Ballad of the Farm: Then, Now, Tomorrow
May 13 – September 13, 2015
The opening reception was held May 23 with more than 250 visitors in attendance who enjoyed a panel discussion among the exhibiting artists in Ballad.
The humanities are how we explore who we are collectively, and individually, and what it means to be human through reading, learning, thinking, questioning, and discussing. It is the museum’s goal to encourage this kind of investigation through Ballad. When viewing the exhibition, the viewer is encouraged to: investigate how artists were inspired to create new works of art; examine what farm families valued; reflect on how farming and rural life has changed; and imagine the future of farming and rural life.
Guest Curator James Jones said, “The creation of Ballad is a collaborative process of discovery. Although the visible result is an art exhibition, the purpose of the project is the process itself – discussion both formally and informally among artists and photograph lenders, young people with their parents and Depression-era ancestors, viewers and artists, humanities scholars and educators.”
The museum is grateful to more than 42 families nationwide who loaned more than three hundred historic farm photographs. These photographs have provided inspiration for eleven artists to create new works of art for Ballad. The artists’ goal was not to focus on nostalgia but rather to tell their stories of farming and rural life now and tomorrow.
Sponsored in part by the Butler County Area Foundation Fund the museum is creating a documentary video which features the artists, documents the artistic process and the stories of photo lenders.
Ballad was inspired by the idea that Bone Creek Museum belongs to everyone. Outreach events will make residents of the surrounding region partners in the project. Through Ballad, Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art aims to fulfill its mission of connecting people to the land through art.
This project is supported in part by an award from Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, Nebraska Arts Council, and foundations, corporations, and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Sponsors include: Humanities Nebraska; Peter Kiewit Foundation; Holland Foundation; Allen Capital Group, LLC; Anna Nolan and Allen Covault; Butler County Arts Council; Birkel Homestead, Inc.; Kiechel Fine Art; Butler County Area Foundation Fund; Mohler Family; and Moravec Financial Advisors, Inc.