Art and the Working Landscape

Cultivated land is a handmade environment. Over the past two centuries, the rural face of Vermont has been shaped by farm life. While the stone walls built during that time have lost their stature as livestock fences, their presence has become a defining characteristic of the land. A dry laid stone wall, that has stood the test of time, is praised for its practicality, durability and craftsmanship. The close attention farmers pay to their surroundings is comparable to the awareness artists bring to their work. As a medium of expression, dry stone construction is a logical choice for an artist working in the landscape. I am looking forward to participating in Earth Week 2011 next Tuesday 19 April at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. My morning lecture will examine examples of dry stone work from the past, and how the craft is being utilized to create new forms today.

In the afternoon I'll teach an introductory workshop on the basic principles of dry stone walling with a small group of GMC students.