This series of letterpress prints explores cultural and commercial representations of 20th century midwestern agriculture and its intersections with American concepts of family, religion, tradition and our connection with animals. As the Artist-In-Residence at Constellation Studios in Lincoln, NE, one of my goals was to seek out an opportunity to make imagery that I would not have been able to create in my own studio. In the first day, I began digging through the studios' movable type and image collection, and I knew I'd found the perfect opportunity. Over two weeks, I pulled impressions of these "found-object collages," educating myself in the process about the cultural idiosyncrasies of the American midwest from the past as I got to know midwesterners from the present. The process gave me time to consider how material culture will always fall short of representing the real complexity of past lives, yet it can offer poetic insights, just as a time capsule does, into a population's values and aspirations. These images produce a strong sense of place and time; of Americana and the myth of the American dream. Abundant references to the quintessentially Nebraskan corn farm make this reference even more local. The pale yellow-green print Corn House includes images of the Henry Fields Seed & Nursery Company which was located in Lincoln, maps from upstate New York and a traditional looking home with a house-sized corn cob next to it. As much as it speaks about valuing "home," it also references leaving home to seek one's fortune. I made this print after meeting a native farm-raised Nebraskan, who had just returned home to Lincoln after decades of living on the West Coast. Her view of Nebraska had changed dramatically since leaving, just as her home town has transformed into a place with which she must completely reacquaint herself.
This series was printed in editions of 10-15 of each image on Arches Text Wove, and as artist's proofs on French paper. Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.