Homestead National Monument Provides Artist In Residence Program
BEATRICE – For years the National Park Service has invited artists to spend time at their parks, and gather inspiration from the land.
“For artists to come and stay, for however long, usually it’s about two weeks. To immerse themselves in a place.”
Chief Ranger at the Homestead National Monument of America Andrea Bornemeier says parks across the country, as well as other federal or state land management agencies, invite artists to spend time.
“Whether that’s on top of a mountain, or in the bottom of a canyon or out in the middle of a prairie like here at Homestead. Just immerse them self in a place. Use the features of that place.”
Casey Whittier is a teacher at the Kansas City Art Institute and a ceramic artist, and is currently working in-residence at the Homestead.
“Doing something like artist in residence, it really takes you out of what your norm is. It makes you think a little bit differently. I feel like, as an artist, that’s so important to have the opportunity to try something new. To interact with new people, and kind of spice up your artistic practice, if you will.”
Whittier is working on projects the represent the nature aspect of the Homestead, as well as working on projects that incorporate the experience of homesteaders.”
“But the historical aspect of Homestead National Monument, and the homesteading history is something that’s interesting how it draws people here.”
Whittier finds an interesting contrast in how items were more practical, functional and long lasting during the days of homesteading.
“Nowadays our lives are so much filled with these really disposable items, so I made molds of a lot of those and then cast them in sugar and I am placing them around the grounds and watching them deteriorate, and it happens pretty rapidly.”
Whittier is only in her second day in-residence, and will continue working on multiple projects during her time at the Homestead.
The artist in residence program will continue through the spring and summer and into the fall at the Homestead National Monument.