arrivals & departures.

some words about moving around.

Month: April, 2013


One semester’s worth of western handmade paper.


Actual spring in Iowa city.

Brick house & magnolia tree on Davenport ave, spring deer friends…..and another brick house with forsythia. Blogging while walking for spring.





Mt. Pleasant/Chicago/Buffalo

I can’t believe I skipped my first travel by train! Here they are, for those who care.

Mt. Pleasant, IA >Chicago, IL >Buffalo, NY {dec. 2012}

Painting for Preservation!!!

My favorite group of Buffalonians, Painting for Preservation is starting their third season of drawing the built environment and communities in the city of Buffalo with a bang! Check their own blog for all the awesome events planned for the beginning of this summer! unfortunately, I’m sticking around Iowa so I will mostly be participating in spirit….. However, their first show opening Friday, May 3rd does include much of the relief work I completed my first semester in graduate school. Here’s the facebook invite for the opening at the C.G. Jung Center Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Please check it out if you are in the area!

Here are some work in progress and layout shots for some of the work I will be including! (you’ll have to go the show to see the real deal)

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Name that flower please

Oh hey spring, you’re finally actually here and my front lawn is blue. Does anyone know what type of flower this is? It is particularly prolific in Iowa city, looks like it spreads like mad and I know my father would hate to have it in our landscaping back home. Therefore I need it.



everything else.

The other city/landscapes from the same trip.


Chicago, IL >Buffalo, NY {nov. 2012}



The Best Plane trip EVER.

As you can see from previous posts i’m obsessed with views of the natural and built landscape from above. Obviously, the only way I can collect my own images of this is from the sporadic commercial flights I take. Now, the house I grew up in is on a direct flight path for incoming airplanes at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Before I owned a camera I even managed to spot it a few times. (There is a rather distinctive Octagon shaped house down the street from me that is easy to pick out, which makes it a breeze to follow the road on to my own)


My excitement at spotting my own house was nothing compared to last Thanksgiving, when I finally got to see my favorite place in the entire world from the air- Long Point, Ontario. This sandy Peninsula jutting into Lake Erie is not only where I spent the majority of my childhood Summers it is also where large portions of my family’s past history took place. (In fact, if you look at the wikipedia page I linked, the restored lighthouse shown is the one my Great-Grandmother and her family use to operate around the turn of the century.)


Anyways, the background info was for my non-family readers. I’m really putting these photos up because I promised quite a few people over Thanksgiving Dinner I would share these and i’m just getting to it now….


Here we go!

Chicago, IL >Buffalo, NY {nov. 2012}


And just for the Hell of it… A collection of photos from the places seen above from a more normal perspective.

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Jefferson Ave

Jefferson Ave is a street I often Drive down but rarely actually walk on. WHy is that we fall into certain patterns of travel while driving yet totally different ones when walking?

As its not on my walking regular walking paths it took me eight whole months to notice these beautifully restored buildings. Both are guest houses owned by the University.

(I just found this awesome circle viewer! It looks great -but if interested in details, you should click on one of the circles to go into the slideshow with the full images!)

Update: I crossed the Mississippi River again.

On on my way to the Lost Mound Unit  in Illinois yesterday I got to cross the Mississippi River twice! obviously I took about a million photos of this event. It was particularly historic in my mind because we stopped and I got to actually touch it!!! This crossing took place in Sabula, Iowa and was pretty unique due to the labyrinth of causeways on the Iowa side needed to traverse before getting to the actual bridge. Sabula is actually a small, low-lying town in the midst of these uncertain, and at the time, pretty high, waters. Excess of photographs to follow.

Field Trip to the Lost Mound Unit in Savanna, Illinois

The Lost Mound Unit is part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Lost Mound Unit is one small part of this refuge located on the closed Savanna Army Depot in Savanna, Illinois.

Myself and a bunch of other University of Iowa art graduate students made the trek to Lost Mound Unit with visiting Artist Steve Rowell. While Steve uses mostly video, photography and curatorial studies  in his practice I saw many parallels in my work in the obscure yet banal locations he draws inspiration from. Check out The Center for Land Use interpretation to see more of his work.  I was pretty excited to hear him speak about his art and then hang out for a day. Anyone who uses the words “built environment and its relationship to the landscape” in their artist talk sounds awesome to me!

Anyways, this field trip was odd, yet cool for a number of reasons. The main one being its location on an abandoned army base where the government stored and tested weapons and ammunitions from the turn of the century until 1995. Because of this, much of the land is either contaminated, or has the possibility of live ammunition still hanging out on the ground. Areas of it are slowly being cleaned and cleared for safety but it obviously is not a Federal priority at this time. This meant that most of our tour was from within our 15-person van, with occasional stops in key locations.

Another unique aspect of this trip was how many wild animals we actual saw. Due to the Refuges miniscule budget ($20,000 per year) there is only one person employed at this over 9,000 acre site. Therefore, tours are given approximately once every two years. (I heard a rumour that the reason our visiting artist came to Iowa was so that he could get a group of students together for a field trip and he could get in and get footage of the Lost Mound Unit for his own work. (Good for him!)) Because of the small staff with a dearth of tours the wildlife on in the Lost Mound Unit is unused to human and vehicular traffic. This meant we often surprised the wildlife and saw many of them from a different perspective then usual. Because we were viewing most of these animals from a car many of us were reminded of the Jurassic Park tour or Safari Hunting Games. At two or three points during the afternoon startled deer ran alongside our van for periods of time. Wild Turkeys flew across our path as we drove around. When checking the attic of an abandoned army building a raccoon ran by me (I quickly left after that close encounter). Obviously, words can’t describe this bizarre sand prairie systematically covered in abandoned human structures so many photos will follow.

Photos of the sand Prairie/Savanna. The constructed mounds are the ammunitions bunkers, mostly empty now.

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Taking advantage of my panoramic app!


Photos from the backwaters of the Mississippi River!

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More panoramic shots with friends caught on the sides.

…and a selection of awkward shots of the Iowa Art Grads. SOrry friends, at least I don’t post my horrible photos to facebook anymore.

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