Middleland physically explores a series of “border states” in the central US along with the accompanying landscape for American identity. These are not your usual border states; semantically they are an amalgamation of the Heartland, the Midwest, the Bible Belt, just south of the Rust Belt and flanking the Mason-Dixon Divide. They provide a rich yet fractured history as ideologies are constantly challenged from the surrounding North and South. Every region has a dialect of visual adornment, exemplifying a particular region’s prevailing belief system. This distinctiveness is reflected in the landscape, monuments and memorials born of the core values and communities responsible for erecting them. My intention is to document this region’s distinctive identity through a series of photos, drawings, paintings and sculptures.
Melissa Vandenberg is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and Director of Foundations at Eastern Kentucky University.
Her work is represented by Maus Contemporary/Beta Pictoris Gallery.