an on-camera interview that BJ Cary did with Lori Elliott-Bartle about her work and backgroundRead 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.