Via the St. Croix Watershed Research Station:
The St. Croix Watershed Research Station has selected five artists to live and work at its historic Pine Needles cabin this summer. The artists and writers will each spend two to four weeks at the cabin on the banks of the St. Croix River.
This year mark’s the residency’s fifteenth anniversary. Since 2001, the program has provided dedicated time and space for participants to pursue artistic interests. It also lets artists interact with Research Station scientists and the community, informing their creative process.
The 2016 artists-in-residence are: Kim Roberts (Washington, D.C.), Gary Noren and Marty Harding (Chisago City, MN), Marly Beyer (Portland, OR), and C.B. Sherlock (Minneapolis MN).
The program received a nearly record number of applications from around the United States this year. Applications were reviewed by station staff and outside judges.
Kim Roberts is an award-winning poet and literary historian. Her most recent collection of poems, Fortune’s Favor: Scott in Antarctica, is a series of connected blank verse sonnets in the voice of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott. Her forthcoming book, The Scientific Method, includes poems about scientists such as Thomas Alva Edison, Nikola Tesla, Ernst Haeckel, and Carl Sagan.
“I like poems that are firmly rooted: in a specific place, a historic time period, or in the voice of a particular person,” Roberts said.
THE INVASIVE WEED SYNDICATE, by Kim Roberts
A rude ring of lobed leaves cling
to the bottom of the stem, and from this stage
the actors rise in heart-shaped pods
and strip to white petticoats by the open road.
Gary Noren and Marty Harding are collaborating on a project of photography and choral music that will celebrate the St. Croix River. Noren will document the river and work of scientists studying the river in photography; Harding will curate choral music relating to rivers and produce a community concert later in the year.
“We feel a deep sense of urgency to take time out from professional and community commitments this year to reflect on the meaning of this spectacular river in our midst,” Noren and Harding said.
Marly Beyer is an artist and scientific illustrator. Recent work includes illustrations of the Oregon Tidepools and the John Day Fossil Beds. She will study the flora and fauna of the river valley and create a series of educational paintings.
“A chance to connect with local scientists and to study specimens and ecology of the area is an amazing opportunity that will ultimately lead to the creation of more relevant and more successful paintings,” Beyer said.
C.B. Sherlock is a print maker and book artist, who creates small edition books and one-of-a-kind works of art. Her work combines text, imagery and nontraditional housing. She hopes to create an artist’s book in response to the science of the St. Croix River.
“My work is about the threads that connect us: connections to the land, to our past, and to each other,” Sherlock says.
The Pine Needles cabin was originally built in 1912 by conservationist J.W.G. Dunn and was later owned by his son James Taylor Dunn, who served as chief librarian of the Minnesota Historical Society from 1955 to 1972 and published the first major history of the St. Croix River in 1965. It was donated to the St. Croix Watershed Research Station in 1998, the Pine Needles residency was piloted by writer Laurie Allmann in 2001, and was opened up to other artists starting in 2002.