The Flint Hills Maps Project, High School, Middle School and Elementary

Ampersand, Animals, Art and Science, Birds in Paintings, Flowers, Flowers in Paintings, Illustration, Insects in Paintings, Land Use, Links, Paintings, Paintings & Verse, Story or Poem

Living on the edge of the prairie offers an escape to a place of wonder. Wendell Berry, author and bioregionalist, says, “If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.”

The largest remaining stand of tallgrass prairie is found in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma. The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation has created the Maps in the Schools project. The maps will hang in the schools of the Flint Hills showing their particular location and, depending on the grade level, speak to some special aspect of the place, the life, the history and/or the science.

Some (and definitely not all) of the folks working on the project are Emily Connell – Director; Annie Wilson – Project Coordinator and High School Program Educator; Pam Collinge – Middle School Educator; Molly Wold – Elementary Educator; John Dunham – Mapmaker; Laura Zimney – Graphic Designer. If you are interested in knowing more about the project, contact the Flint Hills Discovery Center Map and Education Program.

High School Flint Hills Illustration

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, High School Illustration

  • Original Artwork – Oil on Ampersand
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
    and Nancy Lehenbauer Marshall
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, High School

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, High School Map

  • Print on Paper
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration size on a 48” x 48” map
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project, Middle School

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project Middle School Illustration

    •  Original Artwork – Oil on Ampersand
    • 31” x 17.25” illustration
    • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
      and Nancy Lehenbauer Marshall

There are over 50 things to identify in this Middle School illustration. An ID chart will be available in the educational materials that accompany the maps.

Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Middle School Illsutration

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Middle School

  • Print on Paper
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration size on a 48” x 48” map
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project, Elementary Illustration

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools Project, Elementary Illustration

  •  Original Artwork – Oil on Ampersand
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation
    and Nancy Lehenbauer Marshall
Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Elementary

The Flint Hills Maps in the Schools, Elementary

  • Print on Paper
  • 31” x 17.25” illustration size on a 48” x 48” map
  • Copyright by The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation

If you would like to support this project, please contact The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation.

Master Drawings

Links, Movie

Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog‘s 2010 film, Cave of Forgotten Dreams,  shows masterful cave drawings done by ancestors 25,000 to 32,000 years ago. The drawings were found in 1994 in Chauvet Cave in the south of France. Herzog is our film guide, but towards the end of the story he allows us some time alone to simply observe those beautiful drawings.  The film is in 3-D, which is perfect for viewing the uneven surfaces of the cave wall.

The Land Institute’s 50 Yr. Farm Bill Proposal

Land Use, Links, Miscellaneous, Paintings
Cornfield in Winter 002

Cornfield in Winter

Moonrise Hill

Moonrise Hill in the Flint Hills

In a recent mailing from the Land Institute, there is introductory material for a 50 Year Farm Bill that has been submitted to our Sec. of Agriculture in Washington, DC. After reading the proposal, I recalled “Cornfield in Winter”, which was painted decades ago. The heavy harvesting equipment had cut deep ruts in the foreground. No ground cover has been planted to protect the soil from erosion. I consider this a tragic scene. Various folks made some money and little thought was given to preserving the soil, fossil fuel use and the cost associated, toxins in soil and water, etc. in this technology led model of farming. In my “Corn Rhythms” post I tell of working on a corn detasseling crew along I-70 in the early 1970. I have, to date, never seen any other crop but corn grown on that land. That’s 37  years! When a friend was writing a play on water and the settlement and history of Kansas (which inspired my painting “Ogallala Siren”), he asked an area seed corn farmer if he could shoot some irrigation footage to use in his set design. The farmer refused, showing, perhaps, that he gives some thought to his farming practices. He’s just “getting his”, before preservation practices change. Current practices should support crop diversity, healthy soils, appropriate crops for the area and strict water conservation.

Contrast “Cornfield in Winter” with a Flint Hills prairie painting. This land was saved from the plow due to its shallow soil and for that reason remains one of the last remnants of tallgrass prairie in the world. The prairie is providing the laboratory for the Land Institute’s research. Their purpose ” is to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops.”

The 50 Year Farm Bill is a proposal for a gradual, systematic change in the way we grow our food using 5 year farm bills as mileposts.  Check out the Land Institute’s proposal, contact the powers that be and help turn agribusiness back into agriculture.  The Land Institute’s director, Wes Jackson, states, “The social stability and ecological sustainability resulting from secure food supplies will buy time as we are forced to confront the intersecting issues of climate, population, water and biodiversity.”

Kayaking the Kaw

Links, Miscellaneous

The Kansas River, originally called the Kaw River, is the longest prairie based river in the world. It runs for 171 miles from Junction City to Kansas City. The river has advocates in an organization called  Friends of the Kaw (FOK). It’s leader and the Kansas Riverkeeper, Laura Calwell, led folks on a 5 mile trip today. She loaned me her kayak and I floated gently down the slow moving, muddy river. Mostly I luxuriated in the ribbon of light that surrounds a boat in water, but I also learned some area history and met some nice folks. It was a heavenly day.

I am one of several artists who have a page on the FOK website on the Life on the Kaw page. You can support FOK by buying prints of my work through their organization. I donate a portion of the price to FOK.

XY, Spencer Museum of Art Exhibit

Links

Today I attended a viewing of the XY exhibit at the Spencer Museum of Art. It was special because there were lots of interesting women, cucumber martinis, sushi, and most importantly, the exhibit’s curator. He was the only male in the group, full of good humor and very gracious as he led the female entourage through the show pointing out subtle things that only the curator could point out: The Leighton sculpture of an ideal young man stretching was set in front of the Mapplethorpe photos of the exact same sculpture; A 1950s Jewish painting of a physically ravaged man is next to a painting of a 1930s Japanese full figured youth; A 20th century magazine engraving of a men’s department store faces a much earlier engraving of the circumcision of the Christ child. Men are shown clean, polished, pumped, war ravaged, deflated, young, middle aged, and old.

This exhibit is well designed, giving viewers an excellent reference point to discuss sexuality, which is so difficult in our culture. The social, political and cultural forces on male sexuality are shown through a variety of works, some forceful, some poignant, some beautiful, all shedding light on what it means to be a man. Bravo Spencer Museum of Art!

deYoung Museum, San Francisco

Links, Miscellaneous
Nancy and John Stuart Curry

Nancy and John Stuart Curry

John Stuart Curry is a relative of my daughter-in-law’s, thus my grandchildren. Curry was born in northeast Kansas in 1897. He died in 1946.  In 1941 he completed a powerful mural, John Brown, which is in the Kansas Capital building in Topeka.

This photo was taken at the new deYoung Museum of Art in San Francisco. An architectural wonder, it holds a fantastic American art collection. The interior space flows nicely too. If you visit, when walking through the sculpture garden, follow the path through to the end. You’ll enter a round building where sound changes as you walk through it. You have to provide the sound. Be sure to stand in the very center of the room.

Visiting the Moon

Links, Miscellaneous, Paintings

July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. If you wish to re-visit that era of our history, I recommend Ron Howard’s documentary “In the Shadow of the Moon”.

A few years later I lay in a field under the night sky with friends. Our cameras mounted on tripods, we were shooting a time-lapse photo of stars circling Polaris and a total lunar eclipse.  In total eclipse the moon appeared a sienna red color and it looked like what it is, a giant three dimensional rock floating in space. Seeing that rock hang in the night sky and the then recently published images of the earth from the moon, played a part in expanded awareness for many, not just me. The moon continues to be a feature in my paintings. Here is a sampling.

AwakeningsAwakenings

Chickadees and CoffeeChickadees and Coffee

Passages 010Passages

StillLifeOnKansasRiversmallStill Life on the Kansas River

Ogallala SirenOgallala Siren

Gardner House Museum Opening Reception

Links, Miscellaneous

Relaxing after setting up the exhibit

Relaxing after setting up the exhibit

Until September 5, 2009, there will be an exhibit of paintings and prints along with 2 drawings by my niece, Brooke Lehenbauer, in my hometown, Palmyra, MO, at the Gardner House Museum. Here I’m pictured with cousins, sisters and grand-nephew.  The sweet women in the group create vectors in response to my statement that  “It’s all about me.”

Nancy, Elizabeth, Emma Jo, Rita

Nancy, Elizabeth, Emma Jo, Rita

What a treat to visit with my parents’ friends and to see my godmother, Emma Jo. Ever supportive, she said, although she still drives, that she would have crawled to get to this show. Boy do I feel loved!

Suzie works her magic

Suzie works her magic

My brother, Brent, and both of my sisters, Sue and Deana, worked to make my visit and the reception perfect. Sue, who owns an event decorating business, Dream Makers, is superb at creating something special and she did it for me.

Alicia and Nancy

Alicia and Nancy

As a kid, Alicia was my hip friend from the city, who visited her grandmother and cousin in Pal during the summers. Alone, I never would have listened so carefully to “Louie, Louie”. She is a patron and a dear.

Barb, Deana, Lindsay, Gerry, Virginia, Linda, Nancy

Barb, Deana, Lindsay, Gerry, Virginia, Linda, Nancy

Barb, Tena, Danny and Lavina

Barb, Tena, Danny and Lavina

Betty, Nancy and Alma

Betty, Nancy and Alma

Virginia, Lavina and Alma are old family friends. Others in these pictures I’ve known forever.  Betty, whom I hadn’t seen for 39 years, drove in from St Louis with pictures of us from 1970. Fun.

Nancy, Mike, Becky the director, Sandy

Nancy, Mike, Becky the director, Sandy

So many folks who helped with this exhibit are deserving of thanks. I am grateful to them and to everyone who took the time to attend the reception. Those who plan to visit the exhibit sometime during the summer are also appreciated.

There’s a long list of folks, including my family, who put effort into making this show happen. I’d especially like to thank: Mary Jo Ragar, Graphic Designer Laura Marshall, the Heritage Seekers of Palmyra, the Gardner House Museum Director, Becky Taylor, and all of her hard working volunteers, the Palmyra Area Arts League, Mark Cheffey at the Palmyra Spectator, Marylou Montgomery at the Hannibal Courier Post and Rebecka Maas at the Quincy Herald-Whig.

Sculpture on the morning walk

Links, Miscellaneous
TreesFlowersBirds 005

Patrick Dougherty's sapling sculpture

Patrick Dougherty KU Sculpture 003

Swirling saplings

Today, Rob and I walked on the University of Kansas campus and came upon a Patrick Dougherty sapling sculpture commissioned by the Spencer Museum of Art. It’s an engaging and fantastic piece of work. The placement of the saplings gives the impression of a tornado surrounding a very calm tree. Further into the walk, swallows circled us in their crazy flight pattern as we walked around Potter’s Lake. While I was studying the birds I noticed Rob fooling with what I thought was a trash barrel. Not. It was a whirly-gig. Perhaps the inspiration was a Merry-Go-Round, but the fabric had come out of the pivot point making the whirly gig only partially operable.

Patrick Dougherty KU Sculpture 007

Inside the sculpture limb lines sweep around form

What's Rob fooling with?

What's Rob fooling with?

A whirly-gig sculpture that needs repair

Anonymous whirly-gig sculpture