Kirsten Taylor, a multimedia artist and student in the University of Kansas’ MFA program, is participating in an art and natural resources residency that began August 1 and will run through October.
Taylor’s work aims to draw attention to invasive plant species like bush honeysuckle and the JCPRD’s ongoing efforts to combat them. The residency included a four-week immersion experience with the JCPRD natural resources team, the creation of an ephemeral temporary artwork, and an upcoming artist-led workshop. Taylor’s temporary sculpture titled “A Seat at the Table” was installed in late September on the Orange Trail north of the marina parking lot at Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa, and is expected to be on display at least early November. , depending on the weather and the condition of the room.
“The art and natural resources residence was envisioned during the general planning process for public art, which was completed in 2021,” explained Susan Mong, JCPRD’s superintendent of culture. “As opportunities were explored for public art to highlight natural spaces and JCPRD’s land restoration efforts, a residency emerged as a great opportunity. So much is happening quietly through the hard work of staff and volunteers and is not widely known. The goal is for this residency to both showcase the work of the Natural Resources team and educate the public about why these green efforts are so important to the health of our region.
“The artist’s immersion in the work of our natural resources team helps focus some visibility on a team of dedicated people who work mostly alone in remote natural areas on 8,700 acres,” said Matt Garrett, biologist JCPRD field worker, who worked with Taylor. “JCPRD’s natural resources team has removed hundreds of acres of invasive species and planted over 1,000 acres of grassland across the county. Since 2019, with increased funding, the team has worked tirelessly to make district parks resilient to the changing landscape. I see the residency as an opportunity for an accomplished artist to work closely with my team and then use that support to create a new work of art that connects the community to local wilderness areas that Johnson County residents cherish. so much.
“The art and natural resources residency with JCPRD complements my existing artistic practice,” said Taylor, whose work challenges the traditionally Western hierarchy of humans above nature by investigating the relationships between humans and nature. more than human world. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Baylor University and was a post-baccalaureate student in ceramics at Utah State University. She has exhibited nationally at venues including the Indianapolis Art Center, the Starbrick Gallery in Nelsonville, Ohio, and the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, Mo. She has received commissions from the Spencer Museum of Art from KU in 2020 and 2021.
“The art selection committee’s vision for the residency aligned closely with my own values in addressing public art and community engagement,” Taylor said. I hope my participation in this residency will spark thoughtful discussions about our relationship with nature and spark imaginations about how to be a better member of community in our more than human world. Professionally, I hope to continue to undertake similar projects in the future and I hope this residency will demonstrate my ability to do so.
“A Seat at the Table” is Taylor’s artistic response to the effects of invasive species. The artist constructed a table with triangular tiles made from local clay harvested from Shawnee Mission Park, each featuring an impression of a plant from the tallgrass prairie region that blooms when invasive species, such as bush honeysuckle , are deleted.
“I hope our community members will consider our relationship with nature more thoroughly from Taylors’ work, gain a better understanding of invasive species in our area and their damage to our ecosystem,” Mong told About the installation. “I also hope that our customers will gain a greater sense of responsibility for the maintenance and preservation of our green spaces and what they mean to our collective physical and mental health. Finally, I hope that our community will better understand how art can serve as a powerful tool to illustrate, inspire and educate our community about the beauty and essential nature of our community’s parks and natural spaces, and their role in creating a resilient community.
“A Seat at the Table” is located about 0.2 miles from the trailhead along the Orange Trail. The section of the trail leading to the artwork is an unpaved natural surface with rough terrain and occasional roots. The trail has a maximum width of three feet and slopes down 30 feet towards the artwork.
An indoor, fully accessible exhibit featuring photographs telling the story of the manufacturing process and the intent behind “A Seat at the Table,” as well as recreations of the ceramic components, will be located at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center for the life of the work of art. A video walking tour of the trail to the coin is also available online. Find updated indoor exhibit information here.
Another public aspect of the art residency is an outdoor artist walk and art workshop with Kirsten Taylor for ages 16 and up, taking place Saturday, October 22 at Shawnee Mission Park’s Shelter #3. After a walk with the artist at “A Seat at the Table”, workshop participants will have the chance to create their own artwork using natural inks made by Taylor from materials found in the park. Natural inks, brushes and pencils will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own drawing boards, paper and drawing materials, as well as portable seating. This two-hour program is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information and to register, click here.
The current residency was made possible in part by a 2022 grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.
The intention is that the current residency will be the first in a long series at the JCPRD, and another is already planned for 2023.
“JCPRD plans to offer an artistic residency opportunity every year,” Mong said. “In 2023, this will take place in the spring with a focus on grassland restoration, focusing on grassland spaces in Kill Creek Park. The selected artist will become part of our natural resources team and artistically respond to these efforts and help illustrate why a healthy grassland ecosystem is important for biodiversity in this region.
More information about the 2022 residency and its outreach components can be found here. Questions about how to support this project and future projects can be directed to [email protected]
- New York’s Connoisseur constructing now supplied on the market
- A conflict of wills hides a masterpiece by Leonardo
- The Positive Arts Heart hosts the exhibition “We Are For Freedoms” in partnership with the group “For Freedoms” – Massachusetts Each day Collegian
- The Institute’s library presents a canopy article: In reward of the outer floor