August 30- September 28, 2022

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4 Billion, Amanda Lechner


Garden Path, Michael Borowski

Artists Amanda Lechner and Michael Borowski were invited by the Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation, to create an art installation in response to objects and photographs from its collection. The resulting collaboration is Trace Elements, and includes Lechner’s paintings of handmade ink, made from locally collected walnuts, oak gall, and collected oxidized iron. Her paintings are engaged with Borowski’s series of cyanotypes processed using the water from Yellow Sulphur Springs in Christiansburg, VA. Both artists’ works are perceptive reflections on local time, place and materials, and connect with the spaces, archives, human history, built environments, and geologic history of SW Virginia.

Exhibition Reception: 9/2,  5–7 PM


The Artists

Michael Borowski (he/him) is an artist living and working in occupied Tutelo/Moneton land (Blacksburg, Virginia). He works with an expanded photographic practice, critically examining history, technology, and the built environment to show that design is not neutral, but reflects political values, personal biases, and desires. His work has been included in national and international exhibitions. He has been awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation in 2019 and a VMFA Fellowship in 2022. He received his MFA from the University of Michigan, and a BFA from the University of New Mexico. Michael is an Associate Professor and Chair of Studio Art at Virginia Tech. 


Amanda Lechner (she/her) is a visual artist born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She divides her time between Santa Fe and Blacksburg, Virginia. Lechner's studio practice primarily encompasses drawing and painting. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States. Lechner studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA) and at the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA). Upon completing her formal education, she moved to Brooklyn, NY and has since 2014 resided in Santa Fe, New York, Iowa, Indiana and Virginia. Lechner attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018 and has participated in artist residencies at the Penland School of Crafts, the Wassaic Project in New York and in 2021 was artist in residence at Stove Works in Chattanooga, TN. She has recently presented solo exhibitions at Vital Spaces and Axle Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico and at Standard Space in Connecticut. Upcoming projects includeTerra Ignota : Land Unknown at  W&L University, Lexington, VA. Lechner holds the position of Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech’s School of Visual Art.

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From Africa to Appalachia:  Roots of Old-time and Bluegrass

October 7 – November 19


This gourd banjo (ca. 1859) illustrates an earlier style of banjo played by African Americans who used local sources to create their instruments. Image from the National Museum of African American History & Culture, Smithsonian Institution

Music fans know that American blues music is rooted in West Africa. Less well-known are the African roots of old-time and its musical cousin, bluegrass. Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation announces From Africa to Appalachia:  Roots of Old-time and Bluegrass on exhibit from October 7 – November 19, in the Alexander Black House main galleries.

Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, developing along with various North American folk dances, such as square dancing, clogging, and buck dancing. Old-time music got its start on the gourd banjos of enslaved Africans, intertwining with the Scots-Irish folk tunes brought to the Appalachian regions. BMCF honors the complex musical history and profound influences of African Americans on not just blues and jazz, but also old-time, bluegrass and country music.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the BMCF is presenting music programs, lectures, as well as a showing of the film, “Black Fiddlers.”

Fashion History Moving Forward: From the Victorian Era to the Present

December 2 – February 11

Reception: 12/2, 57 PM