Portrait by Taylor Summach

Alexandra Ross is a multimedia artist living in Steinbach, Manitoba. Not originally from the area, she has nonetheless developed a deep appreciation for the prairies which she now calls her home. Alexandra grew up in a variety of ecoregions, including the Appalachian mountains, Southwestern deserts and Latin American rainforests, and her work is heavily influenced by place and disruption of place. In her art she explores of social and environmental issues and looks for opportunities to nuance the conversation with complexity.

Panel 1

Poweshiek Skipperlings

Poweshiek Skipperling

Artist Statement

In her current installation Alexandra’s art looks at a local side of a global loss of biodiversity.  Her work consists of 500 ceramic butterflies that rise in a swarm from wire grass.  Each butterfly represents one Powshiek Skipperling—a highly endangered species native to the North American Tall Grass Prairie. The ceramic butterflies were built by hand from clay, fired in a kiln, and then painted by a team of volunteers.

These butterflies, once so numerous people wrote of them rising in swarms from the fields, are now on the brink of extinction. The total global count of Poweshiek Skipperlings is thought to be only 500.  These butterflies represent the fate of many creatures whose natural habitat has been destroyed.  Researchers in the Nature Conservatory of Canada, the Winnipeg and Minnesota Zoos and the University of Winnipeg have been studying this species in an effort help the endangered population—however, to date, scientists have not been able to breed them in captivity.

To find out more information: https://www.natureconservancy.ca/

Panel 2

Alexandra Clock

I am an apple tree

born at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains

I am an aspen tree

climbing up the peak of Mt. Humphrey

I am a hollow tree

strangled by vines in Braulio Carrillo

I am an oak tree

alive in the soil of the Tallgrass Prairie

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