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Title: The Crossroads of Art and Agriculture

Land Art

What is land art? It can be part art, part nature, part environmental statement. Sometimes it’s a commentary on society or forces in the universe. It can be an artist’s interpretation inspired by agriculture and farm life. Other times it’s a living, growing work that collaborates with nature to organically change over time. 

LAND and ART at MARC

A new project at the Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park in Cockeysville brings land art and creative land use installations throughout the four seasons. Art will be in full bloom all year long through the LAND&ART@MARC: A 4 SEASON PROJECT through a partnership between the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC) and the Washington Sculpture Group. 

A jury panel selected two pieces to launch this innovative project. The installations, “Leaves of Grass” by Pattie Porter Firestone and “Uncle Mike's Animal House” by Mike Shaffer will be on view through November 2015.

Blades of Grass  Pattie Porter Firestone's work portrays seen and unseen patterns of energy in the world around us. Her outdoor sculptures imply movement below the surface of the earth and the relationship between the earth and humans. Leaves of Grass depicts energy from the earth pushing nine red blades of grass eight feet out of the ground. The size and color of the work challenges the viewer to question the importance of scale and the relationship between natural vs. man-made objects.

photo of Uncle Mike's Animal House SculptureUncle Mike’s Animal House  Mike Shaffer’s work is made from recycled construction lumber and measures about 8 x 10 horizontally and is about seven feet high. The concept is based on cage or pen-like structures used by farmers in the frontier days to protect small animals such as sheep, goats and pigs from bears and other wild animals especially at night. Actual "houses" (pens) of this sort would have been quite crudely made with straight logs perhaps, closer together, forming a flat or sloping roof and probably with a door or gate in one of the sides. The gabled roof as shown here in this work makes the structure more like a house but would probably have been considered an unnecessary luxury feature on early frontier homesteads.

 

Opening Celebration and Children’s Workshop

While the public is invited to come out and enjoy the art anytime, the official opening of LAND&ART@MARC will be held Saturday, August 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Baltimore County Ag Center in conjunction with the 70th Annual Hereford Junior Farm Fair. The celebration will include a free hands-on lands art workshop for children conducted by Artemis Herber, curator of the program. Artemis invites children to visualize basic experiences through their senses and create colorful paintwork on fallen trees we have lost in nature. Registration for this free workshop is required to guarantee a space.

Hours and Location

The Baltimore County Agriculture Center and Farm Park is part of the County’s park system and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset 365 days a year. Visit at1114 Shawan Road, on the corner of Shawan and Cuba Roads in Cockeysville.  

Call for Fall Land Art Entries

As MARC celebrates the first installations, the second call for entries has just been published. In this call, artists will install land art that reflects on the theme of the equinox including ideas of cycles in nature, farming and the cosmos. Installation will be slated to coincide with MARC”s annual Family Farm Day, September 20. Call for Entries information.  

The Land and Art initiative is part of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council’s Arts on the Farm Program, a continuing exploration of the intersection of art and agriculture. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Bronwyn at Bronwyn@marylandagriculture.org.

Bronwyn Mitchell
Programs Manager, Maryland Agricultural Resource Council


 
 
Revised September 26, 2016