Emmons’ work with Ragdale Foundation anticipates new project
Art Prof. Carol Emmons of Arts and Visual Design recently completed a two-week residency at Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Ill. Designed as the summer home of arts and crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, Ragdale (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is adjacent to 50 acres of prairie. The foundation sponsors visual artists, writers, composers, and interdisciplinary artists from across the nation. While there, Emmons researched an upcoming site-specific installation for a former farmhouse in central Wisconsin. Her project juxtaposes the owner’s youth on the farm with that of the 18th century naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. The installation investigates the intersection of nature, exploration, visuality, and gender, particularly as reflected in the trajectory of both men’s lives. It will entail inscribing texts into the walls; display of natural, man-made, and cast iron objects; and construction of a magnifying periscope for viewing the out-of-doors. The website for Ragdale is www.ragdale.org/.