Wisconsin People & Ideas - Fall 2015 | wisconsinacademy.org
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Wisconsin People & Ideas - Fall 2015


In this issue: GLEAM takes over Olbrich Botanical Gardens, a new ancestor appears in the human family tree, and three Wisconsin poets net NEA Creative Writing Fellowships. Features include: exploring butterflies, plants, and our pharmacological future; remaking our food systems; saving our heirloom apple heritage; talking to your uncle about climate change; feeling the modern dance movement; and celebrating 75 years of rural arts. New fiction, poems, poems, and more poems from our 2015 contests.

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When the winds of change are in the air, it’s a good idea to gather one’s extended circle—especially the wisdom-keepers and those who understand our history and how it shapes these times and the future.

Each of the 100 glowing tongues of Voices carries a unique colloquial term. Photo by  Kai Stanecki.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens GLEAM exhibition fuses light and sculpture

 doctoral candidate Alia Gurtov, professor John Hawks, and postdoctoral fellow Caroline VanSickle in the Biological Anthropology Lab at UW–Madison with casts of fossil specimens from hominins who lived 1 to 2 million years ago in Africa and West Asia. The three paleoanthropologists are members of the Rising Star Expedition that discovered Homo naledi, a new species of hominid that existed in South Africa hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago. Photo credit: Jeff Miller/UW–Madison Communications

Humans have descended from an evolutionary branch that includes divergent species such as Australopithecus africanus, which lived around 3 million years ago, and Homo erectus, which lived around 1.5 million years ago.

Luke Zahm is fomenting a food revolution at Driftless Cafe in Viroqua.

Luke Zahm is fomenting a food revolution at Driftless Cafe in Viroqua.

Among the largest butterflies in the world, the blue morpho is severely threatened by deforestation of tropical forests and habitat fragmentation. Yet these and other tropical butterflies may hold the key to discovering pharmaceuticals that will benefit humankind.

Zoologist and Academy Fellow Allen M. Young reveals the delicate evolutionary dance between tropical butterflies and plants.

Photos by Jill Metcoff.

Conservation biologist Curt Meine shares the secret lives of the apples of the Badger Army Ammunitions Plant. Photos by Jill Metcoff.

Barbara Kettner, "Baling in August," 2015. Watercolor on paper.

The Wisconsin Regional Art Program (WRAP) has been changing the lives of Wisconsinites both rural and urban since 1940.

About these photos: Taken by Kim Keyes, these black and white photos of Ellen Moore (above) and her final Movement Improvisation class in 2005 made their way into a short film by former students Marina Kelly and Jim Mathews called Taking a Bow. All photos are reprinted by permission of Kim Keyes.

Over soup lunch in Hackberry’s Restaurant, upstairs from the bustling La Crosse food cooperative, Ellen Moore darts her vibrant eyes from one loving student to another.

We all know that words have power. But there is an equal amount of power in the absence of words.

When the children drew pictures of our school, it always looked as if they were drawing a jail. They would start with a big rectangle, and then fill it with countless little squares until the windows started to overlap.

One of the charms of visiting the North Woods of Wisconsin is stumbling upon the occasional quirky attraction. Turn down a side road, and you might discover a park full of concrete-based sculpture or a wooden Muskie the size of a semi.

Few contemporary writers are able to capture the essence of small-town Wisconsin as meticulously or as relentlessly as Michael Perry.

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