Honoring the Earth Through Art

ArtStart director, Carol Sirrine and the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge sponsored 13 serious artist/naturalists. Their charge was to create art through the lens of nature using various mediums.

Flooded Long Meadow Trail
Photo by Anissa Wallingford

The Minnesota River flooded trails in the refuge. A serendipitous hiking experience…

Skyholes at the Bass Ponds Photo by Michael Croswell


 Carter Antin worked with Michael Croswell capturing field recordings of nature sounds at the Bass Ponds and then mixed in some synthesized tones to create an ambient music composition using Garage Band.

Trail less traveled, Bass Ponds, Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge.
Photography by Michael Croswell.

We could feel the wildness of nature at the Bass Ponds, even though the Mall of America was less than a half mile away.

Adi Banks – Woodland meditation.


Storm sewer trash from the Mall of America

After heavy rains, the storm sewer from the Mall of America showed us that we were not far from humans.

Garter snake feeding on grasshoppers. Slithering through the grape vines.

Anissa with a toad friend.

Anissa Wallingford is an accomplished song writer and she composed and performed the song “Quicksand” at Youth Express studios in Saint Paul.   Many thanks to Michael Croswell for generously sharing the sound recordings from the studio.

Monarch Caterpillar
Photograph by Anissa Wallingford.

Temporary Art Sculptures using clay from the Minnesota River.

Flannery McGreevey


Leo Anderson/Carter Antin

Ana Kirshner

Art from Plant Pigments

Maeve Murphy

Ana Kirshner

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary – Olivine Sand
Photo through 30x scope
Haley Larson

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary. The internal organs of a leech. 30X.
Photo by Justine Anderson.


Prairie Nature Notes

Greta Shore – Sketches made on hand-made paper

Adi Banks

Serena Raths

Haley Larson

My Inner Spirit

Anissa Wallingford


Flannery McGreevey

Greta Shore

Maeve Murphy


SoundScape experience with Michael Croswell. Flannery McGreevey (L), Serena Raths (C), and Adi Banks.
Photo by Julie Boada

Studio Time

Hajar Ahmed working on some of her poetry.
photo by Julie Boada

Adi Banks incorporated deer antlers to create his work.
Photo by Justine Anderson.

Ana Kirshner created a whole series of nature-based art.
Photo by Justine Anderson

To create her sculpture, Maeve Murphy use recycled materials.
Photograph by Justine Anderson.


Maeve Murphy cut-out leaf shapes from recycled materials.Then painted each one in a unique way. The leaves will be placed on her tree (see above).
Photo by Justine Anderson

Haley Larson working on her group prairie flower installation using recyled materials. Photo by Julie Boada

Adi Banks, Serena Raths, and Haley Larson created a prairie installation using recycled materials.
Photo by Julie Boada.


Justine Anderson


Justine had never worked with stained glass and with the help of artist Jeanette Dickinson, she worked tirelessly on her Great Blue Heron.

Justine Anderson
Photo by Michael Croswell

Leo Anderson and Carter Antin created a mix  in the studio which they titled “Nature Gang”.


Leo Anderson (L) and Carter Antin (R).  Composer Michael Croswell is in the background.


Julie Boada, Our Fearless Leader
Photo by Anissa Wallingford

Get ready world! It won’t be business as usual with this group.
Photograph by Michael Croswell

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6 Responses to Honoring the Earth Through Art

  1. Robert Bigham says:

    hi larry,
    these postings are getting better and better.
    wrapping nature in art is so appropriate.
    thanks, bob

  2. Linda Hansen Jensen says:

    Amazing amazing, very inspiring. I love it all and Anissa’s song is beautiful! Now you can have an environmental based exhibit sharing their thoughts for change! I wonder if Silverwood would have an opening in their gallery area?

  3. Janine says:

    Simply amazing, Larry!

  4. Vicki says:

    Always a delight to see what young hearts, hands, and minds bring to conversations about understanding, appreciating, and protecting Nature. Looking forward to when they come of voting age.
    Thank you, Larry, for another great posting.
    Happy Summer!

  5. Ami says:

    Love the masks Larry, wonderful work and inspiration for creativity.

  6. Gary Friedrichsen says:

    When I’m feeling weighted down by national and international news one view from “Old Naturalist” perks me back up and allows to me realize the whole world is not going bonkers and that there are wonderful young thinkers and doers out there shinning the light of the positive. Thank you!

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