In early 2019, the Institute for the Humanities premiered David Opdyke's epic postcard mural This Land. The mural, which Opdyke completed with support from the Efroymson Emerging Artist Residency, was part of Paved With Good Intentions, a site-specific installation in the Institute for the Humanities Gallery that served as a critique of U.S. culture and politics. In an era of fake news and daily hyperbole, Opdyke literally changed the picture by hand painting on 528 vintage postcards of well-known American landmarks and destinations. The postcards were assembled into a large mural—a vast gridded landscape beset by environmental chaos. Each card was placed to fit into the overall image, and carefully modified with gouache to show a realistically rendered piece of the overall turmoil.
This Land: An Epic Postcard Mural on the Future of a Country in Ecological Peril, published by Phaidon in October 2020, provides a close-up look at Opdyke's "amusing yet devastating take on our possible ecological future," with commentary by author Lawrence Weschler and afterward by Maya Wiley.
The Efroymson Emerging Artist in Residence is supported by the Efroymson Family Fund at the behest of Jeremy Efroymson. The Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation has awarded a grant of $25,000 each year since 2017 to the institute. Each year an emerging artist is commissioned to create a new work of art as part of a full-scale exhibition at the institute with a two to four week residency and engagement with faculty and students.