Kansas State University


Beach Blog

Category: Prairie Studies Initiative

After the Burn: Artist talk by Erin Wiersma

Join us on February 8, at 5:30 as Erin Wiersma, Associate Professor in the Department of Art here at Kansas State University, gives a lecture about her work.
Wiersma is an artist who has consistently explored—and pushed—the boundaries of drawing as a fully realized artistic expression. Wiersma’s new and ongoing works draw from the Konza Prairie, becoming both the medium and subject matter. 
This talk is a Prairie Studies Initiative program.

Prairie Studies Initiative


Prairie Studies Initiative

During fiscal year 2017 the Prairie Studies Initiative (PSI) has continued on-going projects such as the Meadow and the hosting of the annual Tall Grass Artist Symposium, and undertaken new ones as well. Touch the Prairie, an interactive touch screen that links prairie-related artworks in the museum’s collection with natural science information about the prairie ecosystem, has taken on a double life. Programmer/artists Rose Marshack and Rick Valentin were able to further develop Touch the Prairie for installation on a large upright mobile touch screen. The creative work and equipment purchase were made possible by a gift from Jackie Hartman Borck and Lee Borck. The mobile touch screen was unveiled April 1, 2017 on the occasion of K-State Open House, and is now available to visitors in the museum’s galleries. We hope you will check it out on your next visit to the museum.

The touch table, its original platform, will ultimately return to the Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning. Before that, the interactive table will spend the academic year 2017-18 at the offices of the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka as part of a display titled “Artistry and Innovation” representing the creative cross-disciplinary work of Kansas State University.

A suite of six high resolution photographs of prairie plants with their exceptionally long roots by Lindsborg-based photographer Jim Richardson has become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Two of these prints were part of the reinstallation of the permanent collection, opened last fall as part of a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

In May the museum took the lead role in submitting a proposal to the National Endowment for the Arts titled, “What can the arts teach us about communicating STEM content?” Associate Professor Shreepad Joglekar of the department of Art and I serve as co-principle investigators. The Salina-based Land Institute is our required non-arts partner organization; key support for the proposal comes from Todd Holmberg, executive director of McCain Performing Arts, and Dean of Libraries Lori Goetsch. The strong place-based and cross disciplinary focus of proposal activities make it an exciting next step for PSI. Fingers crossed!

– Linda Duke, Director

Come enjoy the sunshine in the Meadow!

Organizers are looking for your help to prepare the Meadow for beautiful seasonal growth of native wild flowers and other grasses. Two dates have been set aside for this opportunity to make a difference:
     Friday, May 19
     10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
     Sunday, May 21
     1-4 p.m
Feel free to pick a day and let us know how long you can lend a hand. You can sign up by sending a note to Riccardo Prudenti, prudenti@k-state.edu.
Learn more about the Meadow here.
Long view toward the Beach Museum of Art. Image courtesy of K-State Communications and Marketing.