Anne Thompson: Signage at Clark Art /


WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Anne Thompson: Trail Signs, provides visitors to the Clark campus a visual experience that can be encountered along the walking trails that traverse the 140-acre Clark site.

Running through December 31, 2021, the exhibit features a rotating installation of unique prints displayed at seven kiosks across Clark’s trail system.

According to a press release, Anne Thompson has long explored the changing meaning of signs and symbols in relation to their social setting, whether doing paintings, prints or outdoor projections. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she began designing posters featuring bold black and white symbols and put them up at trail kiosks across County Berkshire. Thompson’s unauthorized project sought to engage and complicate public messages at a time when people were increasingly venturing out and searching for meaning outside. As striking as they are mysterious, its abstract forms suggest the orientation of the public, but also digital iconography, modernist logos and ancient languages. In Trail Signs, Thompson continues this series at Clark and the adjacent city trails maintained by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation.

Thompson uses wheat dough, a delicate and impermanent technique, to evoke the layered, worn and torn textures of urban streetscapes in Clark’s natural setting. By mixing metaphors – organic and artificial, public and private, old and new, evocative and opaque.

She will document each of the prints on location and produce an artist’s book at the end of the project, presenting it to the Clark at a conference in the spring.

“Anne’s posters for the Clark combine graphic punch with weirdness and humor – you can almost place them, but they’re also clearly out of place,” said Robert Wiesenberger, associate curator of Contemporary Projects at Clark. “We hope that everyone who uses our trails to break up the monotony of another long winter will soon and often encounter this brief but constantly changing project.”

Thompson is using the existing Clark Trail kiosk infrastructure for the setup, which will change every two weeks. The artist will affix new sets of posters to the surfaces of the free-standing wooden structures, creating a total of forty-eight unique prints over the two months of the project.

Clark’s trails are always open and accessible to all visitors, without admission. Trail guides are available on the sites of the outdoor kiosks.

Keywords: Clark Art,


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