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Laramie Maps Exhibition Opens Saturday at UW Art Museum

April 28, 2011

"Laramie: A Gem City Atlas" opens Saturday, April 30, and runs through June 18 at the University of Wyoming Art Museum.

The exhibition is the result of a project initiated by the UW MFA in Creative Writing Program, which invited Eminent Writer in Residence Rebecca Solnit to work with students to rethink and re-map Laramie and the surrounding area.

The exhibition features 16 maps created by UW students and a few community members. Each map contains unique and sometimes quirky landmarks that contribute to Laramie's culture -- from bars and beauty salons to areas of beetle kill, missile silos and ghost sightings. Also, local and student artists created original artwork in response to the data on the maps. This artwork accompanies the maps in the exhibition.

The project echoes Solnit's book "Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas," that examined the factors that make up a city and how maps can create a visual record of goods, services and people. Solnit has written 11 other books, including "A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster" and "The Technological Wild West," for which she received a Guggenheim award, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism and the Lannan Literary Award.

"Laramie: A Gem City Atlas" and Solnit's visit to UW were co-sponsored by the Albany County Public Library Foundation, the Wyoming State Legislature through the Eminent Writer in Residence Endowment, the MFA in Creative Writing Program, the UW Art Museum, The Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the UW College of Education Social Justice Research Center.

Located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie, the museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays. Admission is free.

For more information about the UW Art Museum, call (307) 766-6622 or visit the museum's webpage at or blog at

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