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Jennifer Ogden: ARTside on the Divide 2015

Collage artist/teacher, Jennifer Ogden, tells her story about the inaugural ARTside on the Divide Artist-in-Residence program through the Montana Wilderness Association

jennifer ogden

on 1 April 2015

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Transcript of Jennifer Ogden: ARTside on the Divide 2015

Jennifer Ogden
ARTside on the Divide 2015
Montana Wilderness Association


My grandfather, Herbert is shown here as a boy in Lewistown, MT on his first day of school sometime around 1918.
Here he is again, still wearing a dashing hat. He's a little bit older and a whole lot happier! The writing on the back of the photo says,
"On Red Mountain".
Red Mountain shown from Rimini Road near Helena, MT.
(Photo by Nancy Good).
Here's the BIG PICTURE!

My grandparents often said they were the oldest people in the room at Wilderness Meetings in Helena. They would be
so proud
to know that people continue to value special places.
In 2014 I accepted a wonderful new MWA opportunity to create artwork celebrating special places along the
Continental Divide Trail, called ARTside on the Divide.
Time is a Game
Mixed-media collage
Gravity Glue
Frog Metamorphosis
It must be that being outside is akin to being the most aware of our surroundings. My childhood memories and dreams, no matter the storyline, include a vivid impression of being outside in the green grass and sunshine amid sheltering trees. The sound and shine of water provide cool respite as I create a world using sand, sticks and rocks.
Western Montana boasts a unique cultural heritage, dramatic physical geography and abundant Public Land filled with diverse flora and fauna. I often take my students outside for a place-based approach to making art.
We construct earth art on the playground, too. There are many lessons to be learned from using natural materials.
All wild families need wild places. No exceptions.
Twin Lakes has a unique population of yellow lilies.
Twin Lakes has an inspiring little slough leading north.
Nuphar lutea
Yellow Pond Lily
Salish gatherers used to dry the seeds and grind them for flour. Different parts of the plant were used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes.
I consulted my botanist, Matthew Ogden
Here's the reveal...

Red Mountain was my grandfather's favorite place throughout his life.
You can picture your special place, too. It's where you feel
completely at home
Herbert used to lead Wilderness Walks on Red Mountain for the Montana Wilderness Association.
Twin Lakes is a subalpine lake shaped like an hourglass. It has a unique population of waterlilies. Here's my water-loving daughter, Lilly.

And here's the small picture; Twin Lakes, in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest near Wisdom, MT
Photo by Whitney Polich
Concrete Poem
I hear the wind blowing through the trees. I can smell the lake.

I smell fresh air and taste Labrador Tea.

I feel content.

I feel at peace.
I am reminded of family.

I am reminded of the timelessness of being in nature. I see the weathered logs of the cabin porch and rough bark of Lodge Poles surrounding our secluded site.

I see a bounty of huckleberry.

I see my mom making a face at me and hot chocolate with plenty of marshmallows.

I will remember this day every time I go camping.

I will remember to come back.

Calming skies

are reflected in the lake water.
Lilies Along the Divide
Jennifer Ogden
Mixed Media Collage
Twin Lakes Cabin
is a lovely Forest Service cabin at the water's edge. I was able to stay here as an ARTside on the Divide Artist-in residence. I made sketches and took photos on site and then worked on my finished piece in my studio at home.
Thanks, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest!
Here's the cabin by the lake. Our friends, Ryan and Lea join our Twin Lakes adventure.
The natural world is like a dream. When we see young people immersed in that sensory, elemental world they understand it directly. This concept informs my teaching and my artwork.
Stick Figure
Amanda Segar
Herb and Kay
Photo by Lea Guthrie
Image by Wikipedia
Aaron and Nate

Artist/K-12 Art Educator, Jennifer Ogden of Hamilton, MT up-cycles magazine imagery for color, texture and value and incorporates it into her original collage images.

Music by Chris Zabriskie
Full transcript