Friday, July 19, 2019

The Old Road Exhibit at Healing Arts Center Viroqua

Bridge 13   Walnut Ink on paper - Susan Cushing

Bridge 13

For years Bridge 13 has 
     spanned the river,
withstanding high waters
     that sometimes rise
over its base.

A passageway on the Old Road,
     framing in rusts and grays,
in every season,
     the wildness of its surround.

Stepping forward over the bridge
     onto the Old Road,
one can become lost,
     absorbed into the all…
vital and free.

Joanne Adragna Shird

The Old Road Walking Into Beauty exhibit of my walnut ink paintings and poetry by Joanne Adragna Shird is now at the Viroqua Healing Arts Center in Viroqua through September. 
Stop in anytime during business hours to view the show. If you missed it at Viva gallery, come enjoy the journey through the Kickapoo Valley Reserve's 'Old 131' trail with us.

Each painting is paired with an original poem to tell of the beauty surrounding The Old Road.
This trail is the old highway along the Kickapoo River between Rockton and La Farge. Long before it was a white man's road, it was used by local peoples and long before that by all the animals that shared the valley. Walnut trees are long time residents here, and have shared their bounty and talents with humans for centuries. I chose walnut ink to represent that long connection between land and people, making the ink from walnuts gathered here. Each picture is framed in a hand made solid walnut wood frame, harvested from local trees. The walnut's lightfast durable ink has been used for centuries and so we have used it to note the continuities between people, land, river, plants and animals, through time and in place.

As I write this, that old river has risen again, to major flood stage. In the past few years the river has been making changes to the landscape with each rise and fall through the valley. Our expressions of what we know and see here every day is changing and so some of these pictures are becoming a record of a certain time in this place, maybe to be compared to a different scene in the future. This is an attribute we had not thought of when creating this project.

There will be an ARTIST RECEPTION on Saturday, August 10th between 11am and 1pm at the Viroqua Healing Arts Center, at 224 East Court Street.
Please join us to celebrate the Kickapoo Valley Reserve beauty, enjoy a unique display of art and poetry, and home made refreshments. 

Saturday is Farmer's Market day in Viroqua. Some fresh veggies and beautiful art are a good combination for your day in town!

An addition to the paintings and poetry, The Old Road Walking Into Beauty project includes note cards and a small book of the paintings and poetry. These are always available at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve gift shop, on etsy and at the Viroqua Healing Arts Center reception.

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