This year, I received an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This body of work uses flora as a lens through which to view Minnesota’s changing climate. In one tile series, invasive species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard fill the foreground while the endangered species they replace retreat into shadow. Declining biodiversity is hard to imagine, but the disappearance of a single forest wild-flower can symbolize a larger loss that cannot be retrieved.
I am also experimenting with data visualization techniques to chart invasive species within Minnesota. I have been collaborating with naturalists at the University of Minnesota and in the Three Rivers Park District. A large tile composition I completed for this project illustrates the invasion of Noxious Weeds within Minnesota’s Three Rivers Park District over the last 30 years.
Ursula Hargens is a fiscal year 2018 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.