Tracing Watersheds: Konza Prairie
Drawings by Erin Wiersma
September 11 - November 10
Wiersma’s artistic practice focuses on the body’s capacity to absorb and respond to an environment. The Konza Prairie works on paper are created on location in one of the few remaining protected grasslands in the world. She creates a record of the land, using both bio-char produced from controlled burns and the embossing from the forbs, fauna and rocky terrain as they incise and transforms the paper surface echoing the topography. Pulling, rubbing, dragging, pushing, and lifting -- changed by the elements; wind, temperature, humidity, and landscape itself. Paper offers an unparalleled medium to make the process visible to the viewer. She creates with the prairie; it influences her actions into large-scale works, resulting from the varying burn treatments, fire intensities, and vegetative composition from each locale.
Shattering the Void
January 15 - March 8, 2020
Shattering the Void moves through representations of everyday life to otherworldly realms from Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art. Some of the themes addressed include longevity, transcendence, and myths and legends, which both contrast with and link to the earthly influences of calligraphy, tea, and personal adornment. Through contemporary considerations of myth and everyday life, realms of meaning are built across voids of time and geography. This exhibition is part of the Freeman Foundation K–12 Educational Outreach Initiative by the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. A main goal of this project is to build bridges of communication between East Asian culture and local Kansas communities through the Spencer’s collections.
The installation also includes a digital platform where visitors can engage with three-dimensional scans of artworks as well as other educational resources. These resources were developed with a committee of educators from the Salina area for use in K-12 classrooms, in conjunction with visiting artist-teachers and supplemented with materials such as books, art supplies, and 3D-printed reproductions of some of the works in this exhibition. For more information about this project, please visit https://www.spencerart.ku.edu/resources-k-12.
This exhibition is funded by the Freeman Foundation.