Contemporary America is steeped in nostalgia, consumerism, conflict, and contradictions. We live in a time of change, shifting ideologies, changing cultural norms, and the eroding of traditional pillars of power. This has led to an ever-expanding, divisive society intolerant of conflicting points of view. How did a society constructed on innumerable ideologies, one that once lovingly and enthusiastically referred to itself as a melting pot, a place where differences where embraced and valued, degenerate into the divided society of today? People have always endeavored to meet their needs, wants, and desires, and to create a world that reflects their values. We are surrounded by the artifacts of these efforts. The reshaping of the environment might be the most significant of these artifacts. What do the physical changes we have wrought in our constructed environment say about us? By studying the march of suburbia across our land and the social and economic forces that powered it, we can understand our contemporary culture. My work explores the space between the divisions in society to expose the forces which are driving us apart and illuminate our shared humanity.
About the Artist
Sean Leavell was born in Buffalo, New York and currently resides and works in Cincinnati, Ohio where he continues to explore the American suburbs as a source of inspiration for his projects. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Buffalo State College and went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts and Permaculture design certification from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning.