Painting the prairie
by Beth WohlbergCrowded Prairie: Four Painters, an exhibition at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery in Ucross, Wyo., features 34 paintings by Karen Kitchel, Chuck Forsman, John Hull and James Lancel McElhinney. "Each (painter) has something to say that is very serious about the environmental impact of our technology on the land," says Gordon McConnell, curator of the show, "like the fragmentation of ecosystems, social impact of population dislocation and decline of small towns." Kitchel, for example, painted American Grasslands, a series of more than 100 12-inch square panels. Each panel depicts a fragment of a landscape, from native grasslands to lawns. The exhibition coincides with the signing of a 10,000-acre conservation easement on the foundation's 17,000-acre ranch. The easement is a way for trustees of the ranch to protect its landscape far into the future, says foundation president Elizabeth Guheen.
The exhibit runs from June 23-Aug. 27 at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery, 30 Big Red Lane, Ucross, Wyo. From Sept. 23-Dec. 31 it will be at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, Wyo. Call 307/737-2291 for more information.