Yesterday's cooler temperatures lured me out of the house to explore the area. I was curious about the parks, conservation areas and wildlife refuges along the Illinois River.Read More
Attending the "Flat Places: Deep Identities" symposium hosted by the Center for Great Plains Studies allowed me to learn from ecologists, geologists, writers, poets, photographers, film-makers, theologists and cartographers of all kinds. My mind is still swimming with the conversations and ideas that emerged. It's so good to get out of the studio periodically to learn about what other people are working on. I'll be able to more deeply consider some of the emerging possibilities as I drive between home and Milwaukee to pick up art from the Walker's Point Center for the Arts exhibit of Midwest Artist Studios project members.
Realizing it's been some time since I wrote here, I'm getting back to it. Here are some of the books I've been reading as I consider visits to natural and restored prairies this summer. Research has always been a foundation for all my creative endeavors, and sometimes it's easy to remain immersed in that part of the work, following a thread of interest through history and numerous writers and other interpreters.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I am reading PrairyErth for the first time. I bought the book for my stepfather shortly after it was released and intended to read it myself. I didn't. Now it's more than 25 years later, and I am reveling in this deep map and looking forward to where it might lead me when I emerge from between its covers. Next up will likely be Deep Map Country: Literary Cartography of the Great Plains, as I want to read most of it before I hear author Susan Naramore Maher speak at the symposium "Flat Places: Deep Identities" at the end of the month.
The wheat stalks shown in the image above came from the last crop my stepdad planted in 2010. They are held in a textured ceramic vase my daughter made in middle school. The silk scarf of autumn colors and turquoise highlights is a new favorite, a recent gift from my mom, who also gave me Wander: The Kansas Flint Hills in Words and Images. It's comforting to me to have these tangible reminders of family connections, even as I wander.
Tapping nails into the walls, stepping back to look and sipping coffee, making slight adjustments in arranging pieces, five artists quietly worked side by side yesterday morning to install artworks for the show "Pure Vida: Impressions of Costa Rica" in the Nicholas Street Gallery at Hot Shops Art Center, 1301 Nicholas Street in Omaha. Traveling with Linda Hatfield, Judith Anthony Johnston, Katrina Methot-Swanson, Cheri Ginsburg and Elisa Morera was great fun. Showing artwork with them has been great fun, too.
Now we're looking forward to sharing the vibrant colors and interesting back stories with visitors. Please join us for the opening reception 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Sept. 9. We'll also conduct demonstrations from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on two Sundays: Sept. 11 and 18. We've got a map of Costa Rica hanging at the gallery entrance and will be delighted to tell you about all the places we experienced.
And I'll be working in my studio upstairs most weekdays, so please pop in!