Artist in Residence Program at Waubonsie State Park Awards Announced
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Golden Hills RC&D and the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway are excited to announce the Waubonsie State Park Artist in Residence awards for the 2023 Program! The Artist in Residence program was created to help reach a broader audience of park-goers, thus increasing the number of visitors and ultimately educating more people about the Loess Hills ecosystem. The artists and visitors will engage with the natural resources of the park through an artistic lens. Many quality applications were received from artists representing a wide array of disciplines. Three artists were selected to fill residencies ranging from one to two weeks long in March and April. Those artists receiving the residency awards for the current season of the Waubonsie State Park Artist in Residence Program include Rodger Geberdling, Marcia Holliway and Tina Campbell. The artists will use their time at Waubonsie to immerse themselves in the landscape as a source of inspiration and opportunity to intensely focus on their work. The artists represent a variety of mixed media, painting, and photography.
Rodger Geberdling is a multidisciplinary artist from Council Bluffs who is active in applied arts, book illustration, art instruction, writing and acting. His painting, drawing, collage, and other multimedia work is currently represented at multiple galleries and exhibitions across the country. Rodger’s mixed media paintings and found/created object constructions range from portraits (real and imagined) to still-lifes and landscapes. He works primarily from imagination as colored by his surroundings, using sketches and memory to make personal impressions of people and places. During his time at Waubonsie, Rodger will focus on landscapes and impressions of structures as seen on daily walks. He sees this residency as a kind of visual, day-to-day journal. Rodger will occupy the first residency period of 2023, during the first half of March.
Marcia Wilson Holliway is a multidisciplinary artist from Nebraska City. Marcia shares, “Seeing and feeling texture, pattern, light and color stirs my soul. People, places, and nature are inspirations for my art! When I’m not painting in Plein Air you might find me arranging found objects. As they start relating to one another they become cohesive. Something beautiful comes to life, reminding me this process is happening in my own life as well. As I collaborate with purpose, my Creator, and others, I continue writing my story, creating goodness, beauty, and art. Although my life, poems, art, and journals can be kept private, I am convinced that life is most fulfilled when I share them.” Although the dates and details have not been secured yet, Marcia says that her programming piece will be an invitation to park goers of all ages to participate in a hands-on experience that will encourage celebrating nature, further exploration, and appreciation of their surroundings. Marcia’s residency will take place during the second half of March.
Tina Campbell with Fence Row Photography is a landscape photographer from Norwalk, Iowa. She shares, “As a landscape photographer I am not just discovering the beauty but also the healing element of being in nature. Whether on the backroads or hiking trails, or just in my own backyard, nature has provided me a consistent element of connection and peace. It is my hope that my photography might bring that connection to others and inspire more awareness of the beauty in our everyday.” When Tina does her public program, she plans to lead a group on a guided photo walk and explain her gratitude practice approach of not just looking at the big picture, but really focusing on the little things. Tina will participate in a one-week residency at the beginning of April.
One of the region’s ecological and recreational treasures, Waubonsie State Park’s 2,000 acres in the Loess Hills of southwest Iowa feature prairies, savannas, and woodlands which are home to diverse flora and fauna, not to mention breathtaking vistas. Park Manager Matt Moles has worked with Golden Hills RC&D Project Coordinator Lance Brisbois and Loess Hills National Scenic Byway Coordinator Rebecca Castle to develop and launch the project. While there have been other artist residency programs offered through the National Parks System and parks in other states, this was the first such program in one of Iowa’s State Parks. The program is loosely modeled after similar regional residency programs. The artists will receive lodging in a studio cabin and a primitive studio space in the park at no cost for the duration of the residency. In return, artists will deliver at least one public program and donate one piece of art to the park at the conclusion of their stay. The programs will be announced as they are scheduled, and may happen either during the residency period or at a later date during the peak season.
Waubonsie State Park is only about an hour’s drive from Omaha or Lincoln, NE; two hours from Kansas City; and 2.5 hours from Des Moines. It is located near the southern end of the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. To learn more about the Artist in Residence program and the artists, visit www.goldenhillsrcd.org/artist-in-residence. If you are an artist and are interested in learning about how to apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.