Editorial Update (Jan. 4, 2023): Since making this blog post, it has come to our attention that Kay LeClaire, one of the artists in Taiquaa//Ambe Omaa, made false claims regarding their heritage. We apologize for the harm that giving LeClaire a platform has caused. Our hearts especially go out to their friends and collaborators, who are navigating an incredibly difficult situation as this information has come to light.
Original Blog Post (May 5, 2022):
Belwin is one of 20+ host sites for inaugural festival
We are participating in a brand-new endeavor this summer, 4Ground: Midwest Land Art Biennial. From June through August, in collaboration with Franconia Sculpture Park, Arts Midwest and 22 partners across Minnesota, Wisconsin, South and North Dakota, and tribal lands of the Upper Midwest, 4Ground is designed to boost tourism of the region through suggested road trips to experience site-specific land art created by renowned contemporary artists and community-based collectives.
As one of the host sites for this inaugural event, Belwin will welcome three artists to create and perform on our lands, with an emphasis on prairie and the impact of bison on a restored ecosystem.
On the Tallgrass Trails (between Lucy Winton Bell Athletic Fields and the Bison Prairie), artist and educator David Sprecher will create “Roaming Stone.” The Chicago-based artist “will take an impression of the land at Belwin that bears the signature (i.e., tracks) of the prairie’s most skilled caretakers, the American bison, then translate the impression onto the surface of a large sphere. The work will be a spherical seal, a fingerprint, a memory of the prairie in the late spring of 2022.”
Sprecher’s long-term installation will be constructed on-site this June and will be officially unveiled on July 31.
Taiquaa//Ambe Omaa (come here)
Taiquaa//Ambe Omaa (come here) is a multidisciplinary collaboration of nibiiwakamigkwe and Anastasia Adams. They combine Yup’ik, Métis, and Anishinaabe lifeways through Pic-eine’rkin throat singing, textile, storytelling, and visual symbol. They draw on survival tools of Indigenous existence and relationship to land, community, culture, and resilience as audiences deepen their understanding of place. Experience their work on July 31.
On August 21, Rachel Frank will present “Rewilding Valley Creek at Belwin Conservancy,” highlighting Belwin’s restoration of the landscape and on-going stewardship of the land. Participants will be invited to give a water offering with ceramic rhyton vessels, gestures that connect to Belwin and the surrounding community’s commitment to the rewilding of Valley Creek. Frank will be joined by Leslie Thomas from the Afton Historical Society and others, who will present on the history of Valley Creek.