shipping crate (the outside of ?Your General Store?)
?Your General Store? was created by artist Jason Middlebrook. The reconditioned shipping container-turned general store will arrive to campus from SITE Santa Fe, where it made its debut earlier this summer. (Photo by Eric Swanson)

Created by artist Jason Middlebrook, the reconditioned shipping container-turned general store will arrive to campus from SITE Santa Fe, where it made its debut earlier this summer. The store is filled with inventory and art by hundreds of artists from across the world who have exchanged their artwork for pieces created specifically for ?Your General Store.?

?The goal of the trade-based installation is to travel around the country, gathering and dispersing handmade objects from person to person,? said Marisa Sage, director of the gallery, which is part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Middlebrook has altered an old shipping container to create a replica of a nineteenth-century general store. ?Your General Store? relies on the exchange of goods, rather than the use of cash or credit, and features handmade and salvaged objects available through barter.

In the University Art Gallery?s rendition of ?Your General Store,? an NMSU student will fill the role of ?clerk? as part of an independent study course to experience what it takes to be a public art piece manager.

The public is invited to fill the role of store ?visitor,? and encouraged to bring an object that is either handmade or salvaged to trade at the store. Visitors cannot buy pieces, but instead must make something or trade something of equal value.

The opening reception for ?Your General Store? will be held in conjunction with the opening of UAG?s fall exhibition, ?Between Here and There.? The opening reception will take place in the gallery from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3.

In addition to this opening, Jason Middlebrook will give an artist lecture in the UAG from 6-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4.

?Your General Store? will run through Nov. 7.

The University Art Gallery at NMSU is located in D.W. Williams Hall, at the intersection of University and Solano Avenues. The UAG is open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Designated gallery parking is available, and general parking on the NMSU campus is free on weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For more information or to arrange a group visit, visit the gallery website at uag.nmsu.edu, or contact UAG administrator Jasmine Woodul directly at 575-646-2545 or artglry@nmsu.edu.