As part of this fall’s shared-text project on Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma at Itasca Community College, on Thursday, Sept. 12, there is a special event offering some different vantage points on farming. That day marks the opening of an exhibit of John Connelly’s photography, Homegrown, portraits of northern Minnesota farmers. In addition to the images of farmers, ICC English faculty member Lisa Marcis will read from her poetry chapbook, “In Grain,” poems about the North Dakota farm and farm community where she grew up. The opening will last from 4-7 p.m. in Davies Lobby, with the reading and artist’s talk starting at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.
John Connelly is a freelance photographer based in northern Minnesota. A graduate of the University of Minnesota and the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, John pursues projects that focus on social, environmental, and out-state Minnesota issues. Homegrown is a collection of images from his evolving effort to photograph Itasca County residents who are growing and producing food for themselves and for others. He seeks in this work to explore the beauty and complexity of rural life.
Lisa Linrud-Marcis received her Master in Arts from the University of North Dakota and is the 2010 winner of the Academy of American Poets’ Thomas McGrath Prize and the University of North Dakota’s 2011 Distinguished Thesis Award. “In Grain” explores agriculture’s place, specifically the family farm, in our world, its history, and its future. The work centers around the intimate connection between the people and land, the interdependent relationships between the family and the family farm.
These programs are made possible by a grant from the Blandin Foundation, and partnerships with the Grand Rapids Area Public Library, University of Minnesota-Extension, University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center, Grand Rapids Farmers Market, and ICTV.
Each fall, the Associate in Arts Program selects a book that students read in many different classes across campus, and plans a series of events around that book. For the shared-text project in 2012 on Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Itasca Community College was awarded First Place in Innovative Practices in Diversity from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Building on that success, last year the Blandin Foundation awarded the college a grant to expand programming for the shared-text project on UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation.