2022-2023 K-State Common Works of Art

Each year, K-State First selects a common reading for first-year students, providing an intellectual experience they can share with other students and members of the university community. The 2022 K-State First Book is The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why by Amanda Ripley. Beach Museum of Art staff have selected two prints as Common Works of Art to reflect different aspects of the book.

In The Unthinkable, Ripley explores who survives when disasters strike and why. Half of all Americans have been affected by some type of disaster, the author observes. She combines the stories of survivors with research into how the brain works under extreme duress and by doing so attempts to shed some light on civilization’s darkest moments. Why do we freeze in the middle of a fire? How can we override this instinct? Why do our senses of sight and hearing change during a terrorist attack?

color etching and aquatint on paper entitled "Monument to a Standing New Yorker" by Tony Fitzpatrick "Untitled" color lithograph by Yoonmi Nam

Monument to a Standing New Yorker (left image), a 2001 print by Tony Fitzpatrick, conveys the chaos of the 9-11 disaster while also honoring responders and survivors—heroes big and small. The events of 9-11 feature heavily in Ripley’s book. Untitled (right image) from the series Transient Landscapes by Yoonmi Nam offers a means of reflecting on internal responses to disaster or change. Nam’s series visualizes buildings being torn down, constructed, or changed in some way, prompting viewers to consider structures as metaphors of human transition and resilience. The image is the 2010 gift print for the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art.

Related event
K-State Student Welcome/First Book Celebration featuring the Common Works of Art
Thursday, September 1, 2022, 5:30 p.m.
Beach Museum of Art