Lakes to Lakes funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2010

I am so happy to announce that I am a recipient of the 2010 Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. In 2010 and 2011 I will be working on a series of photographs “Lakes to Lakes” which tie together place and identity, and explore the connections between the lakes of northern Minnesota and the Lake District in Cumbria, England.

The Lakes to Lakes project is born out of earlier work: A Sense of Place and my realization that this is this is the year to take American citizenship.  I have always been tied to the landscape and a place rather than it’s people or government, always tied to the south west of England with it’s rolling green fields and westward facing ocean, and this vision is how I have always defined myself.  I have maintained this vision even though I live in Bemidji Minnesota.  Perhaps this is because my daily world is connected through the internet.  I listen to the BBC and read English newspapers, watch English TV, and with my phone I can be connected even when I am walking along a lake shore in Minnesota.

The Artist Initiative Grant provides me with the opportunity to explore an area of England I have never seen, but shares some of the same characteristics as the place where I live.  It will allow me to think about the issues which surround identity, place, and allegiance.

I am particularly grateful to the State Legislature and to everyone who works so hard to keep the arts alive in this recession.   A lot of people are still trying to climb out of the fiscal black hole and struggling to keep their ambition.  Artists who receive grants this year have a particular responsibility to make this grant work on many levels for the community.  Arts grants now function much like the WPA in the 1930’s and 40’s: they keep artists employed, but more so, they feed back to the world a spirit of place and time.

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