July 7, 2023 Landscape Architecture Professor Exhibits Research on Appalachian Artifacts

Rural Ways, an exhibition of recurrent Appalachian artifacts, aims to give audiences a deeper understanding of embedded rural knowledge through hands-on materials. The exhibition by A. Scottie McDaniel, assistant professor of landscape architecture, opens Friday, July 7, in the college’s 500 South Gay Street showcase.

A. Scottie McDaniel

McDaniel frequently saw gourds, fiber arts, and taxidermy while traveling through the Blue Ridge region and visiting local museums, heritage sites, and collections. She saw the artifacts as a way people of the region curate themselves and reveal a forward-thinking outlook rooted in the past. The exhibition is a part of her ongoing research affiliated with the Rural Urbanism grants awarded by the College of Architecture and Design.

“There is a lot that we can learn from the region to impact the larger public,” said McDaniel. “It is important for rural dialogues within a university context to be more public. The visibility of an exhibition allows more people to engage. This work asks its audience to reconsider the rural a source of knowledge.”

McDaniel, who grew up on a farm in rural North Carolina, focuses on representation of the Southeast because of the region’s nuances, contradiction, and lingering trauma. Through her work, McDaniel aims to explore, unfold, and exhibit the complexity of the southern landscape.

“Rethinking rural artifacts as strategies has allowed me to reconnect to memories and processes, I witnessed as a child. Through this work I have been able to unravel and advocate for rural logics.”

Rural Ways is on exhibition through August.