POWELL, Wyoming — A TEDx talk by Montana artist Tracy Linder has been rescheduled for Thursday, Oct. 6, at Northwest College.
Linder’s talk, “Surviving the Elements: A Visual Conversation with the Land,” was originally scheduled Sept. 22 but was cancelled when the college closed that day in response to a warning received from the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security.
The presentation, which includes an open discussion on agriculture, is held in conjunction with a reception for Linder’s “Work” installation of agriculture-inspired art on display through noon Friday, Oct. 7, at Northwest Gallery in Powell.
Linder’s talk begins at 4 p.m. in Room 70 of the Fagerberg Building at Northwest College. Those present will be invited to continue the discussion in an open forum that looks at the changing face of agriculture. The venue moves at 5 p.m. to Northwest Gallery for an artist’s reception.
In her TEDx talk, Linder unravels the complex issues and sentiments braided into contemporary agricultural practices by contemplating their essence with thematic elements (animal collagen, leather, beeswax, resin, bronze and other materials).
This approach is borne out in shovel blades she created for the exhibit. Linder calls the shovel a “perfect icon of the circle of life – used to turn the earth to both grow things and bury things.” For her shovel blades, Linder transformed the hard steel into organic malleable wax, each one embedded inside with crops, horsehair or images of harvest, working hands or decaying animals. Lit from underneath, they glow with a transparency that invites the viewer to see through them the passage of time and purpose, to witness the circle of life.
Spikes of wheat usually dismissed en masse when casually viewed on nature’s canvas are brought into jarring focus when rendered in human size by Linder. Suspended from the ceiling, the grain head evokes a sense of human stirring as it rides on the ambient air, each kernel dressed in soft leather. It’s hard to look away when confronted so baldly by the sanctity of food sources and the innate survival skills of all species.
Each piece in Linder’s “Work” exhibit invites the viewer to contemplate the connection he or she has with the land. In her talk, she marries that theme with the question, “What kind of connection do we want with the land?”
“Work” will be displayed in the gallery through noon Friday, Oct 7. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. Admission is free.