Tracing Watersheds | Konza Prairie

drawings by Erin Wiersma

curated with interviews with grassland scientists

September 11-November 10 

ERIN WIERSMA, 2017 (Install View) K20A Goodwin Hill, charcoal on paper, 72in x 366in

ERIN WIERSMA, 2017 (Install View) K20A Goodwin Hill, charcoal on paper, 72in x 366in

ERIN WIERSMA, 2019 105+123 2C, charcoal on paper, 60in x 45in

ERIN WIERSMA, 2019 105+123 2C, charcoal on paper, 60in x 45in

About the Exhibition

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. 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.

featuring Grassland Interview

The exhibition includes interviews with scientists working in tallgrass prairies, collected by landscape architect Katie Kingery-Page who uses ethnographic interview methods to understand place. Grassland Interview, a series of scientists’ voices, can be heard in the galleries under sound domes. This on-going audio project gathers ecologists’ and land managers’ reflections on two critical aspects of the Konza grassland life-cycle: controlled burns and dormancy of grasses and forbs (wildflowers).


Salina Art Center, 242 S. Santa Fe

Friday, Sept. 13, 5-7pm / gallery talk at 6pm | Opening reception | FREE

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 12-1pm | Lunch & Learn with Erin Wiersma & Patrick O’Neal | FREE, bring a sack lunch

Sunday, Nov. 10, 2-4pm | Second Sunday with Erin Wiersma & Katie Kingery-Page | Drawing the Prairie Workshop| FREE

10_WIERSMA_Erin_konza prairie biological station, K1B, April 2017_original file.jpg

About Erin Wiersma

Erin Wiersma b. 1982, Somerville, New Jersey, studied at the Instutio San Lovidico in Orvieto, Italy as an undergraduate; she received her B.A. from Messiah College, and completed her M.F.A. at the University of Connecticut. Wiersma is represented by Robischon Gallery in Denver, Colorado and Galerie Wehlau in Munich, Germany. Since 2011, she has exhibited with A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, the first and longest operating women-run gallery in the country. Wiersma has had solo exhibitions at Robischon, A.I.R., at the Kansas City Artist Coalition, Mid-America Arts Alliance, and numerous academic venues. Her work has been featured in OnVerge / CUE Foundation, Art21Online Magazine and Two Coats of Paint. Wiersma has attended residencies through Two Coats of Paint in Brooklyn, New York, and in Caylus, France. Erin Wiersma lives and works in Manhattan, Kansas and is an Associate Professor of Art at Kansas State University.

thank you

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