‘OgallalaLand’ photography exhibit opens at LeSo GalleryWritten by Jay Hathaway | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The LeSo Art Gallery will be exhibiting a photographic documentary of one of America’s dwindling natural resources.
“OgallalaLand” is a collection of photographs taken by Diana Lust. Lust’s photos feature the lands of the Ogallala aquifer, which spans an eight-state region: Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
The exhibit opened at LeSo, 1527 Starr Ave., on Aug 16. The closing reception and artist talk is set for 7-9 p.m. Aug. 30.
Lust, who holds a bachelor’s degree in art, in addition to a doctorate in occupational therapy, began “OgallalaLand” in 2008 at Bowling Green State University. She received a research grant to help funding.
The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a body of water 200 to 400 feet below the Earth’s surface. Since the 1950s, the water has been pumped for agriculture, industry and municipal usage.
“The water will not last forever, and the decline of the water table is much greater than the water recharge,” Lust said. “It has been predicted that in some dry areas, the aquifer will run out of water in 2020. The project is about the usage of water, the purpose that the land serves and how we humans will influence the future of the land.”
The photographs were taken in eight states, but Lust said her focus was Nebraska, Kansas and Texas.
“Nebraska has the most water, because the sandhills absorb the rainwater quickly, and it has better recharge,” she said. “Texas, on the other hand, has Lake Meredith, [which] is almost completely dried up.”
The underground aquifer cannot literally be photographed, but Lust said the evidence of its water supply is everywhere in her work, such as the rich corn supply produced by irrigation.
She noted that part of her work can be seen as activism, but the project is mostly focused on documentation. She added that the future of the work will depend on how people work to solve the future water crisis and if it can be solved.
Lust has already made nine trips to the plains since the beginning of the project, and will continue her work, with some assistance.
“My fiancé has gone with me most of the time, and helps me with the driving and supports me and my work. This project has been the greatest adventure of my life and I plan to continue my work.”
The LeSo Gallery also recently announced its annual call for artists to be featured in its juried exhibition, “Overture.” The deadline is midnight Sept 8. Artists can enter up to four images at $5 per image. Two-dimensional and three-dimensional works will all be considered. Accepted submissions will be announced by Sept. 14.