Portfolio > Artist in Residence for National Park System

Acrylic & housepaint on recycled cabinet doors

Images included in the painting: from Homestead archive; Native American mat, butter churn, bran grinder. Natural elements; blue chalcedony (agate) NE state mineral and little bluestem state grass.

Everyone who has lived on the prairie has had an effect on the land BUT the land and elements have changed us as well. People who populate this land are part of the ecosystem. My painting combines elements that reflect how we carry remnants of the land and our experience with us.

I used items that women used because even though they represent labor and work, they also include beauty in their decorative features. My art sees beauty in the everyday just as the owners of these objects saw beauty in the midst of hardship. These items can be found in the Homestead archives.

The background of agate represents the land and it's timelessness. It also reminds me of a topographical map and weather patterns.

Little bluestem runs across the painting, it is the landscape but also a metaphor. You can burn it or cut it back, drought or floods won't kill it because the roots are too deep, much like the people who live on the prairie. The bluestem also shows movement much like the path as people traveled across the plains.

The painting is done on used cabinet doors because I work with recycled materials. It also is a way to acknowledge how people who settled here were resourceful in reusing everything.

Sandra Van Tuyl
Remnants is now part of Homesteads collection of art.