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K-State Today

August 8, 2016



Landscape architecture professor Jon Hunt publishes 'Poetics of the Konza Prairie'

By Courtney Boman

image on left: Rope Bridge Crossing | 2014. Encaustic, charcoal and gouache on wood, 24 in. x 24 in. image on right: Marriage Tree | 2014. Screenprint and woodcut relief print on Arches 88, 12 in. x 15 in.

Jon Hunt, associate professor of landscape architecture, has published "Poetics of the Konza Prairie." The book was supported through Hunt's appointment as the 2013-2014 Mary K. Jarvis Scholar of Distinction.

Throughout Hunt's two-year appointment as the Jarvis Scholar, he made weekly visits to the Konza Prairie. He completed a series of journals, writings, ecological research and image making, showcasing his reflections and understandings of the Konza Prairie, which are featured in the book.

"My goal for this creative work was to capture the 'staging' of the landscape, which is comprised of the layers that build, one upon another, to express a complete physical, temporal, sensual and emotive landscape," Hunt said. "By revealing the beauty already present within, these layers create new life."

Throughout the production of these works, Hunt deconstructed and reconstructed the landscape by scraping, rubbing, and sanding different media. Hunt's creative work utilizes mixed media, letterpress, relief and intaglio printmaking, encaustics, screen printing and digital means to support and communicate his perceptions and the genius loci or "spirit of place."

"This work represents the culmination of my research on reflection, perception and thinking through drawing during my tenure-track appointment," Hunt said. "It showcases my personal reflective practice and image production methods as future teaching tools for students."

The Mary K. Jarvis Scholar of Distinction in Landscape Architecture was endowed by Mary K. Jarvis, the first female graduate of the landscape architecture program. This chair recognizes excellence in research and creative activity. Jarvis graduated from Kansas State University in 1942.

"This collection of reflection and perceptions through an array of media and written reflections brings to mind the deep investigations of authors Anuradha Mathur and Dilip da Cunha presented in 'Mississippi Floods: Designing a Shifting Landscape,'" said Tim de Noble, professor and dean of the college. "Both allow us to move past trite descriptions of unique landscapes into a much deeper understanding of the continuing transformation of these profound ecologies."

The book is available through the Weigel Library on the third floor of Seaton Hall.