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To Be & Become: Corn Wagon Thunder

Jan 21, 2022 - Jun 4, 2022

Corn Wagon Thunder, Say I were to hold you in my hand

The Mysterious Presence of Absence

My photographic self-portraiture is borne of a fascination with the Existential questions ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why am I?’. I am interested in dissecting the mode and manner of my own being. With a nod to the absurd, I use symbolism to visualize the riddle of life. Yet, with tenderness toward the mysterious edges of self-discovery. I use language to dance with the visual, to provide wayfinding but also to reinforce mystery. I focus the camera on myself as a method of examining my personal mythology and to consider how one constructs and transforms meaning in relation to existence.

To Be & Become (Lost in the Becoming) chronicles my journey into midlife. Becoming the thing I didn’t want to be – yet became, was becoming. This project began as the ten-year anniversary of my mother’s death approached. I was thirty-five years old when she succumbed to cancer. As my adult life unfolds in her absence, I long intensely for her guidance and support. This work is an effort to summon her wisdom and guidance from beyond the grave and acknowledges the mysterious presence of absence.

-Corn Wagon Thunder


ARTtalk: Contemporary Appalachian Photography, Panel Discussion

Saturday, April 2, 2 – 3:30 pm (in-person event with virtual option)

Boone 150

Boone 150, the Town of Boone’s Sesquicentennial celebration, kicked off in January 2022 and continues throughout the year with a series of events and commemorations, including parades, historic walking tours, musical performances, and exhibitions. The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts is proud to honor this important community milestone by showcasing and celebrating artists with deep roots in Boone and across the High Country.

The current exhibition features the work of Corn Wagon Thunder, a photographer and collage artist who studied at Penland School of Craft and was included in Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia at the Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina. Corn Wagon Thunder created this body of work while working and living in Boone. Although she is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, she says part of her heart will always remain in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains.

Elizabeth M. Claffey - Matrilinear #6
Elizabeth M. Claffey - Matrilinear #9

InFidelity (above)

Miracle of the Dowries (left)      

Daffodil 6 (right)

Elizabeth M. Claffey - Matrilinear #12

About the Artist

Corn Wagon Thunder is a photographer and collage artist residing in the Southwestern United States where she is currently pursuing a master of fine arts degree at the University of New Mexico. Corn received her bachelor of fine arts in printmaking from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and has also studied at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina.

Her group and individual exhibitions include: I is another: Penland School of Craft, Penland NC; Approaching Maximum: The Climate Crisis Now, VAE Raleigh, North Carolina; Slow Roll, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM; Member’s Show, Foto Forum Santa Fe, New Mexico; International College Photo & Film Exhibition, Incheon, South Korea; At First Sight, John Sommers Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia, Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina


Video & Connections: Exhibition Guide

Additional Images

Flickr – Installation images

More Information

Corn Wagon Thunder – Official website


Jan 21, 2022
Jun 4, 2022
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