As she was speaking, I turned the handout over and I noticed that Sikeston, MO and Grayridge, MO were two of the places that Ziegler had stopped and photographed while creating this body of work. (See photo 4.) In his exhibit were 6 photos of cropland lit by a large mobile lighting system that he traveled with and used to light the crops at night. (See photo 5&6.) This was such a familiar scene for me, the same images I had experienced driving home every night of my adult life, and seeing fields lit by my headlights. (This reflects, [no pun intended] my linear connection that is portrayed in much of my art.)
This made me feel comfortable. At home! I was exciting that someone shared my connection to where I had grown up and made a connection to the the crop fields and horizon that I was accustomed to admiring all my life until the last few years. (My work has almost always displayed my love of the horizon. I am tied to this view and need to see sky. It is ingrained and yes I miss that.) Ziegler and I had a connection and ironically that was the basis for his work: He traveled extensively throughout the United States and worked on multiple projects that comment or rather illuminate the cultural similarities and differences from our diverse American lifestyles. The piece I felt best represented his statement was Rock Hard Individualism. (See photo 2.) As a lifelong rock collector, I was awed by the simplistic use of rock to create the outline of the United States and at the same time each individual rock showed the polarization and separation that is prevalent in our country today. We are a whole entity when we are entwined, but we are tremendously divided within that same realm. Uncanny how we are growing so divided. Needless to say . . . it spoke to me.
Another exhibit at the Bemis included six Kansas City artists. Sum of Us, was curated by PLUG Projects and highlights works by Miki Baird, Marcie Miller Gross, Shawn Bitters, Marcus Cain, Kelly John Clark, and Barry Anderson. Photo number six shows a detail of Marcus Cain's painting that I was particularly drawn to in this exhibit. According to the show statement, this show features "multimedia work [that] explores the relationship of the part to the whole."
Heading to Nebraska in February was not my idea getaway, but between the art, the wonderful people I met, and the food and drink, I will go back and advise you to take a trip there sometime soon. You will be undoubtedly surprised with what Omaha has to offer. I was.
Here are a few pics...
|1. Lumber Jack Humor on Our Trip North:)|
|2. Incredible Statement Piece by Mel Ziegler, Rock Hard Individualism|
|3. Selfie Reflected on the Sikeston, MO Cotton Field Photo.|
|4. Sikeston and Grayridge, MO Crop Photos Tags.|
|5. Illuminated Agrarian Landscapes|
|6. Detail of Painting of Kansas City Artist Marcus Cain Represented by Sherry Leedy.|
|7. Drive home from Omaha.|