What: Photography Exhibit
Where: Fitchburg Library, 5530 Lacy Road, Fitchburg, WI
When: November 28-December 28, 2016
"Land extreemly fertile; consisting of a happy mixture of praries and groves, exhibiting one of the most beautifull and picteresk seens that I ever beheld." Meriwether Lewis
Prairies have meant different things to different peoples throughout their existence. To the native peoples of the plains, prairies were the wellspring of their way of life, following the immense herds of bison that were at the center of that existence - both brought to near extinction by the advent of a new wave of immigrants. To these new immigrants the prairies were either a scourge to travel towards lands further west , or a plague to plow in order to reach the incredibly black and rich soil lying beneath. Soil, that after much abuse, was then simply blown towards the Atlantic Ocean during the Dust Bowl. Most of what was once prairie has now become a monoculture of corn and soy, grown mostly for the immense livestock industry that feeds a growing world population. Less than 5% of the original tall-grass prairie still exists, and in Wisconsin, it is less than 1% that has survived the plow.
So, is the prairie doomed? Thankfully, there has been a relatively recent resurgence of interest in the preservation and restoration of former prairie lands through the efforts of private, public, governmental, and environmental groups. The sight that Meriwether Lewis and all the previous inhabitants saw is something none of us will ever see again. But through the efforts of all the people involved in its preservation and restorations, perhaps we can get a glimpse of the majesty that once existed. And for that we should all be grateful and give thanks to all those involved. And even though these fragments are small in comparison, we can still see far if we only look close.
The photographers of this exhibit all share a passion for the natural world. It is our hope that the photographs in this exhibit convey the same sense of wonder to you as we felt when composing them. We also hope that these photographs will inspire you to visit a prairie, either natural or restored. And, equally important, to inspire within you a commitment towards their preservation. We hope that you enjoy this exhibit and we thank you for your time in viewing it.
Rich Armstrong- www.richarmstrongphotography.com/
Bob Jaeger- firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Klingele- www.tomklingele.smugmug.com/