The Commercial Land exhibition combines art, media literacy and youth-led activisim into a unique educational experience aimed at encouraging young people to become more critical consumers of contemporary media advertising and entertainment.
The Commercial Land exhibition doesn’t try to keep young people away from the real world; it doesn’t try to protect or hide them from their media-based culture but to join with them in understanding it. The purpose of the exhibition is to help all people to become literate in all media forms—TV, internet, movies, magazines, newspapers, billboards, books, product labels, and music.
Youth participation is central and the young peoples ideas are paramount. The outcomes include young people who are healthier, both physically and mentally, and are more engaged and thoughtful citizens in their communities.
The art is used to unite us—to bring us together to work for change, widening our definition of ourselves and what we really care about.
Artwork created by Kelly Parks Snider.
Open yourself. Allow some part, some word, a memory, an image to embrace you!
Corporate Curriculum is a triptych. The three panels act as a monologue telling a story of Commercial Land, a world in which nothing is true… nothing is real. The story is told through my younger eyes, remembering my early thoughts and impressions. The three panels progressively reveal the corporate influences in this world. These influences shout, scream and overwhelm us with false claims and lies.. By examining my own impressions of our current media-based culture, I’ve come to realize that the reality girls live in today is far more polluted than the reality of my youth. While the media is intensely engaging it can be toxic.
Kelly Parks Snider, 2006, Triptych, mixed media on three wooden panels, Panel measurements 36”X77”
Field of Tension is our response to the world’s unending pursuit of commercial happiness. Confusing media noises are wrongfully calling us to listen to those in our world who dominate—the so-called attractive,the rich and successful. The pursuit of what our culture considers happiness” can leave us feeling full of despair. We are in a constant material pursuit of conspicuous consumptions, always living for what is out of reach…fine clothes, the fountain of youth , beautiful things to buy.The unending pursuit often leaves us feeling tense, anxious and obsessed… always wanting more and more… always reinforcing our differences.
Kelly Parks Snider 2006, Mixed media, 28”X28”
In the past, our identities were based on our interests--the music we listened to, what we did with our free time, our families and accomplishments.
Today, advertisers want to create our identities for us based on a label we wear or a store we shop at. Advertisers don’t want us to be original. They want us to but whatever they‘re selling based on the label. They also encourage us to judge others based on their labels supporting stereotypes, presumptions, and assumptions.
Kelly Parks Snider 2007, Mixed media, 44” x 77”
Live your life more open-ended—trusting that something will happen that is far beyond your own imagining. In today’s world, open-endedness is an enormously radical attitude towards life. Art can open your thoughts and attitudes. Art is joy, an opening reaction to instinct with little self-regulation. I do not believe that there really are image free zones. Our fading memories, the past slogans, and our stained impressions will always remain in our awareness.
Kelly Parks Snider 2006, Triptych, mixed media on three wooden panels, Panel measurements 36”X77”
Kelly Parks Snider, 2007, Varies in size
As an artist, it is my job to connect the dots for my viewers. I must always make strong and clear statements with my art. Examine your own observations. Ask questions….Do I really make the decisions that control my life?
We must look forward with confidence. We don’t need official credentials to do good and mighty deeds in this world. We just need to believe, stand together and remain committed.
Kelly Parks Snider, 2006, Mixed Media, 28”X28”
I love what this painting says.
It focuses us to ask questions about ourselves. Art enables us to express what we feel rather then what we see. Like art, real joy always wants to share and communicate itself to others. This joy isn’t a self-absorbed joy. This joy glows and radiates toward others and is never misunderstood. It is a great opportunity and privilege to make a difference in someone else’s life.
We should no longer have expectations but be expectations. The media sells an attitude to our young by drowning them in “me first” messages promoting the pointlessness of doing something unless it is “for me.” We are meant to be loving. If our worldview is simply based on what I can do for myself, all possibilities are limited.
Kelly Parks Snider, 2006, Mixed media, 32”x 40”
Each flower in this garden marches proudly, celebrating its uniqueness and costuming itself in… only itself. Out-of-the-ordinary flowers fill the garden. Extra tall flowers, thick and thin flowers dance with super small flowers. The garden is full of bizarrely proportional flowers, wonderfully complex flowers…. distorted flowers… some beautiful, some not so beautiful. Each flower stands unaware of our visual scrutiny. Each steel flower stands strong, unaware, resisting our beauty categorizations.
Kelly Parks Snider, 2007, Each varies in size
Like everyone else, I have been dulled by our world’s media distractions. At times, my eyes stop seeing what is truly beautiful. The media’s influence seems inescapable.
I painted The Natural Women a few years ago. She serves as my protest…my attempt to transcend my own beauty insecurities. The art process gave me clarity and still does. Her expression serves to inspire me to live more freely and virtuously and to live my life freely without measure.
Kelly Parks Snider, 2000, Mixed media, 32”x40”
Good thinking spaces are the places where we are disconnected from the media and advertisements. Thinking spaces are spaces where we reconnect with the natural world, our imaginations, and ourselves.
Kelly Parks Snider, 2007, Mixed Media
The contrast between the rough steel frame and the delicate graceful metal flowers intertwining and trailing over its surface is symbolic of our young girls—strong and resilient, yet precious, innocent, and vulnerable.
Surrounded by the rectangular tangle of steel flowers are three video screens presenting a bombardment of poisonous images and vital lies. Multi-textured sounds, jittery voices, variously-pitched noises, and distorted media images offer the viewer a forced multi-sensory experience…a new look at the same media they see every day, taken out of daily context.
This assault of sounds and images is meant to make viewers uncomfortable. In today’s media culture, the absurd has become the living reality for our young girls. Mainstream media uses “cutting–edge” techniques to cash-in on successful advertising campaigns that promote overly sexualized images of children and young girls and demeaning stereotypes of young women. Many advertisements misrepresent what truly is beautiful. They glamorize violence against women, minimize women by depicting them as objects and create unhealthy standards of thinness.
Because of the sheer volume of cultural space in our lives occupied by advertising, it is crucial to examine it, deconstruct it, and understand it.
We must resist media that offends our values and sensibilities
Kelly Parks Snider, Jane Bartell, Mary Waiterovich, and Inger Stole, 2007, Mixed media, 40”X50”