Alison Alsup’s exhibition, Prairies to Peaks: Biking to Colorado’s Tallest Mountain, will be on view in the Massillon Museum’s Studio M from March 11 through April 2, 2023.
Prairies to Peaks: Biking to Colorado's Tallest Mountain will feature images recounting the artist’s 1,000-mile solo bicycle trip across the American Midwest to a summer job, where she worked and lived on Mt. Elbert—Colorado’s tallest peak.
Detailed watercolor paintings, and pen, ink, and graphite drawings depict the artist's observations and narratives that follow her adventure west from Cleveland, Ohio. Using photo references from the journey, Alsup creates a body of work consisting of highly rendered documentations of the landscapes she encountered. She also constructed narratives that illustrate moments of the venture which were not photographed—depictions that highlight America’s expansive natural beauty with excitement through young and curious eyes, and portray difficult physical feats with a sense of romanticized innocence accurate to the artist's experience.
While looking at the accounts of a young girl admiring the Midwest on her bike, and pushing hundreds of pounds of rock around a mountainside to build hiking trails above the clouds, viewers are invited to contemplate women in adventure sports, the beauty within stranger interactions, the country’s magnificent nature, the horrible destruction it has faced due to the colonization of this land, and other complexities that are associated with outdoor recreation.
Alison Alsup, born in Delaware, Ohio, is currently studying drawing and painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art, having also completed a semester abroad at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Palestine.
Her work has been exhibited most recently in the solo exhibition The Holy Land: A Semester in Jerusalem at the Ann and Norman Roulet Student + Alumni Gallery in Cleveland aswell as a two-person exhibition entitled Alaska: Working in Bristol Bay at Current, a community space in the 78th Street Studios in Cleveland with her peer Ronnie Jackson.
Alsup is the recipient of the Gund Family Scholarship, the Delaware Arts Festival Association Scholarship, the CIA National Scholastic Award, and the Ohio Governor's Art Exhibition Scholarship. She was also awarded the Clements Scholarship, and the Eastman ’12 Bolton Memorial Award for travel and study, which she used to study abroad in Jerusalem.
The Museum will host a free public reception for the artist on Saturday, March 18, 2023, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. A MassMusings podcast interview with the artist will be posted at MassillonMuseum.org on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at noon.
Massillon Museum members have the opportunity to apply to exhibit their artwork in the Studio M Gallery on the second floor of the Museum. New members are welcome at any time. Exhibitions are celebrated by an artist’s reception, and the artists are featured guests on the Museum's podcast, MassMusings. The Alsup exhibition is one of two student shows held each year.
When visiting the Studio M exhibition, visitors can also view The Art and History of Soul Food, and Tigers vs. Bulldogs: Origins of a Historic Rivalry. The Paul Brown/Massillon Tigers Football History Timeline, Photography Gallery, Immel Circus, Local History Gallery, Innovators of Massillon; Judith Paquelet American Indian Gallery, Edward and Louise Mahoney Archaeological and Ethnological Gallery, and Albert E. Hise Fine and Decorative Arts Gallery are always on display.
The Massillon Museum is grateful for operating support from the Ohio Arts Council and ArtsinStark, marketing support from Visit Canton, and the support of the citizens of Massillon. This exhibition was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Exhibitions can be seen during regular MassMu hours, Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
MassMu is located at 121 Lincoln Way East in downtown Massillon. A visit is always free and everyone is welcome. Free parking is available on adjacent streets and in nearby city lots. For more information, call 330-833-4061 or visit massillonmuseum.org.