What's in a Landscape?
What’s in a Landscape? is a project undertaken by Art in Residence, in partnership with the Museum of Art and History, to uncover the diverse and multivalent relationships Antelope Valley residents have to the landscape they call home. The goals of the project focused on documenting the people of the Antelope Valley and their relation to its landscape and history. Using the work of Rackstraw Downes as a jumping off point, Art In Residence organized four workshops at Quartz Hill High School, each building on the next, giving students the opportunity to explore plant-centered narratives, documentary filmmaking, landscape painting and mural design, and oral histories.
What’s in a Landscape? is generously supported by the California Arts Council’s Artists in Communities grant program and the Lancaster Museum and Public Art Foundation.
Made possible by
A Workshop on Plant-centered Narratives
In this workshop, Jenny Yurshansky took Richard Rosenblatt’s 11th grade English class through a guided writing exercise. Students collected a clipping from a plant, and then wrote a narrative embodying that plant’s point of view. Some students went personal, some went speculative. Writing took various forms, from prose, to poetry, to diary entries. In writing this way, students gained empathy for the landscape as a living companion to its human inhabitants.
As an extension of this workshop and as a warm up exercise to the Documentary Filmmaking workshop, Richard Rosenblatt shared the writings with the students in Chris Hall’s class. Each of the four groups took one of the written works, recorded a voice over