Fields Project recruiting families

n Program seeks to bring art and agriculture together

The Fields Project Committee has been busy organizing for the June 2004 art and agriculture activities. The most dramatic part of The Fields Project is the mowing of designs into grassy fields by teams of artists who visit Ogle County from across the country—and from Canada.

Most of the artists are painters and will come to experience the unique beauty of Ogle County. Some will work on the designs that will be mowed onto the grassy fields. Some will come to paint and to get to know the area and the farm families that will be their hosts. Sometimes sculptors participate. All will be giving attention to the relationships that exist between art and agriculture.

Ogle County farm host families are needed—families who will take an artist into their homes for the eight days of the Project, share their role in agriculture, and make them feel welcome. Many of the artists will come from urban areas and will never really have an opportunity to experience the life of rural agriculture. All will be touched by what is done on the paint canvases and by what is done on area farms. Activities are being planned for the artists and the farm families

Artists will bring their own transportation to explore the corners of the County during the week. They will be comparing notes, experiences, and perceptions with other artists and with the farm families.

The farm host families will provide sleeping space, some meals, and insights into what farm life is like. Farm host families will be able to “see” their farms and the area they call home through the special eyes and insights that the artists bring – eyes that are trained to observe and capture the beauty, color, character, and personality of the surroundings we live in every day.

The number of farm families that open their homes for the week of June 19-27 will determine how many of the artists applying will be able to participate. In 2003, 15 farm families welcomed these visitors. Other artists were turned away for lack of host farm families. The committee hopes to be able to expand the number of artists that will visit this year—thus new farm host families are needed.

Art and agriculture have long been a significant part of the lives of people in Ogle County. The Eagle Nest Art Colony thrived from 1898 to 1942. The rich land provided opportunities for agriculture. The Fields Project is a celebration of the relationships between art and agriculture in our county.

For more information, check the Fields Project Web site,, or call Sue Jacobson at 234-8684. She is in charge of recruiting farm host families. She has hosted artists each year and can connect a prospective farm host family with others so a better picture can be gotten as to what is involved.

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