The Altered and Preserved Landscape
This exhibit by students at Tompkins Cortland Community College examines the local landscape and is part of the larger celebration of the 200-year anniversary of Tompkins County. The artworks explore the visual and functional conditions of Tompkins County over time by drawing on primary source materials from The History Center. What makes Tompkins County a unique place is answered, in part, by the growth and changes to the area through geological time, human activity and social conditions. Using contemporary and historical images and texts this show investigates two questions: Why does the county look like it does and from what era did certain built features originate. The projects were created by traveling back in time though rich documents including historical photographs, texts, letters and paintings in The History Center archives. In addition to research in the collections students went into the community to photograph and gather visual data, to investigate how the unique local landscape has impacted the development of the county. In all, the show offers a look at the altered and preserved landscape of Tompkins County and ultimately provides a few glimpses of what gives this wonderful area a sense of place. We thank the Tompkins County Bicentennial commission for their support, Rod Howe, Executive Director and Donna Eschenbrenner, Director of Archives and Research Services for their guidance, and Tompkins Cortland Community College for their encouragement of this year-long project.