Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Art Farm In Nebraska

We're cultivating culture here as a crop, and if you look around, you'll see the diversity of that crop.

The Art Farm of Marquette, Nebraska stands as one of those visionary projects that seems to acknowledge and integrate many of the concerns we have been exploring here lately: the rural-urban connection, how art can be a force for cultural and economic sustainability, and the role of younger generations in shaping rural america. Beginning in 1993, the Farm has offered over one hundred residencies to artists from all mediums; in exchange for contributing 12 hours a week to the everyday operations of the farm, these residents are given generous quarters in various rehabilitated historic barns and other structures and, most importantly, they are given the time and space to create art. 

A visit to their list of past residents (some with links to photos) is palpable evidence to how, as founder Ed Dadey tends the fields, these artists have left their own marks on this landscape. For instance, here are a few photographs of the Sculpture Pasture:

Above: Prairie Hive (clay, twine, wood, 48 x 16 x 120 inches); Mobile Home (inflated rubber, polyethylene, truck, 120 x 256 x 84, approx. inches); Worm Barn (wood, rubber, 48 x 54 x 600, inches)

Exploring the The Art Farm site allows the reader to put these various wonders into a coherent patchwork, there's also this well-done piece on the farm and some of its residents that captures the ethic and the aesthetic of the place quite nicely: