The Art of Maps

Early map makers used the known world, where explorers oriented themselves, to make cartography an art form. Today our highways are in the palm of our hand. With such immediate access, it is all to easy to lose that sense of discovery for what is beyond the folded page or hidden in a thick atlas.  Whether interpreting an important event in world history, or moved to map the journey of their imagination, artists have taken maps to new interpretative levels.

The Newburyport Art Association will hold a special curated show in the Hills Gallery: The Art of Maps. March 7 -19. Reception free and open the public Sunday, March 12, 2-4p.m. Local Artists will use the map form to explore internally and externally places that have resonnace for them.  Join us for this very interesting show.

Ed Fairburn Portraits

Ed Fairburn Portraits

"Artists across all times and spaces have been inspired by maps, from the topographical road plan to the wartime atlas. Maps made recurring appearances in Dutch painter Vermeer's classic works of art. English artists such as Stephen Walter and Simon Patterson were commissioned to interpret the undergrounds of London, from Tube lines to sewer gates."  - Jessica Pizzo

Officer and The Laughing Girl - Vermeer

Officer and The Laughing Girl - Vermeer

"Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Méjico by John Distrunell, the 1847 map used during the negotiations of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican–American War.

"Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Méjico by John Distrunell, the 1847 map used during the negotiations of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican–American War.

London Map Stephen Walter

London Map Stephen Walter

"What is it about maps that so easily represents both an external way of orienting ourselves and our personal relationships with the world? Whether interpreting an important event or moved to map the path from Point A to Point B" - Jessica Pizzo 

Matthew Cusick - Collage

Matthew Cusick - Collage

Matthew Cusick is inspired by topography. He uses vintage map cutouts as a surrogate for paint and creates the most compelling pieces of art. Each image is meticulously pieced together by pasting small map-snippets into either beautiful portraits or wide spatial landscapes. Other recurrent themes in his work are horses, highways, big waves and old-fashioned muscle cars. - The Hidden People

Ink Drawing by Mark Powell

Ink Drawing by Mark Powell

London-based artist Mark Powell reuses old maps as canvases to produce incredible drawings. His sketches are made using only a Biro pen.

Wayne Higby - Temple's Gate Pass - Ceramic

Wayne Higby - Temple's Gate Pass - Ceramic

“Landscape imagery . . . provides a way to escape the bonds of reality . . . I am able to stand on the mesa and experience myself as in a dream.” Wayne Higby quoted by Kauffman Gallery, April-May 1989

Maya Lin - Installation Art - Folding the Chesapeake

Paper Cutting by Claire Brewster

Paper Cutting by Claire Brewster

If you are inspired by this post, please consider creating a piece of map art and submitting it for consideration during our call for entry which ends in late February. Details will be posted on our website in early January.

 

Additional Reading and Inspiration:

Map Art Lab

The Map As Art

Strange Maps

You are Here - Strange Maps