In an era described as the Sixth Great Extinction, plants both rare and familiar are at risk, and climate change is accelerating the loss of unique habitats and species. For Uprooted, we've asked five Wisconsin artists to create new work focused on the diverse plant communities under threat in Wisconsin. Cynthia Brinich-Langlois and Bethann Moran-Handzlik have turned their attention to the northern forests; Helen Klebesadel and Lynne Railsback have focused on central Wisconsin's prairies and oak savaanna; and Katie Musolff has been planting amid wetlands and gardens near the Mississippi River. Uprooted will also include a group of black ash baskets by Marian Miner and birchbark pieces by Terri Hom, as climate change is accelerating the vulnerability of both birch and black ash.
All of the work created for Uprooted has been informed by direct observation in the field as well as consultation with naturalists and scientists who are tracking the impact of climate change. We hope this exhibition will raise awareness about the serious threats facing our region's fragile plant communities, as well as the wildlife that depends on these plants for food and habitat.
We are most grateful to our science advisors -- Susan Carpenter, Christy Lowney, and Bradley Herrick of the UW-Madison Arboretum, and Evan Eifler, a Ph.D. candidate in the UW-Madison Dept. of Botany -- and to our Wisconsin Academy donors, members, and the following James Watrous Gallery sponsors for their support of this exhibition: