Society & Culture

UGA’s Circle Gallery to host exhibition on “The Art of Unbuilding”

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia College of Environment and Design’s Circle Gallery will host an exhibition titled “The Art of Unbuilding: Material Reuse in the Crescent City” Aug. 18 through Sept. 16.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, includes redesigned materials used from New Orleans buildings destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. An opening reception will be held Aug. 18, from 4:30 – 6 p.m., in the Circle Gallery, which is located in the Owens Library in Caldwell Hall on the university’s North Campus.

Artist Christopher McDowell is a second-year master of landscape architecture student in the UGA College of Environment and Design who spent several years in New Orleans working with neighborhoods devastated by the hurricane that dramatically re-defined this historic American city. Materials that likely would have ended up in the landfill became practical, well-designed items that created a “new” architectural history. McDowell explores the process of demolition-what it means for the buildings as well as the culture that created them.

After working in a preservation non-profit firm in New Orleans that rebuilt homes for elderly/low-income residents who lost their homes in the storm, McDowell served as a construction and deconstruction/salvage manager. His fascination with building out of reclaimed materials has informed his design work in landscape architecture as well as deepened his understanding of the history of the built environment.

The Circle Gallery exists to inspire, engage and enlighten students of landscape architecture, historic preservation and environmental planning and design as well as the general public. The gallery is opened 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information on the exhibition and the Circle Gallery, see