Colorful Trails: The Intersection of Art and Nature

first_imgJosephine Sculpture Park, Ky. Beech Tree Trail, N.C. A performance by the TxLips as part of the BeltLine’s A.M.F.M. Summer Festival at the Bakery. Photo by The Sintoses, reprinted with permission from Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. The hand-painted blocks now line the trail, accessible to all who visit.   “We really just asked artists to think about what Patrick County meant to them, what it represented, and a way they could create a work of art that would help bring our community together,” Wray said.  Atlanta BeltLine, Ga. “When you live in Atlanta, pretty much everybody knows the BeltLine,” he said. “It’s one of the most popular places for people to go to walk or bike. I think my work is shaped by what I’m seeing out there. I definitely incorporate the plants that are blooming in the season I am working.” Sachi Rome’s “If I were a Bird (looking for Peace),” located on the Atlanta BeltLine. Photo by The Sintoses, reprinted with permission from Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “When the Atlanta BeltLine was originally envisioned as this rail to trails project, one of the biggest things is how do you get community buy-in when their whole experience with this space is that it is covered in kudzu and there’s rusted rail tracks out there,” Kyle said.  Sarah Wray, a member of the committee that came up with the project and helped choose the artists, said the project is all about celebrating trails and the community’s heritage through art. “Art was used as a tool to get people to explore because humans are inherently curious, and we will never be able to resist something big and shiny in the woods,” Kyle said. “The Atlanta BeltLine is a giant infrastructure project with tons of moving parts. The art program allowed people to fall in love with a component that gave them a doorway into bigger conversations about everything else. It’s something they can take ownership of.” “There may be that kid out there who would never go to a museum and feels like that space is not for them,” Kyle said. “Then they see the artwork on the trail and get inspired as the next generation of creatives. Public art serves to be an example of the best of our hopes and dreams, what we want for ourselves and our city. If that isn’t inclusive and accessible, then it has failed.” Grace Helms, one of the featured artists, teaches art to about 500 pre-K through seventh graders in the area. She said she is excited for her students to be exposed to more art outside of school. For his Summer 2018 Relief Printmaking class, Ludwig asked his students to design prints highlighting the flora and fauna of the area. They had to professionally present their ideas to the staff at Elk Knob, detailing their concept and proposed budget. Catanese and a few volunteers worked 10-hour days for 15 days to complete the 100-foot mural. “This is an ongoing project, new art every couple of years type of thing,” Belville said. “It’s meant to be a collaboration with the community to let them have a stake in the park.” This environmental center, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sits on 340 acres of forests, fields, and ponds. Artists collaborate with scientists, architects, urban planners, and other professionals to create pieces that address environmental issues and solutions. Works installed along the trails are informed by the surrounding flora and fauna. Adam Smith’s “Lilies” at Elk Knob State Park. Photo Courtesy of Scott Ludwig Located right along the trail, visitors engage with the mural every time they walk past.  In her piece, “If I were a Bird (looking for Peace),” Rome deals with the loss of her high school track coach. Rome used items like a broom and giant rubber squeegee to create a textured background before she layered the human face on top of the vibrant colors. A poem she wrote accompanies the mural, describing how it would feel to fly above the tress like a bird and release built-up fears. Every year a new piece is commissioned to line the outdoor amphitheater at the Mauldin Cultural Center in South Carolina to fit a different theme, including “Youth: Passion for Change” and “Industry of the Upstate.” Every year, the oldest artwork is replaced and relocated to another location around the community. Her piece, “Bridging Tradition,” sits at a trailhead at Mountain Top Park. The hand holds a banjo made out of various recycled pieces from Patrick County.  Safley cut out sections of the stumps and gave them to students at Appalachian State University to paint. That’s where the public art comes in.  As more miles are added to the BeltLine, the art will continue to spread. Kyle helps curate over 11 miles of murals, sculptures, photography, and performances along the completed sections of the multi-use trail. Part of her job is figuring out the best location for each piece. Check out these other public art installations highlighting the relationship between art and nature around the region. Mauldin Public Art Trail, S.C. Andrew Catanese’s “City in a Forest” on the Atlanta BeltLine. Photo courtesy of the BeltLine. Scott Ludwig, a professor of art and the printmaking area coordinator at ASU, was hiking the Beech Tree Trail with his son when he noticed a lot of the work was looking run down or had been stolen. At the time, Belville was looking to revive the project and continue the collaboration with the community.  “They get to see me involved in a project besides what we do in class,” Helms said.  Local farmers, construction companies, a sawmill, and the library donated scraps of metal, tractor tires, and other materials for the instrument. Helms’ brother-in-law helped her weld all of the pieces together.  “I think it’s important that art is accessible and seen by a wider population of people,” Ludwig said. “It’s not necessarily there just to beautify the surroundings. It’s also there to generate some reflection and thinking about these issues that are pertinent in our own time.” “One of her jobs was to do a hazard tree inspection on the trail,” Belville said. “She decided instead of cutting the hazard trees all the way to the ground, just cut them three to four feet off the ground.” Once the students carved their wood blocks, they made a series of limited edition prints to be sold in the park gift shop. The proceeds will go towards maintenance of the trail. While the Beech Tree Trail, an easy one-mile loop around the picnic area, does not offer the same views, visitors will walk through an American Beech Forest marked with engraved hand-printed works of art.  The Schuylkill Center, Pa.  The professor and the ranger teamed up to bring new public and community-based works to the park. “The story is found in working hard by day and the music we play on our front porches in the evenings,” Helms said. “These are the songs we pass down to our children. Our faith, hard work, and love for family is passed down from generation to generation.”  A group of local business people, artists, and community leaders developed the idea for Trail Hands at an AIR Shift Workshop last year. The three-day collaborative experience challenged small groups to design a project around an economic or tourism goal through creativity.  “It’s always like finding five dollars in your pocket that you’ve forgotten about,” she said. “People reaching out and taking their time to say those words or take a picture in front of the piece, it really does keep me motivated.” Since 2009, the Josephine Sculpture Park has been connecting people to the land through the arts. This park, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, is free and open to the public every day. Wander the grounds, featuring work from dozens of artists. Keep an eye out for events happening throughout the year, including festivals and workshops.  When completed, the Atlanta BeltLine will loop 22 miles around the city, connecting parks, neighborhoods, and people by trail. In the decade since the first section of trail opened, it has become a place for people to commute, recreate, and gather.   “Printmaking is a perfect medium for that,” Ludwig said. “It began as a very democratic medium as a way to mass produce work. At Elk Knob, I saw that as an excellent opportunity for students who are engaged in the medium of printmaking to experience this idea of working collaboratively. This idea of the artist slaving away solo in their studio and not interacting with others, that’s an old model.” Artist Sachi Rome said she often forgets about her mural on the Westside Trail until someone tags her in a social media post or writes her an email. Andrew Catanese’s mural illustrates Atlanta’s nickname, “City in a Forest,” referring to the dense tree cover throughout the city. As a trail runner and ultramarathoner, Catanese spends a lot of time on the trail.  This mural along the Eastside Trail, in addition to a lot of Catanese’s other work, explores the idea of nature as a refuge through his depictions of plants and foliage. There are many ways to enjoy a trail—a long run, a hard ride, a contemplative stroll. Much like a path winding through the woods, art is also wide open for personal exploration, existing to challenge us, ground us, and encourage discovery. Projects around the Blue Ridge are merging art and nature, offering opportunities to enjoy creativity outside of traditional museum and gallery spaces.  “A lot of my work has to do with queerness and gender in the South,” he said. “In a way, the work uses nature as a refuge, but it’s also a way of hiding and masking parts of the self. It’s sort of a duality in the way I experience that because it’s both a place to hide and protect myself, but also a place that I don’t feel any need to hide anything.”  This summer, giant hand sculptures decorated with paint, mirrors, and stained glass started popping up at various trailheads throughout Patrick County, Virginia.  Eventually, the weather will break down these pieces as well and they’ll need to be replaced. “It’s like a math equation,” Kyle said. “There are sculptors who think they’ve made something huge in their studio because it’s eight feet tall. Then you put that outside, and it’s tiny. This needs to be near trees, under an overpass, or somewhere it can still feel large even though it actually isn’t because now that it’s outside, everything is much bigger than it.” While there are only five hands placed at trailheads throughout the county, the hope is that this project will help generate some momentum around building new trails in the area.  “One of the things we noticed when we were putting this project together is that we’ve got some amazing vistas and land here,” Wray said. “But access to trails was another big component for us that we thought was a really important goal to work towards. While we’ve identified a trail in each community, our hope is that this is a catalyst for continued trail development and connection throughout the county. As more trails are developed, we would love to see this project continue to grow.” In addition to accepting proposals from artists every year, the BeltLine also supports an artist, curator, and scholar in residence, bringing more people from the community into the project. “It was meant as a temporary art project,” Belville said. “Of course, nature would one day break it all down.” For Helms, the hand represents the different industries in Patrick County and the long history of music in the area.  In addition to enhancing outdoor experiences, Miranda Kyle, arts and culture project manager for the Atlanta BeltLine, says placing installations outside and along trails helps democratize art by making it accessible to more people. Most people who visit Elk Knob State Park come for the views of the North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia mountains from the Summit Trail, an advanced two-mile trail that takes visitors to the top of one of the state’s highest peaks.  The hands celebrate the heritage, arts, nature, dreams, and stories of the region.  “Our natural resources are an under-tapped item here in our county,” she said. “We thought that not only would it bring together our artists by creating an art installation, but also would help us to highlight our tourism initiatives based around getting folks here, getting them on trails, and being in the mountains.” Nancy Clark’s “The Family Feeling of Patrick County” located at the Mayo River Rail Trail. Photo by Anna Lester “With the murals, you get the most feedback from random people when you’re actually working on it,” he said. “They’ll walk up and talk to you. It’s pretty much the only time that you’re making art that you’re getting constant positive feedback, which is nice.” “Like kudzu, we will go into every nook and cranny that we possibly can,” Kyle said. “We’re an unstoppable force.” More Art! Whether in the middle of a city or a forest, here are a few scenic spots to find art in the wild. Brandy Belville, a ranger at the park, said the original idea for the art along the trail came from former ranger Kelly Safley in 2015. “It’s like a book,” Rome said. “A book is written, but it’s really not activated and living unless you’re reading it. A book sits on a shelf in hopes that someone picks it up and enjoys it. It’s the same thing with my paintings. I need the viewer to activate my work. I need your eyes to see what you see. It doesn’t have to be what I want you to see, but I do need you to engage. If you don’t engage, then I have nothing.” Trail Hands, Va.last_img read more

River Sweep Clean-Up This Saturday

first_imgRiver Sweep clean-up will be held Saturday in an effort to decrease the amount of trash in and along the Whitewater River.The clean-up begins at 1 p.m. with the registration site in Franklin County located at the Whitewater Canoe Rental at 1154 Main St., Brookville.“There will be a few canoes available for people to utilize for the clean-up or volunteers are welcome to bring their own canoe or kayak,” said Dearborn County Watershed technician Heather Wirth.Volunteers who are unable to go into the water may pick up trash on the banks of the river.The River Sweep is sponsored by ORSANCO and the Whitewater River Watershed Project.last_img

Football News Intercontinental Cup Final, India vs Kenya: Sunil Chettri brace helps India to win 2-0

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Indian football team skipper Sunil Chettri continued his great form that led India thrash Kenya to clinch the Intercontinental at the Mumbai Football Arena.He scored goals in the eighth and 29th minutes after which he also levelled Argentina’s Lionel Messi international goals of 64.Team Kenya was more or less dominating in the second half of the match but could not convert it into a win as team India was in relax mode with already two goals scored in the first half.Chhetri was seen livid as India lost momentum in the second half. However, the defenders somehow managed to hold on to their lead. The visitors got nine corners in the match but failed to take advantage at all and in the end get on the score sheet.Indian defenders Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal and Anas Edathodika stood out for the hosts while Holicharan Narzary also did his bit to come in and protect the lead. But, one man, who was brilliant at the back was goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.The Bengaluru FC goalie wasn’t called upon much but whenever he was, he showed why he is the best in the squad. From his safe handling to pin-point distribution, everything was a huge positive for the Men in Blue.The best part of the match was the crowd support for the Indian football team. Their presence and cheers throughout the 90 minutes was an added bonus even the players couldn’t stop appreciating.The 33-year-old Chhetri, who was playing in his 102nd international match, and Messi are behind leader and Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo who has 81 goals from 150 matches. last_img read more

Democratic lawmakers seek 3 immediate criminal justice reforms

first_imgDES MOINES — A group of Democrats in the Iowa legislature is urging the governor and Republican leaders to immediately pass three criminal justice reforms, starting by banning law enforcement from using choke holds.Representative Ras Smith of Waterloo said the state attorney general and county attorneys should be given clear authority to investigate cases of police misconduct.“No one law will end racism or end inequities that we face,” Smith said during a news conference. “This won’t happen overnight, but today we can begin to respond to the crisis, to bring justice for George Floyd and work for the day where no Iowan has to live in fear of becoming another hashtag.”The third action the group seeks is a ban on hiring police officers with a history of serious misconduct.“This is where we turn our outrage into organizing,” Smith said. “This is where we turn our organizing into ordinances that make sure that our state, our union are more fair than they’ve ever been.”The group of lawmakers invited Yena Balekyani, a young woman who’s been protesting in Des Moines, to speak at their news conference on the state capitol steps.“I am holding you guys accountable,” she said. “I will be here and if this does not pass, I will be in the streets. We will be out here every single night until black lives matter.”Democratic lawmakers say it’s clear they now “have the ear” of Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who said earlier this week she’s working on legislation to address racial profiling, but Representative Smith and others say it’s time for action now, not six months from now.“And we’ll continue to ask for her support and push her to make sure that she helps us to make sure that every Iowan is treated equitably,” Smith told reporters.The governor, during a news conference inside the capitol half an hour later, these and other racial justice proposals are worth developing into legislation.“But you can’t fix it overnight,” Reynolds said, “and we are making progress.”Reynolds said she’s committed to having ongoing conversations about constructive policy changes, including the three outlined today.“It doesn’t mean no. It doesn’t mean it can’t continue to move forward, but it also doesn’t mean that if we can’t done in a week that we’re done,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to continue to have those conversations. We’re going to continue to work on it and we’re going to address the concerns that we’re hearing from Iowans.”Black Lives Matter protesters in Des Moines are planning a march to the state Capitol tonight.last_img read more

Legislature Adjourns for Easter Break

first_imgHouse of Rep.jpgLawmakers will go on their first ceremonial break after Thursday’s session in observance of Easter, the most important and oldest festival of the Christian church, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.The Lower House, the House of Representatives, will on Thursday, April 6 adjourned for two weeks and is expected to resume work on Thursday, April 20.The Easter Break is in consonance with the timetable of the House Rules and Procedures, which states that the Legislature is entitled to two breaks, Easter and Constituency/Agricultural.Meanwhile, several bills are in Committee Rooms waiting to be deliberated on, including the Firestone Agreement and the controversy surrounding the transfer of assets of BHP Billiton to Jonah Capitals.Firestone-LiberiaThe modification of the oldest concession in Liberia, Firestone–Liberia, has been forwarded to the House of Representatives entitled: “Amended and Restated Concession Agreement between the Republic of Liberia and Firestone, Inc.”President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told lawmakers that the Bill seeks to amend certain provisions of the 2008 Firestone Concession Agreement which will gradually return Firestone to full rubber production capacity.Moreover, the Bill will enable Firestone to consider commencing the process of diversification into other agricultural products.The President said that the Government of Liberia and Firestone Liberia, Incorporated entered into an Amended and Restated Concession Agreement in 2008, which became effective on March 31, 2008.However, there has been substantial and unanticipated decline in rubber prices since 2013 that threatened the continued viability of rubber production in Liberia.As such, Firestone-Liberia’s Rubber production is less than 30 percent of the pre-1990 production levels due to the inability to replant during the Liberian civil crises.BHP BillitonThe House is investigating what has been termed as a gross violation of the controversy surrounding the recent acquisition of four major iron ore assets in Liberia from BHP Billiton by Cavalla Resources – a wholly owned iron-ore holding company of Jonah Capital, chaired by Sam Jonah, a Ghanaian businessman.The House believes that no transfer of assets should be done without the approval of the Legislature.It has been discovered that BHP Billiton Iron Ore Holdings PTY Ltd in 2016 transferred their assets to Jonah Capitals without the acquiescence of the Legislature.“What is troubling is the fact that the transfer to Jonah Capitals was only done with the Executive Branch,” Rep. Henry B. Fahnbulleh wrote.“Its contrary to Section 23.1, which states that no transfer of (1) this agreement or a mining license, or (2) any rights of the company in a mine or any immovable infrastructure (other than in ordinary course of renewal and replacement of its properties and other than transfer of products in the ordinary course of business) is permitted unless the transfer has received the prior written consent of the government.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more