Kristin Gjerdset and Diane Bywaters Presenting “The Importance of Representational Artists in Raising Awareness of Our Environment”.
University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point Chair and Associate Professor, Diane Bywaters and Kristin Gjerdset:
The Importance of Representational Artists in Raising Awareness of Our Environment
“In 1872, the American Congress established Yellowstone National Park, due in great part to the representational watercolors and woodcuts of Thomas Moran, as he “made Americans see the beauty of their national heritage (a quote from Stephen Mathers, first director of the National Park service, upon Moran’s death in 1927).” His images of brilliant turquoise hot springs, grand canyons with cascading waterfalls and panoramic mountain vistas convinced viewers the landscape was worthy of preservation. The tradition of artists working in the American wilderness continues today, as artists are invited to create through the U.S. National Park system’s artist-in-residency programs. While the purposes of artists has changed somewhat since parks are established, art remains vital in continuing the public’s appreciation of why these lands are protected. Representational art is of special significance as it provides a historical, visual record of both the stabili ty and evolving nature of the environments. Two artists and also professors of art: Diane Canfield Bywaters (University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point) and Kristin Gjerdset (Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee) have been privileged to be a part of this process. Bywaters and Gjerdset will briefly discuss the history on the importance of the visual artist in the park system then speak of their experiences, highlighting how they currently contribute to the process of raising awareness of the uniquely American landscape through their art (Gjerdset will have just returned from a two week residency at Great Basin National Park in Nevada, a week prior to this conference, where she will have made drawings and paintings of the 4000 year old plus Bristlecone Pine trees and cave animals, new to science). In addition, the artists will touch on shared, collaborative processes of applying, traveling and exhibiting as representational nature artists, such as what it takes to write a g ood application for a national park program and writing two applications to the National Science Foundation’s Antarctica’s Writers and Artist Program.”
Combined, these two artists have been selected for sixteen artist-in-residencies in the U.S. National Park system enabling
them to speak from a wealth of experience. National Parks they have been selected for include: Colorado’s Rocky Mountain and Mesa Verde National Parks, Hawaii’s Volcanoes, Michigan’s Isle Royale, Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands, Minnesota’s Voyageurs, Arkansas’ Buffalo River, Indiana Dunes, Maine’s Acadia, Montana’s Glacier, Nevada’s Great Basin, Florida’s Everglades National Park, and Alaska’s Denali National Park and Wilderness Area. Both artists were also selected to be highlighted in the 2012 National Park website: “Through Your Eyes: National Park Artist in Residence Juried Web Exhibition,” Bywaters was selected for en plein air oil of Moraine Park, size 24 x 96”, while Gjerdset’s image is an acrylic painting of the mangrove trees of Everglades National Park.
Gjerdset highlights animals and trees in her paintings, designed to teach and to connect on a spiritual level, while Bywaters sees herself mainly as an en plein air artist, who inspires through images of the expansive geography of the land.
'Ivan Albright and Charles Ray' presented by Edgar Bryan September 29, 2012 0 comments