Contact

Charles Linn
School of Architecture, Design & Planning
785-864-4336

Artwork reflects modern-day challenges in Kansas agriculture

Fri, 09/27/2013

LAWRENCE — Last spring, Department of Design students in Professor Patrick Dooley’s Visual Communications Publication and Editorial class designed “1 Kansas Farmer,” a series of six display panels to present topics related to the environmental realities facing Kansans today and their historic roots, dating back to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

The panels were inspired by the history of the Dust Bowl, the science behind this environmental disaster, and the art that came out of it. They also visually communicate the research of the Biofuels and Climate Change: Farmers’ Land Use Decisions project (BACC:FLUD) currently being conducted by scholars at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University. The studies examine Kansas farmers’ land-use decisions, and their relationship to biofuel crop opportunities and climate change.

“1 Kansas Farmer” is intended for an audience already familiar with the historical effects of agricultural land use on the environment during the Dust Bowl. As viewers turn their attention toward current research, they reconsider the lessons of the past, and make connections between these ideas and current crises facing Kansas.

Dooley said, “The students were assigned to make the panels look like they were magazine spreads, layouts that tell a complete story in two side-by-side pages.”

An important part of the project was for each team to design information graphics that would quickly and easily communicate the researchers’ discoveries.

The six teams of four students used period art and photography as well as photographs taken by Larry Schwarm, an artist commissioned by the Spencer and BACC:FLUD for this project. He has visually documented the conditions under which agriculture occurs in Kansas today. The students also incorporated period artworks and photographs from the collections of the Spencer Museum of Art at KU and Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at K-State.

Copy for the posters was written and edited by the staff of the Spencer Museum. The content was culled from historic and recent interviews, survey responses and other research data collected by the BACC:FLUD team. The students also received guidance from Spencer staff on the specifics of designing for museum settings.

The panels are currently on view in the main hallway of the Spencer Museum of Art until Dec. 15 in conjunction with an exhibition related to KU’s 2013-2014 Common Book, “The Worst Hard Time,” a history of the Dust Bowl authored by Timothy Egan.

Additionally, each of the panels and a photograph of the Spencer Museum Installation can be seen at the Design Department’s Behance page, or at the Spencer’s website

Smaller versions of the panels will be displayed at the Kansas NSF EPSCoR conference Monday, Oct. 7, and Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Oread Hotel. They also will be featured at the annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water, slated for Thursday, Oct. 24, and Friday, Oct. 25,  at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center in Manhattan.

Kate Meyer — curator of the “Conversation XV: Dust exhibition at Spencer,” project lead for “1 Kansas Farmer,” and member of the BACC:FLUD research team — will discuss art inspired by the Dust Bowl  from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2, in the Spencer Museum of Art auditorium. The iconic images she will discuss chronicle and bring to life a devastating episode in American history, its aftermath and its memory. The students’ panels will be included in the discussion.



Travel to New York and perform on one of the greatest stages in the nation? KU's Wind Ensemble did just that. In March 2013, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble made the trip of a lifetime to perform the world premiere of composer Mohammed Fairouz’s Symphony No. 4, In the Shadow of No Towers at Carnegie Hall. http://bit.ly/1nXMXr9 Tags: University of Kansas Wind Ensemble KU School of Music Carnegie Hall #KUdifference #music #symphony
Journey to Carnegie Hall
One of America’s most esteemed concert bands, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, came to Carnegie Hall to introduce a commissioned work with the potential to resonate well beyond the usual college circuit... - New York Times review

A #KUprof is working to get mobile phones to identify disease-spreading insects. http://t.co/h64UAof9K2 http://t.co/RPgC4uLXVy
University of Kansas Homecoming Parade 2014 The University of Kansas celebrated its 102nd Homecoming, "Roll with the 'Hawks,'" Sept. 21-27, 2014. Watch the video to see highlights from some of the week's activities, and from Friday's Homecoming Parade and pep rally featuring our Grand Marshal and KU Alumnus, Rob Riggle. Rock Chalk!


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times