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USU's Museum and Music, Avant Folk: Reimagining the West in Art and Music

Thursday, Nov. 08, 2018

Margaret Nielsen, The Last of the Buffalo, 1990

Margaret Nielsen, The Last of the Buffalo, 1990, Oil on canvas, 48.5 x 72 inches, Gift of the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, Collections of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art.

The Lone Prairie Band will give a free performance at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) at Utah State University at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15. The concert, titled “Avant Folk: Reimagining the West in Art and Music,” invites the public to enjoy the music of the Lone Prairie Band and works of art currently on view at the museum. 

Assistant professor of guitar at USU and lead guitarist Corey Christiansen’s innovative style has been called “Avant Folk,” a name that captures the surprising juxtapositions featured in his music. 

“I’ve been pairing old cowboy tunes and the elements of jazz for years now,” Christiansen said. “Museum Director Katie Lee-Koven and Dr. Christopher Scheer from the Music Department have done a masterful job of pairing pieces of art that reflect what I’ve been doing with my music for the past eight years, which is combing elements of different music that wouldn’t typically be thought of as going together or complementing one another.” 

Christopher Scheer, adjunct curator of the Museum + Music Series and associate professor of musicology in the Caine College of the Arts, will give a presentation before the concert.

“Christiansen's inspired reframing of traditional cowboy songs within a modern jazz idiom invites the listener to rethink the narratives and clichés which often shape our understanding of the American west, such as its wild ruggedness or the heroism of the pioneer experience,” Scheer said. “Many of the works in the current exhibition, ‘Collecting on the Edge,’ also challenge us to confront the contradiction between the romanticized myths of frontier life, and its realities. When juxtaposed together this art and music not only resonate with each other, but also reveal other interpretive possibilities for visual works that do not ostensibly take ‘the West’ as their subject.”

The event is free and open to the public. A dessert reception will be held following the performance. 

Media Contact:

  • - Kat Taylor, Public Relations, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, 435-797-0227

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