Lara Lepionka T
Title: Hidden Value
Location: Pulaski Park, Northampton, MA
Hidden Value examines the premise that everyday people make vital, under-recognized contributions to their communities through their work. They routinely impact others in quiet, unheralded ways that go far beyond the usual measures of success in our society. How do we measure this kind of impact? What constitutes achievement at work? Where does society attribute value? I investigated these questions by interviewing five Northampton, MA citizens in diverse occupations: college professor, librarian, trash/recycling collector, grocer/business owner, and waitress. Text from participant interviews and surveys were inscribed on objects associated with their occupations: school desks, a bookcase, trashcans, a roller conveyor, and barstools. By altering the familiarity of the everyday objects to reveal people's voices and by arranging them in a public space, the hidden value of their work is communicated.
Lara Lepionka is an inter-disciplinary, community-based artist living in Gloucester, MA. She has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group shows in Chicago, New York, and New England, and was an artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Cultural Exchange Station in Tábor, Czech Republic; Vermont Studio Center; and Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the recipient of an Artists Fellowship Award from the Illinois Arts Council. She is featured in the anthology The Object of Labor: Critical Perspectives on Art, Cloth, and Cultural Production, published by MIT Press. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BA from Bard College, New York.