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Nature Photographer Ken Saunders II Exhibit Opens in Burling Gallery

Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 8:00am to Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 10:00pm
Burling Library

 

Exhibition: August 25 - October 15
Opening Reception: Friday, September 2, 4:00 p.m., Burling Gallery

“Nature photography is my passion,” says Ken Saunders II, who retired from a long career with the College’s Facilities Management in 2015.   Looking at his photographs, one is compelled to add that nature photography is also his forte.  Ken’s striking photographs show us nature at its most beautiful.  His favorite subjects are individual animals and plants, captured in their natural habitat at rest or in motion, with close-up or telephoto lens. 

All of the photographs in this exhibit, titled “Portraits of Nature in Iowa,” were taken within 40 miles of Grinnell.  It may surprise some viewers that this diversity of wildlife can be found so close to our community.   Ken could perhaps agree with Henry David Thoreau’s statement -- “What’s the need of visiting far-off mountains and bogs if a half-hour’s walk will carry me into such wildness and novelty?” -- though in fact he also photographs in other parts of the country, especially in the mountain west.

Ken recalls getting his first camera – a Kodak 104 Instamatic, which retailed for $15.95 – when he was about seven years old.  Many years later he advanced to a 35mm film single-lens reflex camera, a Pentax, and then in 2003 began experimenting with digital photography.  He got his first digital single-lens reflex camera in 2006, a Nikon D200, and has been working in this vein ever since.

The Center for Prairie Studies is pleased to co-sponsor this exhibit of Ken’s photography with Faulconer Gallery.  The exhibit is displayed in Burling Gallery and will run from August 25 to October 15.  An opening reception will take place at Burling Library Gallery (lower level) on Friday, September 2, at 4:00. 

Building Local Food Systems: Two Case Studies, California and Iowa

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101

 

How do you create a local food system?  On August 31, in JRC 101, at 4:00 and 7:30 p.m., two speakers will share their experiences creating local food systems in two very different locations: the Bay Area of San Francisco and the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County, Iowa. 

More and more people are interested in eating food raised near where they live.  It is fresher, tastes better, and is often more nutritious.  Because it is produced on a smaller scale, it is more likely to be raised using organic methods, which make it healthier.  Purchasing food grown near where you live also contributes more to the local economy than buying the same food from big retail grocers. 

But “buying local” can face challenges.  Is supply adequate to meet the demand?  How do consumers connect with farmers? Are the types of food being raised locally also the types that consumers want?  Is local food out of the price range of many consumers?  If locally raised food is normally available for only part of the year, can anything be done to lengthen the growing season or make the food available year-round?

Answers to many of these questions can be found through the creation of local food systems. Going beyond ad hoc relationships and even such worthy organizations as farmers markets, a local food system is a coordinated, self-consciously planned set of institutionalized relationships among farmers, consumers, businesses, and communities, structured in a way that maximizes the availability of affordable local food to members of a community. 

Jennifer Vazquez-Koster has been working on local food initiatives in Iowa for 10 years.  She is currently manager of the two-year old Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative, an umbrella that encompasses three garden-farm operations at the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County: a senior garden affiliated with the senior living center at the Settlement, a school garden, and Red Earth Gardens, a large-scale commercial organic operation that sells produce through a Tribally Supported Agriculture (TSA) program, a farm stand, and area grocery stores. The concept behind “food sovereignty” is for the Meskwaki to reclaim their food system from the national industrial food and agriculture system. 

Thomas Nelson ‘91 has been instrumental in advancing the local food system in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He launched a community-based social enterprise, Capay Valley Farm Shop, which connects 54 farms and ranches in the Capay Valley to Bay Area families and businesses, in the latter category focusing on tech companies, online grocery, and neighborhood businesses.  He is also a business advisor at Kitchen Table Advisors, a non-profit that works with beginning farmers to help them market their products.  He also serves on the board of California FarmLink, established in 1999, which has created a statewide program of economic development support for beginning, limited-resource, immigrant and other underserved farmers across the state.

Jennifer Vazquez-Koster will speak on “Beginning a Local Food System at the Meskwaki Settlement” at 4:00 p.m. and Thomas Nelson will speak on "Community-based Strategies to Scale Up Sustainable Food Systems" at 7:30 p.m.  Both presentations are in Joe Rosenfield Center ’25 101.  Refreshments will be served.  Sponsored by the Grinnell College Center for Prairie Studies.

Woodland Wildflower Hike at CERA

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 4:45pm to 6:15pm

 

Join CERA Manager Elizabeth Hill on a 1.5 mile spring ephemeral wildflower hike at CERA. Wear sturdy walking shoes and long pants to explore the spring ephemeral wildflowers at CERA!

Van leaves from Rosenfield Center drop-off zone at 4:15 p.m. Hike starts 4:45 p.m. at CERA, meet at Environmental Education Center.

Email Elizabeth Hill to reserve transportation.

Fracking Our Land

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101

Panel of writers, thinkers, environmentalists to discuss fracking on April 19
Conversation will be based on first anthology of creative writing that explores fracking

A panel of four Iowa-based writers, editors, thinkers and environmentalists will discuss "Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America," the country's first anthology of creative writing that explores hydraulic fracking, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, at Grinnell College.

Debra Marquart, Carolyn Raffensperger, Frederick Kirschenmann and Taylor Brorby will all read their work from the anthology and explore impacts of hydraulic fracking on Iowa.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell.

Marquart is a professor of English at Iowa State University, teaching in the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing and Environment. The author of a memoir, "The Horizontal World: Growing up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere" and two poetry collections, she has received numerous honors for her work, including John Guyon Nonfiction Award, the Mid-American Review Nonfiction Award, a New York Times Editor's Choice commendation and a 2008 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Prose Fellowship.

Raffensperger is an environmental lawyer specializing in the changes in law and policy necessary to address climate change and preserve public health and the environment. She is executive director of the Science and Environmental Health network, and has edited three comprehensive volumes on the precautionary principle of environmental law. Her work has been featured in Gourmet magazine, the Utne Reader, Yes! Magazine, the Sun, Whole Earth and Scientific American.

A national expert in sustainable agriculture, Kirschenmann is a family farmer, writer and scholar on ecology. He has held numerous appointments, including U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. His farm has been featured in numerous publications, including National Geographic, Business Week, Audubon and Gourmet magazine, for its diverse crop rotation and productivity without using synthetic inputs. His book, "Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher," traces the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years.

The editor of "Fracture," Taylor Brorby is an award-winning essayist, poet and environmentalist. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. His work has been featured in "Rock, Paper, Scissors," "The Englewood Review of Books," on Minnesota Public Radio, North Dakota Public Radio and in numerous newspapers. A talented writer himself, he is currently working on two poetry collections, one related to the Bakken oil boom and the other about the Adirondacks in upstate New York, as well as an essay collection about western North Dakota.

Sponsoring the event are the Center for Prairie Studies and Environmental Studies.

Conversation in the Humanities

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Solera, downtown

Sites of Creativity

Presentations by:

Ross Haenfler, Associate Professor of Sociology, “Lifestyle Movements as Sites of Creativity”

Kathleen Oberlin, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Place and Culture-Making: Geographic Clumping in the Emergence of Artistic Schools”

Benjamin Ridgway, Assistant Professor of Chinese and Japanese, “Scholar-official Gardens as “Sites of Creativity” in Song Dynasty (960-1279) China”

R.S.V.P. required by noon on Monday, April 18 to Jan Graham.

This event is open to all faculty.

Alternative Universities as Sites of Creativity

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101

 

Artists to give talks on alternative universities as sites of creativity
Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Vincent Katz to lecture and hold workshop

Artists from the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU) and Vincent Katz, a professor of art at Yale University, will give talks on alternative universities as sites of creativity on Wednesday, April 20 at Grinnell College. The free and public talks will take place at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell.

Earlier that day, the founders of BHQFU will hold a workshop, "B.Y.O.U.: Build Your Own University," in the Masonic Temple downtown, 928 Main St., Grinnell. The workshop on teaching and learning will take place from 1-3 p.m. It is free and open to the public. 

The founders of BHQFU will discuss "How to Die an Artist: Resistance and Futility." BHQFU, founded in 2009, is New York's Freest Art School. It provides tuition-free classes, residencies, workshops, exhibitions and public programs to a community of thousands of New Yorkers. The school is an alternative to contemporary art schools that emphasize professionalization.

Katz, a professor at the Yale University of Art, will discuss "Black Mountain College: Finding the Center in the Remote." His lecture will cover the pedagogy of Black Mountain College in terms of its location and locus, especially as related to the college’s later years. He also will discuss Black Mountain’s relevance today, as a model, and also consider parallels to modern remotely-operated web-based experience of culture.

Katz is a celebrated poet, critic, translator, editor and curator. His criticism has been published in numerous books, catalogues and journals, including in "Apollo," "Art in America," "ARTnews" and "Art on Paper," among others. He is also the author of “The Complete Elegies Of Sextus Propertius,” winner of the National Translation Award in 2005. 

He has curated several celebrated exhibitions, including an exhibition on Black Mountain College for the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, and “Street Dance: The New York Photographs of Rudy Burckhardt” for the Museum of the City of New York.

The Center for Humanities is sponsoring these events as part of this year's theme: Sites of Creativity: Streets, Salons, Studios, and Schools.
 

The National Water Dance Comes to Grinnell

Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 3:00pm to 3:30pm
CERA

Featuring live music from the Pioneer String Quartet, dance performance by Ivy Kuhn and Ensemble, Tai Chi Women's Group, and the Grinnell Community Ensemble.

Over 100 sites in 35 states are coming together to bring attention to the pressing issues of water in the United States through embodied action! Come celebrate and bring awareness to the importance of water in our lives!

Bus transportation leaving from the JRC at 2:15 p.m. Please reserve a spot by emailing Jan Graham by noon, Tuesday, April 13th.

Capitalism and Agriculture

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101
Fred Magdoff
Emeritus Professor of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont

4:00 p.m., Roundtable discussion, SCI 1022, Soil and Soil Health
7:30 p.m., Public Talk, JRC 101, Capitalism and Agriculture

Numerous social and ecological problems arise from the way that agriculture functions within capitalist economies. These include hunger in the midst of plenty, lack of nutrient cycling, poor rotations, inhumane raising of animals on factory farms, poor treatment of farm and slaughterhouse labor, and environmental pollution with pesticides and fertilizers. These are outcomes of a system in which the overriding goal and motivating force is profit. In such a system, decisions that makes sense from the narrow economic point, are frequently ecologically and socially irrational.

Fred Magdoff is Emeritus Professor of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Vermont. His interests range from soil science to agriculture and food (science, production, economics, policy) to the environment to the U.S. economy. His science research was on ways to improve the soil fertility, especially focusing on the critical role of soil organic matter. He oriented his agricultural outreach activities to explaining the application of ecological principles to food production. He is the co-author of Building Crops for Better Soil: Sustainable Soil Management and What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism. He is co-editor of Agriculture and Food in Crisis: Conflict, Resistance, and Renewal. Creating an Ecological Society is due out later this year.

Celebrate Humanities Day

Monday, March 14, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101

Celebrate Humanities Day on March 14 to feature former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach

Activities will include Leach's keynote address, student performances and a pub quiz

Grinnell College will mark Celebrate Humanities Day, a daylong series of events to honor the study of the humanities, on Monday, March 14.

The keynote speaker will be Jim Leach, who represented Iowa’s second district in the House of Representatives for 30 years and later served as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Under his leadership, the NEH created a Bridging Cultures program designed to promote understanding and mutual respect for diverse groups within the United States and abroad.

Leach is now chair in public affairs and visiting professor of law in the College of Law at the University of Iowa. His address, titled "Where Politics and Morality Conjoin and Disconnect," will start at 7:30 p.m., in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell. The speech and all other events during Celebrate Humanities Day are free and open to the public.

This will be Grinnell College’s first Celebrate Humanities Day, which is organized by the college’s Center for the Humanities.

Students will perform at 4 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

Student performances include "Choreography as Research" by seniors Rosie Fuqua, Ivy Kuhn and Taylor Watts,  and "Indo-Jazz Fusion from Banaras to New York," by senior Vincent Kelley and his band. Kelley, drums and tabla; will be joined by seniors Omri Benami, piano; Tom Earnest, bass; and Jacob Ziontz, viola; along with Grinnell College Assistant Professor of Music Mark Laver, saxophone.

The daylong celebration will culminate in a Pub Quiz trivia night at 9 p.m. in Lyle's Pub, in the basement of the Rosenfield Center.