- Arts & Heritage Center
- Art and Natural Resources Residency
Art and Natural Resources Residency
- Restoring Refuge (2023)
- About the Artists
- Process Photos
- Community Engagement
- Residency Overview
- JCPRD Public Art Program
"Restoring Refuge" by Cydney Ross and Alix Daniel
Now available for viewing at Kill Creek Park!
Cydney Ross and Alix Daniel are the artists in residence for the Art and Natural Resource Residency with Johnson County Park & Recreation District. The residency includes an immersive experience with the JCPRD Natural Resources Team at Kill Creek Park, the creation of an ephemeral public art piece, and an artist-led community engagement project on May 6th, 2023.
Snaking its way across the prairie, "Restoring Refuge" speaks to celebrating and protecting our prairies. As artists and naturalists, we consider what it means to be displaced from home. We also want you to think about what refuge means for wildlife and people alike. Inspiration comes from ongoing visits to Kill Creek Park with natural resource staff and guest conservationists. Hibernaculum, which house overwintering wildlife, and stacked stone structures are only a couple references in this installation.
Alternating cedar poles and dry plant material, the elongated structure stretches across the prairie. Native seeds, clay, and soil are used for small sculptures and details. Windows allow visitors to view prairie-inspired sculptures made during the community engagement workshop.
This sculpture will experience all types of weather, prescribed burns, and break down. Over time, the sown seed installation will contribute to prairie restoration efforts. Our hope is that we all consider our impact on natural areas and how we can better steward the land. A companion exhibit will be on display at Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in May 2023.
Where to See It:
Kill Creek Park, 11670 Homestead Lane, Olathe, KS 66061
A map, as well as virtual walk to the artwork location, can be found below. This sculpture will never be "deinstalled" -- it will experience all types of weather, prescribed burns, and break down into the land. Over time, the sown seed installation will contribute to prairie restoration efforts.
A call for local artists occurred in November 2022, and upon review by an art selection committee made up of artists and community members, artist duo Cydney Ross and Alix Daniel were selected to occupy the residency and was approved by the JCPRD Public Art committee.
- Cydney Ross (she/her) was raised throughout the Greater Kansas City area, and has set down roots in Kansas City, Missouri with cat, Max. She earned a BFA in ceramics from Kansas City Art Institute in 2013 and maintains a fine arts practice in ceramics and mixed media in the Crossroads Arts District. Cydney has always had a naturalist spirit, with her earliest memories hiking, floating Missouri rivers, camping with her family, and gardening with her mom. Her endless curiosity, stewardship for the earth, and background in the arts encourages her to enthusiastically inspire folks to connect with nature. She proudly leads LGBTQ+ inclusive nature programs throughout the Kansas City area and is a self-proclaimed “native plant nerd.” Cydney is a native landscape specialist at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City, a Certified Interpretive Guide, and a Missouri Master Naturalist with the Osage Trails Chapter.
- Alix Daniel (she/her) grew up on the tallgrass prairies of Kansas in a family of gardeners and teachers. She loves sharing her knowledge of native plants with the public in her role as Native Landscape Specialist at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City. In her position she combines her decade of landscaping experience with her love of nature. Her favorite flower (this year) is spider lily (Hymenocallis virginiana).
Pictured: Alix Daniel and Cydney Ross
- From Wednesday, May 3rd | The Kansas City Star - Art connects to conservation in Johnson County Parks & Recreation District Effort | Read it here! Media Coverage Media Coverage Media Coverage
- From Wednesday, May 3rd | Interview on Artspeak Radio with KKFI | Listen here! Media Coverage Media Coverage Media Coverage
- From Thursday, May 4th | Deep Roots Webinar | Video will be posted at this link soon!
Time lapse video of Restoring Refuge installation.
Sketches provided by Cydney Ross and Alix Daniel.
Public Art on the Prairie and Guided Nature Walk
Thanks to all who attended! This event was held on May 6, 2023.
Participants learned about Kill Creek prairie restoration and contributed to the public art installation, Recovering Refuge. Using natural materials such as clay, stems, wood, cordage, and native prairie seeds, participants made seed sculptures to add to this ephemeral, public art installation. Additionally, Alix and Cydney led a leisurely nature walk through Kill Creek Prairie to learn more about ongoing prairie restoration efforts.
- JCPRD's Kill Creek Park
- JCPRD Natural Resource Management Plan
- Grassland Heritage Foundation
- Bridging the Gap / Kansas City Wildlands
- Deep Roots
- The Prairie Ecologist
- Kansas Native Plant Society
- Kansas Land Trust
- National Park Service- Tallgrass Prairie
The Art and Natural Resources Residency Art Selection Committee
- Kaitlyn Ammerlaan, Grassland Heritage Foundation
- Ryan Bell, JCPRD Fine Arts Coordinator
- Monte Fiegel, JCPRD NW Region Park Manager
- Matt Garrett, JCPRD Natural Resource Manager
- Brett Hager, JCPRD Planning and Development Project Manager II
- Susan Mong, JCPRD Superintendent of Culture
Pictured: Susan Mong, Kaitlyn Ammerlaan, Brett Hager, Ryan Bell, Monte Fiegel, Matt Garrett
The Art and Natural Resources Residency is a short-term residency program to engage a local artist and allow them to embed with the JCPRD Natural Resource team to learn, respond artistically, and amplify the important work of land restoration -- specifically, prairie restoration efforts throughout JCPRD.
The residency will begin in late February and continue through late summer and will include an immersive experience with the JCPRD Natural Resources team, the creation of an ephemeral temporary art piece that will be placed at a site within Kill Creek Park, and an artist-led community engagement project. A companion exhibit will also exist at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center to allow patrons to learn about the residency through this medium.
The goals for the Art and Natural Resources Residency are to:
- Create interactive, artistic experiences that allow park visitors to learn about the land restoration and the ecology and natural systems that make up the JCPRD parks. Specifically, this ANRR will focus on the health of prairie restoration efforts within JCPRD and specifically at Kill Creek Park.
- Provide a platform for artists to create new, engaging art projects that grow out of an exploration of the work of the JCPRD Natural Resources team, the process of land restoration, and the ecology and natural systems of JCPRD parks.
- Increase community engagement, awareness, and appreciation related to the JCPRD Natural Resource Plan and the efforts and impact that staff have on the health of the natural ecosystem.
- Support the growth and development of Kansas City regional artists.
Looking for information about the 2022 Art and Natural Resources Residency? Click here!
A Seat at the Table by Kirsten Taylor
JCPRD's Public Art Vision Statement
Public art in JCPRD parks, trails and facilities will inspire a deeper connection to place through interactive, immersive, and inclusive experiences.
Supporting the JCPRD Public Art Program
The Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County plays a crucial role in the fulfillment of JCPRD’s Public Art Program through the procurement of grants and donations. The foundation continues to seek support for future projects through corporate and private funders. Those interested in becoming involved with public art initiatives are encouraged to contact Susan Mong, Superintendent of Culture, at 913-715-2573 or [email protected].