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About the Artist
We live on a beautiful, abundant, nurturing planet. Yet, as human beings, we separate ourselves from the rest of nature by constructing dwellings with controlled environments and by taking more plants, animals, and miner- als from the earth than we need to survive. When I moved from the Milwaukee, WI area to Ironwood, MI in the early 1990’s, I fell in love with the landscape and Lake Superior, as well as the strange nostalgia associated with the mining history of Upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin. My artwork uses a visual language to commu- nicate the human impact on our environment, showing how other living things have needed to adapt, as well as how we have sacrificed our health and happiness to acquire resources from nature. Consumption is necessary for everything to live, and hopefully our future use of the earth and its inhabitants will be more responsible than that of the past.
Dancing Raven ArtWorks open Mon. & Tues. 9-5 or by appointment. 174 E. Michigan Ave. Ironwood, MI 49938, 906-932-2423 firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Artwork
“Saving Thumbs” Amanda Szot – wood, stone, cast iron, candlestick holder, star bit, LED & solar lighting, waste rock from Plummer Mine site Mining in the 1800’s and early 1900’s was a dangerous profession in the iron & copper mines of northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. To drill holes in the rock for blast charges, two miners worked by candle light. One miner swung a sledge hammer; the other held a long shaft with a star bit. While holding the bit, the man would flick his thumb in front of the end so the other man would know where to swing the sledge to hit the bit in the poor light. The men needed to be in perfect sync to dill the hole quickly without injury.
“Turning the World Upside Down” Amanda Szot – cast iron, maple, sewn beadwork, waste rock from Plummer Mine site Underground mining imprinted strange changes upon the environment and our memories. Animals and birds needed to move away or adapt to the rapidly changing landscape. All the rock and ore was moved above ground, while all the trees were cut and taken under ground to support the extensive tunnels. Miners were also transformed. Stories they tell often reflect pride in their determination to do the dangerous, dirty work underground, yet also hint of the tragedy of tough life in a mining town.
“Iron Vein” Peg Sandin & Amanda Szot – watercolor, sewn beadwork, waste rock from Plummer Mine site Earth holds many treasures, one of the greatest being it’s own core & blood . . . Iron. This element has great importance in human civilization as tools, weapons, and building material. It is also of greatest importance within our own bodies, working to keep us alive by flowing in our veins to transport other elements.