Fragile Preservation: A Tallgrass Community

This exhibition is ongoing Bradley J. Burgum Skybridge, Student Exhibition

tallgrass

Corinne Teed’s intermediate printmaking class at Minnesota State University Moorhead developed this collaborative screenprint installation as a reflection on the fragility of Tallgrass Prairie ecosystems.

While the Tallgrass Prairie is a community made up of a great diversity of species, Fragile Preservation represents a selection of them. Included in the exhibition of native species are: Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Blue Grama Grass, Indian Grass, Purple Coneflower, Black Eyed-Susans, Prairie Blazing Star, Bobolink, Western Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow, Harvester Mouse, and bees. Additionally, there are traces of other members of the Tallgrass Prairie community – mounds of Pocket Gophers, tracks of Gray Wolves, nests of Harvester Mice, bones of Bison who once lived here and birch bark baskets filled with sweetgrass. Sweetgrass is a Tallgrass Prairie plant sacred to many local indigenous human communities who live in or who harvest from the prairie (e.g. Anishinaabe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples). Additionally, since invasive species are a considerable problem in the preservation of Tallgrass Prairie ecosystems, both Leafy Spurge and Musk Thistle are included in the landscape.

Inspiration for this project came from a guided tour of the Tallgrass Prairie at the MSUM Science Center, provided by Dr. Alison Wallace, an MSUM Professor of Biology. Additional thanks to Laura Youngbird, Liselotte Erdrich and George Holley for contributing their thoughts and research to the project.

Participating Artists: Faith Arnston, Taylor Letnes, Tabby Rivera, Tara Schaper, Brian Wagner