Bark Beetle Blues begins
M. Claire May
Published: Thursday, January 10th, 2013
It was January a year ago that Custerite Linde Manlove was looking at the forest around our fair city on a “grey muted day” and consciously began noting the daily changes in the color of the ponderosa landscape. Linde is one of several who have ignited a series of community-wide events scheduled for 2013 celebrating, commemorating and mourning this morphed landscape. The first scheduled event is the Jan. 19 Bug Crawl.
Simultaneously, she ran across “bright and lively” magazine photos of a public art installation in Ft. Collins, Colo.
“The pictures were eye catching and the series entitled “Water to the Garden” created by Tim Upham was the first in a series Tim was calling the Bark Beetle Blues,” Linde said.
Having presented the photos to a Custer Area Arts Council board meeting seeking their “interest in hosting some ideas about how the arts could be a catalyst for conversation, events and commemoration of our changing landscape,” she was authorized to proceed with a feasibility study.
“From there I went to Ft. Collins and met with Tim to toss around ideas for an art installation and for how a community could embrace the change in its head and heart,” Linde said. “I had heard a great deal about the beetle cycles and how residents and the forest live together. And I’ve been living off and on with the trees on our land for some 30 years. It just seemed like there should be an arena for conversation, education, reflection and all kinds of art to address the changes in the woods. There are a lot of emotions around the beetles and art speaks to those in ways statistics do not.”
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