Our blog is fallow lately as Emerging Terrain is like a moving train requiring a brisk run to keep up with.  Last year Stored Potential was the only thing on our small organizational plate. A year later, installing 12 more banners on a grain elevator is one of many moving parts, along with another epic celebratory community event. We have given much consideration to what, when, where, why, and how to not replicate what was done before (dinner), but rather create another unique and memorable moment in place and time.

We are excited to announce an event with seasonal emphasis on Spring 2012, on a bridge over I-80 with full view of both sets of topically intertwined banners: Land Use, Agriculture, Food,and Transport(ation).  What kind of event could possibly merge these two topics? After brainstorming with many involved last year, we have landed on a type of mobile food party/parade where foodies will team up with artists/designers to create a moving structure related to land, food, and mobility, from which to feed people.  We hope this inspires beyond the food truck and into the imaginations of chefs, farmers, artists, and designers.  More details on how to submit an idea for consideration will be released in October.

Meanwhile, the banners will simultaneously be installed in May 2012. We have a few months to showcase them here on this blog, one of our favorite parts of the project because we learn about the amazing people discovered through the blind selection process. This year required more work between the jury and results as the images are more complex with the topicTransport(ation). Encouraging them to work together as a cohesive piece is more challenging with many representations of networks, both natural and constructed, at similar scales. Once again, we find ourselves amongst a truly talented group of individuals.

Banner Blog #1! We are pleased to have found painter, designer, and muralist Bethany Kalk. Although Bethany does not live in Omaha, she has made a big impact on the city as a founding partner of the Midtown Crossing collaborative Peerless. Bethany’s submission ‘Ant Trails’ caught the jury’s attention because of it’s multi-layered interpretation ofTransport(ation).  By intertwining the networks of constructed roadways in Omaha with ‘transport’ formations produced by insects – ant trails and bee honeycombs – the resulting image is a visualization of the similarity and interconnection between human and natural realms of movement. It is always interesting to find out how submission ideas come into being; while Bethany was pondering her entry, she was babysitting her nieces and took them on a walk.  They were overturning rocks on a hunt for insects to lessen their fear of “bugs.” Under many rocks were ant trails and the correlation became obvious; ants and humans transport food (and goods) with similar methods of networked systems.  The honeycomb form of ‘food storage’ layers yet another important process into the overall image and idea. All these networks represented here at the same scale blurs the hierarchy of our often competing worlds and renders them equal in importance.

Bethany grew up in Papua New Guinea and her art is indebted to oceanic pattern and methods of simplification. Her works are rooted in natural forms, usually as layered abstractions where elements mimic growth and decay. Imagery comes mostly from borrowing and combining shapes and textures from found objects such as rocks, vines, grasses, insects and other tangled forms.  She collects these sources for abstraction from her surroundings and as she travels or is invited to artist residencies from rugged coastlines of the Pacific northwest, Midwestern lakes, Eastern European hillsides to South American jungles. Each new place provides new elements to add to her visual vocabulary. She also teaches in the art and design department of Morehead State University in eastern KY.