Kimball Art Center Book Club gets to the roots of ‘Between Life and Land’ exhibit￼
Darren Parry will lead discussion about ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’
Kimball Art Center Book Club Discussion: ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’
- When: 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 15
- Where: Kimball Art Center, 1251 Kearns Blvd.
- Cost: Free
- Optional registration: kimballartcenter.org/event
- Phone: 435-649-8882
- Web: kimballartcenter.org
The Kimball Art Center’s Book Club will dig into the roots of nature, sciences and creativity when it discusses Robin Wall Kimmerer’s 2013 New York Times bestseller, “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” on March 15.
The in-person event, which is free and open to the public and takes place at the art center, 1251 Kearns Blvd., will be led by Darren Parry, former chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation who sits on the Utah Humanities and the PBS Utah board of directors, said Kimball Art Center Curator Nancy Stoaks.
“I’ve known Darren for a number of years, and we both served on the board of the Utah Museums Association,” she said. “Through that capacity, I’ve had the opportunity to hear him speak. Seeing the way he connects with people as an impactful teacher and conveyor of knowledge regarding sustainability, I thought he would be perfect to facilitate the discussion.”
In “Braiding Sweetgrass,” a collection of essays, Kimmerer, an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, explores the relationship between the land and human beings, according to Stoaks.
“I thought the way she talks about building a more ecological consciousness, and how we can reposition ourselves in regards to our relationship with the land and be respectful of it, would be the perfect complement to our current exhibition,” she said.
The exhibit, “Between Life and Land: Materials,” which is showing through April 9, is the first of three exhibits in the “Between Life and Land” series, and introduces artists who create work from a direct engagement with earthen forms and materials, according to Stoaks.
It features the works of 10 artists — the late Robert Smithson, the late Nancy Holt, Collin Bradford, David Brooks, Patrick Dean Hubbell, Sara Lynne Lindsay, Stefan Lesueur, Colour Maisch, Mary Mattingly and Rodrigo Valenzuela.
“With each exhibition we present, I do research about different possibilities of books we could select that would shine a new light on the topic,” she said. “I thought this book would be great when I took into consideration the artists in this show and how they looked to the earth for materials for their works and how they positioned themselves with those materials.”
Stoaks is almost finished reading the book herself, and said that people don’t have to read it to join in Wednesday’s conversation.
“Nor do they have to be a book club member, although there is an option for them to sign up for free,” she said. “This is a book club where we have the same people attend every discussion, while others drop in and out, depending on whether or not the book we select speaks to their interests.”
Past discussions have been spurred by an array of books ranging from fiction to poetry, and natural history to memoirs, according to Stoaks.
“Some books are more contemporary and others are more historical, but what I love about the book club is that even though the themes tie in with the exhibitions, the discussions go in many different directions,” she said. “Sometimes the discussion will spur people to start reading the book or to finish it.”
In most cases, participants will be able to learn and take a lot away in terms of themes and perspectives of the exhibits from these conversations, Stoaks said.
“Because of the accumulation of your own experiences, whenever you have an experience with art, you get to see new things, even if these are pieces you’ve lived with for a long time,” she said.
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