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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1 Kansas Farmer

University of Kansas Students enrolled in Professor Patrick Dooley’s VISC 414 Visual Communication: Publication and Editorial designed six posters presenting topics related to BACC:FLUD research. The posters draw inspiration from the art, science, and history of the Dust Bowl, as we turn to the sciences and the arts for a better understanding of the environmental realities facing Kansas today. 1 Kansas Farmer visually communicates the research of the Biofuels and Climate Change: Farmers’ Land Use Decisions (BACC:FLUD) project currently being conducted by scholars at the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, which examines Kansas farmers’ land use decisions and their relationship to biofuel crop opportunities and climate change.

This collaboration utilizes graphic design principles to illuminate, translate, and communicate aspects of BACC:FLUD research and its relevance to Kansans. The posters will be displayed at the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art and will be available for future circulation. Methods of ascertaining viewer response to the posters and the issues they explore are currently in development. 1 Kansas Farmer capitalizes on a local audience primed to consider the historical impacts of agricultural land use on the environment during the Dust Bowl, and turns that attention toward current research addressing those issues and their present and future impact upon the state.

These posters will be displayed in the main hallway of the Spencer Museum of Art in the fall of 2013 in conjunction with a small exhibition related to KU’s 2013-14 Common Book, Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time, a book about the Dust Bowl. To design these six panels, 24 students engaged with photographs taken by Larry Schwarm, an artist commissioned by the Spencer and BACC:FLUD to interrogate the conditions under which agriculture occurs in Kansas today, artworks from the Spencer Museum of Art and K-State’s Beach Museum of Art, interview quotations, survey responses, and other research collected and conducted by the BACC:FLUD team. 1 Kansas Farmer fosters an art/science collaboration to communicate research about important issues effectively and compellingly to audiences.

Professor Dooley’s students pose with one of the designs.
In addition to Professor Dooley and his class, others involved in the creation of the works included Kate Meyer; Spencer Museum of Art (KU); Dietrich Earnhart, Economics (KU); Larry Schwarm, Photography (Emporia State University); Jane Gibson, Anthropology (KU)  Stacey Swearingen White, Urban Planning (KU)  BJ Gray, IPSR (Jane’s KU grad student); Dana Peterson, KARS (KU); Jude Kastens, KARS (KU)  Belinda Sturm, Engineering (KU); Jeff Peterson, Agricultural Economics (K-State); Russell Graves, Agricultural Economics (K-State), Dave Mechem, Geography (KU)  Nate Brunsell, Geography (KU)  Chris Brown, Environmental Studies (KU); and Alyse Zadalis, IPSR (KU).

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