Great Plains Art Museum presents Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape

Event Picture
Date: Sep 2 - Mar 23
Venue: Great Plains Art Museum
Location: 1155 Q Street
Ticket Price: Free admission
Time: 10am-5pm Tues.-Sat.
Phone: (402) 472-6220

In Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape, Dana Fritz’s photographs make visible the forces that shaped the Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest and Grasslands, once the world’s largest hand-planted forest. Wind, water, planting, thinning, burning, decomposing, and sowing all contribute to its environmental history. A conifer forest was overlaid onto a semi-arid grassland just west of the 100th meridian in an ambitious late nineteenth-century idea to create a timber industry, and to change the local climate. This unique experiment of row-crop trees that were protected from the natural cycle of fire for decades, yet never commercially harvested for timber, provides a rich metaphor for our current environmental predicaments. This late nineteenth-century effort to reclaim with trees what was called “The Great American Desert” has evolved to a focus on twenty-first-century conservation, grassland restoration, and reforestation, all of which work to sequester carbon, maintain natural ecosystem balance, and mitigate large-scale climate change. Dana Fritz is Hixson-Lied Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She uses photography to investigate the ways we shape and represent the natural world in cultivated and constructed landscapes. She is the author of Terraria Gigantica: The World under Glass (University of New Mexico Press, 2017) and Field Guide to a Hybrid Landscape (forthcoming from University of Nebraska Press in January 2023).