Produced by Autumn Rozario Hall. Resulting in the production of paintings and art showing Connectivity to Iowa Lands, a seed starting and planting workshop, and an artist talk. Will be completed by Summer 2020.
I think the strength of the arts lies in their ability to open conversations and connect others to a cause or vision. My current work stems from my desire to help others reconnect with nature and a sense of wonder, that I feel is lacking in everyday life.
I’ve just completed a series of paintings on wood panel that are inspired by the Iowa Prairie. My focus was on raising awareness about Iowa prairie, and exploring a connection to the land. To do this I used imagery of figures immersed in prairie landscape, roots, and plants. Each painting explores an aspect of the process of change, through the figures’ connection to their landscape. This connection then becomes an integral part of human growth.
I plan to expand this series by creating new medium- to large-scale works which demonstrate this connectivity through mixed media paintings that use materials – both natural and man-made – found within our local forests and wetlands. This would be to stress the idea that nature will continue to encompass and take back developed areas and grow in spite of and despite human efforts. Specific aspects of the art will include texture based trees such as bur oak, shagbark hickory, and sugar maple entwined hints of human and animal figures and trash often found in our forests, such as tires, glass bottles, plastic.
For BeWildReWild, I would like to hold a Connectivity to Iowa Lands themed show including these paintings, as well as art that represents Iowa woodland and possible wetland. The show would be an exploration of personal rewilding through immersion in nature.
Throughout the show I’d like to introduce attendees to concepts of Iowa Rewilding and offer resources to help them connect with local organizations like INHF and Iowa Prairie network.
This would be done through an opening reception, artist talk, and seed planting workshop, as well as printed resources.
The show would be held in the spring of 2020 to coincide with planting.
The talk will cover my experience in the prairie, personal thoughts on wildness, and the resulting paintings. It will also offer a brief bit of education about planting natives.
Seed Starting and Planting Workshop
The workshop would provide an opportunity for participants to begin their own personal rewilding journey. It would address urban wildness, planting natives, and rewilding lawns. I aim to connect with the larger community by helping open up the conversation through art.
The workshop would let attendees prepare their own tray of take-home seeds, and pick out a few started plants. It would be open to both adults and children.
The plants included would focus on easy to grow, hardy, biennials and perennials for the beginner. Each plant would benefit wildlife and encourage urban biodiversity. For example, Cardinal flower for hummingbirds, purple coneflower and coreopsis for native bees, goldfinches, and other birds, butterflies and bird seed, butterfly and common milkweeds for monarchs and bees.
Since these plants readily self seed and return year after year, they would encourage trust in nature and a more hands-off approach than large-scale restoration. This would be an easy entry point for many people still beginning their rewilding journey.
Additional information about the benefits of rewilded lawns vs grass lawns would also be discussed. Benefits include reduced water runoff, water conservation, increased sustainability, and the possibility of small urban corridors for native species.
Areas Open to Collaboration
I would want to work with my local community as possible to make these plans a reality.
- Partnering with an Iowa-based seed company or organization for prairie seed.
- Partnering with an Iowa-based greenhouse/growers to source the plants for the workshop.
- Partnering with other members of BeWildReWild to give additional talks or workshops during the show.
- Including other artists work in the show if it fits with the theme.
This proposal is for a 5,000 grant to help me bring the Connectivity to Iowa Lands show to life.
The grant would be used for expenses such as venue, seeds, plant starts, art supplies, creation of the art, advertising/outreach, and any additional expenses related to creating the art and holding the workshops.
I believe that visual art has a unique ability to spark a connection between the viewer and the subject. In this way, I seek to invite the viewer into a more native, wild Iowa and share the joy I find within our diverse landscape.
A grant from BeWildRewild would help me do this.
Thank you for your consideration.