Published January 19, 2015

Art with a purpose

Olson pays ‘Homage to the Prairie’ with current exhibit in Everett Gallery
“Homage to the Prairie,” a series of drawings and watercolors of tallgrass prairie plants by Woodhull artist George Olson, is on display in Monmouth College’s Len G. Everett Gallery through Feb. 13.
 
Olson will speak about the exhibit during a reception in the gallery at 3 p.m. on Jan. 23. The reception, talk and exhibit are all free and open to the public.
 
Olson’s work in the studio represents only one aspect of his involvement with the tallgrass prairie. He also plays the role of educator through his exhibits, slide talks and publications, including his book, “The Elemental Prairie: Sixth Tallgrass Plants,” which is available for purchase.
 
“I am also involved with propagation – the planting and maintenance of prairie plants in two restored prairies,” he said. “The three components work together, as many of my prairie subjects are selected from my own prairie plots, and many of the slide talks are scheduled in conjunction with an exhibition. I see my work in the studio as part of a long-range effort to restore the tallgrass prairie.”
 
Olson’s work has been exhibited widely, including the Natural History Museum and the Royal Horticultural Society, both in London. Through his membership in the American Society of Botanical Artists, his work has been included in juried exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Phoenix and Philadelphia.
 
A retired professor of art at The College of Wooster in Ohio, Olson graduated from Augustana College. He received a master’s degree and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.
  
Located on the second floor of Hewes Library, the Everett Gallery is open during regular library hours: Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to midnight; Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, noon to midnight.
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