In the Field: Art & Geology of the Badlands

Artworks produced by Badlands Working Group 2017
Derived from a joint research expedition to Badlands National Park, SD and surrounding areas.

The exhibition features work produced by members of the Badlands Working Group 2017, a collaborative research team who drove to South Dakota last June. For the duration of the two-week research expedition, the group was immersed in the landscape. They camped in tents, lived out of backpacks and ate food that they prepared in the camp kitchen each day. The weather conditions, rugged terrain, relationships, and scholarly activity made lasting impressions on everyone involved.

In an attempt to better understand the landscape of Badlands National Park, the Badlands Working Group investigated landforms in the region. Artworks were created in the field, and inspirations influenced direction back in the studios. Soil samples were extracted from sand dunes for radiocarbon dating in order to gain evidence of the impact of a Medieval Climate Anomaly that occurred sometime between 1,000-1,300 AD in an attempt to correlate slope incision rates and yield greater understanding of land formation in and around Badlands National Park. Results remain ongoing.

The expedition was led by faculty members Dr. Patrick Burkhart (GG&E) and Katherine Mickle (Art). Students from the Art Department who went on the expedition were: Kaci Flora, Julia Null, and Kaylee Priddy. Students on the trip from the Department of Geography, Geology & the Environment: Henry Kramer, Mitchell Kohler, Celia Laporta, Maraina Miles, and Joseph Price.