Artist as Master Naturalist

 

The research and artworks I am developing within the framework of  “Artist as Master Naturalist” investigate artistic responses to botany, landscape and regional ecosystems through the use of wet cyanotype photography as well as traditional painting and drawing.

In 2017 I completed my Nebraska Master Naturalist training through the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  My interests in science, botany and regional ecosystems led me to seek new training and new ways of engaging with the ecological communities around me.  A Master Naturalist is a trained community educator who dedicates volunteer time to assist with citizen science,  conservation and environmental education in their given region. A Master Naturalist acts as an engaging conduit between the public and a given resource, such as a specific nature preserve, nonprofit or regional ecosystem.

Shortly after completing my Master Naturalist training I was awarded an artist residency at the Cedar Point Biological Station in Ogallala Nebraska. Through dialogue and research while an artist in residence I began to ponder the role of artists in ecological education and environmental activism.  How can the work of artists ignite engagement with the environments around us? How can artists become active participants in the work of understanding, appreciating and preserving our regional environmental heritages?  Can the work of an artist create dialogue and awareness in new and unexpected ways? As I continue to develop these bodies of art I hope to achieve both a personal and a critical investigation of all these possibilities of the “Artist as Master Naturalist”.