Monday, May 15, 2017

Original Watercolor Maps Available from Ball State University Libraries

The Art of CARTography

The Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository (DMR) provides online access to a range of digitized primary source materials, including historic films and video, oral histories, diaries, photographs, cartographic resources, and artwork.  The GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) has provided access to hundreds of historic maps from its collection via this repository.  But the newest DMR collection from the GRMC is a set of hand-drawn maps created by students.

The name of the latest cartographic collection in the Digital Media Repository is “Home:  Artistic Watercolor Maps.”  The maps were painted by students in the fall semester 2016 watercolor class.  Hannah Barnes, Associate Professor in the Ball State University School of Art, created a project for her students:  After visiting the GRMC in Bracken Library and reviewing hundreds of maps, create an artistic map that represents the meaning of “home.”  (This is actually the second cartographic project and exhibit that Professor Barnes has coordinated with the GRMC).

Some of the students created maps representing more abstract meanings of “home,” while other students created more literal maps of their homes.  For example, Emily Dykstra created a map of her hometown neighborhood (above, click to enlarge) made to look like an ancient artistic manuscript style.  And Sean Chen created “Bridge” that included a view of Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis overlain on a map of his homeland of China.  Finn Norris created a beautiful compass rose of Indiana cicadas on her map called “Unforgotten Memories.”

The original art was exhibited at the Muncie DWNTWN First Thursday Arts Walk in December of 2016 at the Twin Archer Brew Pub as part of the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration.  The artistic maps were included with maps created by students in Dr. Jorn Seemann’s geography class and Indiana history maps created by the GRMC.

For more information about creating cartographic art using the resources of the GRMC, please contact Melissa Gentry at 765-285-1097.

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