Lisa J. Grossman
When I moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1996, I discovered that the Kansas River (or Kaw) was practically in my backyard, and I began exploring its levees and trails, paddling and painting from the few sites that afforded a view. In 2002, I had the opportunity to see the Kansas River from an airplane, and began flying the 171-mile river valley with local pilots to gather research footage in photography and video. The paintings are studio works in which I refer to my aerial footage to convey the ceaseless sweep and thrust of carving river currents and sand, the turnings of day and season, and the movement of the plane circling and crossing over, tracing the prairie waterway. Searing glimpses grip me, and flashes of light fuel my visual investigations. I want to express a sense of movement and deep time anchored by the enduring prairie horizon. This prairie river challenges me to engage more deeply with place and to experience it from shoreline, sandbar, air, and kayak. The Kaw’s windings continually lure me into a process of discovery.