Changing Perspectives

A current display in the Loveland Museum and Gallery created by Harriete Estel Berman ( presents social commentaries on our ìconsumer societyî. Have you ever considered rebelling against the notion that homes should be encased in beautifully manicured lawns? Berman obviously has. She cites evidence that maintaining grassy expanses around homes was introduced into our culture by Thomas Jefferson based on his observations of the grounds around homes in England, which has a very different climate than that found in most of the U.S.

Berman believes that the obsession with perfect weed-free grass is a travesty against nature, imposed upon homeowners by the lawn industry. She further asserts that only a rich nation can afford the luxury of growing grass around every building. She supports her theory with magazine advertisements dating back to 1941. The lawn industry has a very lucrative business going. Consider the sales of grass seed, sod, harsh chemicals to aid growth and kill weeds, sprinkler systems, lawn mowers, edgers, etc. And, of course, the amount of water necessary to keep that grass green, when many parts of the country are suffering from drought conditions.

So with my awakened awareness of this imposed cultural desire for perfect lawns, I sit down to watch a bit of television. What should appear but a really cute teenage boy with a lawn mower? He is part of the advertising campaign for Trugreen, a lawn company that will spray your grass with a host of chemicals causing it to grow good and tall so Young Cutie can earn lots of ìgreenî by mowing that grass into perfect shape.

Bermanís exhibit features a ìlawnî make of strips of tin. She gathers tin food containers and other tin objects that would usually be thrown away and constructs her art pieces from them.† Her display of 70 teacups made of tin is entitled ìConsuming Conversationî and features sayings pieced together from words taken from the containers.

Another intriguing piece, titled ìObsession with Womenís Appearancesî features a magnifying mirror encircled with common sayings women berate themselves with as they look into a mirror. It is encircled with images from tins of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, cherries, and Coca Cola girls.

This is just a sampling of Bermanís thought provoking pieces. The exhibit continues through April 11th. Consider visiting the museum to expand your perspectives.

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2 Responses to “Changing Perspectives”

  1. Fay Ulanoff says:

    Enlightening and Interesting

  2. Cheryl Courtney says:

    Hurray! This is great. I love her artificial grass display...and the mirror. My kind of sarcastic, thought provoking art! well done,

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