October 6, 2014
Visions of the Susquehanna River Art Collection
My fiber artwork In Dreams I Flew Over the River is joining the Visions of the Susquehanna River Art Collection. Housed in the historic Dritt Mansion at the Zimmerman Center for Heritage in York County, PA, the collection is curated by artist Rob Evans, and is the first-ever permanent collection of Susquehanna River art. My work is on loan while funds are being raised to complete the purchase.
I can’t imagine a more perfect setting for this piece. I’ve written before about how the idea and imagery for it literally came to me in a dream, and I felt compelled to make it. I've lived near the Susquehanna most of my life, and this work is a distillation of my experiences and observations of the river in its many moods. To have is hanging with other river art by artists I deeply admire is something of a dream come true.
The Dritt Mansion was built circa 1740 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places It has been extensively and beautifully restored, along with the grounds. There’s a wealth of information about it in this Visitor’s Guide. It’s a fabulous setting for the artwork, and well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. There are guided tours available.
The view from the mansion is of the river and the newly built marina.
I took some fisheye photos when I visited; the skies were cloudy and dramatically lit (the purple tones are a photographic distortion, a combination of the lens on my iPhone and the light and reflections off of the clouds).
Behind the mansion, a trail leads up through the woods into the Native Lands park, which was once the home of the Susquehannock tribe. The 4 acre cleared area at the top of the rise, with a distant view of the river, is the site of their last known village. A stockade wall once enclosed 16 ninety-foot longhouses and was home to about 900 people. Today it is a serene and reflective place. The greens and golds of the surrounding fields are echoed in my work, along with the myriad blues of the river.
I am very happy that my work has found such an appropriate and prestigious home.