Legacy of the Land Through Art: Multi-Media Text and Image Panels by Legacy Land Conservancy

Now through September 1, 2013 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

For more than forty years, the Legacy Land Conservancy has worked in Washtenaw and Jackson counties to protect forests, prairies, farms, wetlands, and waters. These protected places, now amounting to more than 5500 acres, will sustain healthy ecosystems and local agriculture for present and future generations and provide a source of continuing pleasure and spiritual renewal. An important part of Legacy's mission is to foster a connection between people and the land.

For this exhibit, several artists were invited to create works inspired by public and private lands preserved through the Conservancy. Each artist was assigned a particular property and asked to explore the place and its relationship to the landowners. Many of these protected lands are home to rare plants and wildlife; some have unusual natural features. The exhibition is part of a larger effort to focus attention on the rich natural and human heritage of the place where we live, as expressed through the efforts of these local artists.

Photographic images from preserved properties illustrate the diversity of the flora and fauna and the range of natural habitats to be found all around us in southern Michigan. They invite us to discover our natural environment and also reflect some of its human uses: promoting well-being; reducing stress; providing special places where children can play; supporting traditional agriculture and family farms; preserving natural habitats; and offering opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Quotations chosen from American nature writing from the early 19th century to the present are paired with the images, suggesting some of the ways that interacting with our natural environment can delight, invigorate, and heal us. Images and words together make a compelling case for preserving the kinds of special places Legacy Land Conservancy seeks to protect.