This past month, the Rocky Mountain Land Library was honored to be part of a new exhibit at Denver’s RedLine Gallery. Closing this past weekend, the Land Trust exhibit featured socially engaged art exploring land and place. What we brought to the mix was a spiral of books, and the launch of the Land Library’s first nature-in-the-city outreach, the Cloud Atlas Project.
Land Trust was curated by RedLine’s Libby Barbee and Kirsten Walsh, thoughtfully pulling together the work of artists Ryan Feddersen, Megan Gafford, Brian House, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Daisy Patton, Becky Wareing Steele, and Tory Tepp.
The Book Spiral was assembled from a diverse array of ladders stored in the Puritan Pie Factory (the Land Library’s future urban branch). The hovering Book Cloud consists of old fencing wire from Buffalo Peaks Ranch, holding aloft pages of books rescued from the recycle bin.
And the spool of barbed wire? That’s on loan from Buffalo Peaks Ranch!
We’ll be talking more about the Cloud Atlas Project (CAP) in the month’s ahead. The RedLine show was just the start of an ongoing celebration of Denver’s cloudscape. (For more information, take a look at CAP’s new website!).
The RMLL cairn marked the start of the Book Spiral,
with a diverse assortment of books along the way — all focused on people and the land,
ending with a small reading area, and a table where gallery-goers stacked books to browse through. Who knows what new connections were made in the middle of the spiral?
The morning after the August 11th opening, artist & Land Library board member Eileen Richardson, spoke to a gathering at RedLine. Eileen spoke about the power of the book:
“A book is a cultural object. The physicality of the pages, the spine, the indelible glyphs, the weight, the front cover, the texture of the paper, could indeed be called a sensual experience….
Books don’t require swiping or scrolling, they don’t allow pop-up impediments to your concentration, they don’t try to sell you things you don’t need, and they do not require electricity. We feel that readers become more invested in books, and are more likely to absorb information and develop long term relationships with them. With the intersection of place, land, ideas, and the natural world occupying a larger part of our attention, actions, and conversations, the historical dialogue the books offer, is particularly necessary in our loaded, inflammatory present.” — Eileen Richardson
Thanks to RedLine, and curators Libby Barbee & Kirsten Walsh for inviting the Rocky Mountain Land Library to be a part of the Land Trust exhibit!
And thanks to Wes Magyar for his wonderful photos of the exhibit. All photos above (except for the first) were taken by Wes Magyar.
What a summer it has been! We are excited to have artist Meredith Nemirov at Buffalo Peaks Ranch on September 9th, for our last artist workshop of the season.
Here’s more from Meredith on what’s planned: Painting under the influence of such great watercolor artists as Homer, Sergeant, Burchfield and others we will create works that focus on different aspects of the natural landscape. We will paint in the ranch’s makeshift studio, and outside, weather permitting. This is a great class to improve your painting skills and learn more about color and composition.
Meredith Nemirov’s work has been featured in several galleries across Colorado, in addition to galleries in New York and Massachusetts. Meredith was recently the focus of an Artist Profile in Plein Air Magazine.
with Meredith Nemirov
Saturday, September 9th, 10am to 4pm, $50 class fee
“…the more Nemirov explains her process, the more one realizes that there is a complicated dance going on between abstraction and representation and between plein air and studio paintings in her work. Her studio paintings are usually abstractions of what she sees on location. Yet she never works from photos, but rather from drawings and paintings done in the field. ‘I can’t let go of the plein air landscape because I love it so much and because it feeds the abstract work,’ says Nemirov. ‘Outside you have to be so present, every moment, with every brushstroke. It’s a very different and intense experience.'” — Bob Bahr, PleinAir Magazine, April-May 2016
Field sketching is a valuable tool for artists, scientists, gardeners, and anyone who wants to know more about the world around them. Even if you think you can’t draw a straight line, you can keep visual field notes.
We are thrilled to have artist Sherrie York return to Buffalo Peaks Ranch for the third summer in a row. The ranch is a wonderful place to explore, observe, and sketch. You will practice several basic drawing and observation skills including contour, memory, and gesture drawing, plus explore ideas for filling the blank page. Non-artists welcome and encouraged! (Ages 14 to Adult).
For much more on Sherrie York’s work, be sure to visit her visually stunning website!
Saturday, August 19th, 9am to 2pm, $50 class fee
The Rocky Mountain Land Library will be part of an exciting new exhibit at Denver’s RedLine Gallery, 2350 Arapahoe. Land Trust features socially engaged art exploring land and place. It’s an attempt to slow down and get our feet back on solid ground, to explore the cultural practices that connect us physically and spiritually to the world, and to look squarely at the human effects of environmental change, The exhibition includes artwork by Ryan Feddersen, Megan Gafford, Brian House, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Daisy Patton, Becky Wareing Steele, and Tory Tepp.
Come see the Land Library’s book spiral with hundreds of books from our collection, and join us for the launch of our first nature-in-the-city outreach, the Cloud Atlas Project. This will be the start of an ongoing celebration of Denver’s cloudscape.
This workshop will focus on the significance of place in poetry. Place may be defined as a geographical location, an internal state, or perhaps a poetic meeting of the two. The workshop will center around how to structure and develop poems and the creative process that is involved. Jodie will share how she began writing poetry, as well as what writing habits have helped her writing process. She will go into what structure she uses when starting to write a piece, and use her own poetry as well as celebrated poets as examples.
Saturday, August 5th, 10am to 4pm, $50 class fee
Jodie Hollander was raised in a family of classical musicians. Her work has been published in journals such as The Poetry Review, PN Review, The Dark Horse, The Rialto, Verse Daily, The New Criterion, The Manchester Review, Australia’s Best Poems of 2011, and Australia’s Best Poems of 2015. Her debut pamphlet, The Humane Society, was released with tall-lighthouse (London) in 2012; her full-length collection, My Dark Horses, was just published by Liverpool University Press. Hollander is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in South Africa, a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant in Italy and is currently the editor for Garo, the arts journal of the Rocky Mountain Land Library.
Jodie Hollander’s My Dark Horses on display in the UK!
At first glance, South Park appears to be a never-ending expanse of shortgrass prairie. But the waters of this high mountain grassland are rich and varied.
We are thrilled to have Denise Culver back this summer to share so much of what she has learned about wetland plants, after a lifetime spent in the field. We will amble along the banks of South Park’s streams (including the South Platte River), and explore the ranch’s fen, a very special peatland environment with many globally rare plants. Please join us!
Saturday, August 5th, 10am to 4pm, $50 class fee
Denise Culver is a botanist & ecologist with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. She has been happily mucking across Colorado’s wetlands for over 20 years. Denise is also the co-author of the wonderfully comprehensive Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants.
Join us and be a part of an immersive, on-site creation at Buffalo Peaks Ranch. Accompanied by artist and sculptor Rik Sargent, we will collaborate on a yet-to-be-determined story inspired by the ranch, the surrounding land, and the South Platte River, whose flow has always defined the story of this historic high mountain ranch.
The emerging narrative will then be assembled into a landscape piece, using the ranch’s materials to help tell a story of land and people, South Park and beyond.
Spend a weekend (July 29-30) at the Ranch camping, foraging, and collaborating on a project that will become part of Buffalo Peaks Ranch’s always changing, always evolving story!
Saturday, July 29th thru Sunday July 30th, $100 class fee
At the beginning of the workshop weekend we’ll start with the “local” material:
Like any working ranch, Buffalo Peaks Ranch has accumulated what some might think of as refuse, but what others see as artifacts of shape, texture, color, and design.
Not to mention, artifacts of work, daily lives and struggle.
And then, there’s always wire, lots of wire!
Barbed and baling wire aplenty.
With all the local elements in place, and the landscape as our guide, who knows what will be created at Buffalo Peaks Ranch on July 29-30th??
Rik Sargent has created incredible pieces of public art equally emphasizing the sculpture itself and the environment it rests in. His voice has lent wonderful insight around the Land Library’s table, and now up at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.
For more on Rik Sargent, and his work, be sure to visit his website!
In the Footsteps of Anna Atkins: Simple Photographic Botanical Illustration
a day-long workshop with Jacqueline Webster
In 1843, British author and botanist Anna Atkins published the first book illustrated with photography, called British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. Using a simple iron-based photographic process invented by Sir John Herschel, Atkins made beautiful, simple blue print photograms of specimens with handwritten identification labels that she self-published in three volumes.
Join photographer Jacqueline Webster for a day of creating your own cyanotype botanical illustrations using the same process Atkins employed nearly 175 years ago. We’ll start the day learning the basics and history of the cyanotype process, then move on to some basics of plant identification and collection. Finally we’ll work on creating our own photographic records of the flora found onsite at Buffalo Peaks Ranch.
Saturday, July 29th, 10am to 4pm, $50 class fee
The Rocky Mountain Land Library is excited to offer this workshops at a 20% discount (just use Discount Code: PHOTO20 when you register)!
Jacqueline Webster is a photographer and arts educator who has been working in historic photographic processes for more than 30 years. She has shown her work at galleries and festivals around the country, and is currently a faculty member at the Art Students League of Denver.
For more on Jacqueline Webster, be sure to visit her website!
And for much more on the pioneering work of Anna Atkins, this article in The Guardian is a good place to start!
Join us on the banks of the South Platte River for Buffalo Peaks Ranch’s second writers workshop in collaboration with Lighthouse Writers Workshop!
Ekphrasis is a description or depiction of another work of art—capturing a painting in a poem, for example. In this workshop we’ll take this technique and apply it directly to the art surrounding us in nature. How do we write a passage that reads like a river? What about a stone? Using the landscape around us as a jumping off point, we’ll employ the environment as an influence on both the subject and the form of our writing (what we write about, and also how we write it). We’ll compose responses/reflections to the world around us—fiction, poetry, essays—moving across the landscape and writing a conversation with and through it.
Courtney E. Morgan received her MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she has also taught creative writing workshops for five years. Her collection of stories, The Seven Autopsies of Nora Hanneman, was a semifinalist for the FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize and is forthcoming from FC2 Press in Spring 2017. Her writing has also been published in Pleiades, The Red Anthology, American Book Review, and others. She is a recipient of the Thompson Award for Western American Writing, and was longlisted for the Diana Woods Memorial Award at Lunch Ticket and Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Fiction. Courtney is the founder and managing editor of The Thought Erotic, a journal on sexuality and gender. She currently lives in Denver with her son and is working on her next novel.
We are pleased to work with Lighthouse Writers Workshop in bringing Courtney Morgan to Buffalo Peaks Ranch!
Saturday, July 22nd, 10am to 4pm, $50 class fee