Monthly Mentor

Jennifer Pulbratek (March)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Jennifer Pulbratek has been teaching art, mainly Ceramics (however also some Drawing, Painting, Printmaking) for 14 years in Arizona. She is National Board Certifed, Early Adolecent Young Adult and has been active in supporting other teachers though the National Board Certification process as a coach and in teaching pre-candidacy classes. Jennifer graduated from NAU in 2005 with a Bachelors of Science in Art Education and a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



Join the largest creative community established exclusively for visual arts educators, college professors, researchers, administrators, and museum educators.

Join NAEA Renew Membership

« Land art, Landscape, and the Environment | Main | Goals of Community Meet-ups »

October 07, 2016

Exploring Land Art

From: Annie Burbidge Ream

Image 1

Image 2

Imagine standing in these landscapes. What smells would be in the air? What noises would float around you? How would the air feel on your cheek?

As you look at both Spiral Jetty (Robert Smithson, 1970) and Sun Tunnels (Nancy Holt 1973-1976) what is the same and what is different about these works of art? How would you interact with them if you were at these sites?

As discussed in the previous post, Land art explores the landscape in a variety of ways and can be made on or into the land. Did you know that you are supposed to walk-on and interact with Land art?

Spiral Jetty is built out of basalt rocks gathered from its site, Rozel Point, in the north arm of Great Salt Lake. The 15-foot-wide jetty spirals 1500 feet into the lakebed. Sun Tunnels consists of four large concrete cylinders arranged in an X pattern on Utah’s west desert floor that aligns with the sunrise and sunset during the summer and winter solstices. Each of the cylinders is pierced with smaller holes representing the stars of four constellations: Draco, Perseus, Columba, and Capricorn.

People travel from around the world to experience Utah’s Land art. Once in Utah, the journey consists of long highways, twisting dirt roads, industrial spaces, historical sites, and the vast unknown. Both sites are hours away from Salt Lake City and the journey is crucial to experiencing them. It’s not just about clambering on top of Spiral Jetty, or peaking through Sun Tunnels. The real magic of experiencing this art form begins when you step into your car to embark on an adventure into the wilds of the West.

Each year the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) host Community Meet-ups at both Spiral Jetty and Sun Tunnels with the goals to provide access to these artworks; promote engagement and education to all ages and backgrounds; deliver experiential and exploratory experiences; and most importantly to have fun exploring Land art in Utah!

On April 30, 2016 we launched our first meet-up at Sun Tunnels. Although it was a stormy day, over 75 people had fun in the rain experiencing this amazing place through discussions, art-making, and performances.

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Last weekend on October 1 2016, the UMFA hosted over 250 people at Spiral Jetty. This is the third annual community meet-up at this site and the day included short lectures about the art and science of the site, art-making workshops (spirographs and salt-water landscape painting), writing and sketching tours of the landscape, science stations (exploring salt, minerals, and microbes of the lake), and musical performances.

Image 6

Image 7

Image 8

Image 9

Over the past three years that we have been planning community meet-ups at these sites, we have seen the interest and attendance of Utah’s community continue to grow. There is nothing more thrilling to a museum educator like myself than to see people having conversations, making art, going on an adventure, and creating memories around such amazing works of art! Check back later this week when I will post some of the activities we developed for UMFA’s community meet-ups. Until then, happy adventuring!



Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.