News and Events

Wyoming Grasslands Celebration Weekend

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For Immediate Release Contact:
Viv Banks or Tracey Kikut, (307) 737-2291 or

Wyoming Grasslands Celebration Weekend: Documentary Screening and Symposium to take Place in Sheridan and Ucross On Friday and Saturday, May 29-30 Two Special Programs Featuring Twenty Artists and Scientists

Ucross, Wyoming – May 12, 2015 – For anyone who loves the vast and beautiful landscape of northeastern Wyoming, the weekend of May 29-30 will provide a very special opportunity to celebrate this unique grasslands environment, through two events that are open to the public at no charge. Seven nonprofit organizations in the arts, sciences, conservation, education, and humanities, along with twenty artists and scientists, are participating in these unique programs.

On Friday, May 29, a Sheridan film premiere will take place at the Mars Theater at the WYO, located at 42 North Main Street. Co-hosted by Ucross Foundation and the Wyoming Humanities Council, the premiere opens with a public reception at 6:30 and a screening from 7:00-8:15 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the participants. The documentary, entitled “The Ucross Experiment: Cross-Pollination of Arts & Sciences,” features the explorations of four pairs of prominent artists and scientists from the University of Wyoming, following their adventures in the field as they came together at the Ucross Foundation in summer 2014 to create original work. The project was the basis for a popular Saturday U program last June, which was cohosted by UW, the Wyoming Humanities Council, Ucross Foundation, and Sheridan College.

University of Wyoming professors featured in the documentary include: geologist Ron Frost, working with composer and musician Anne Guzzo, on “Clinker: Between Opera and a Hard Place”; physiological ecologist Michael Dillon, who works with choreographer and dancer Rachael Shaw, on “Moving Science”; Ann Hild, rangeland ecologist, working with sculptor Ashley Hope Carlisle on “At the Root of Balance”; and poet Harvey Hix teamed with microbial ecologist Naomi Ward, working on “Transcriptorium”. Ali Grossman of UWTV is the filmmaker. The collaborative project was the brainchild of Jeff Lockwood, who came to UW as an insect ecologist but has since become a professor of natural sciences and humanities, and now heads UW’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Lockwood was a writer-in-residence at Ucross Foundation in 2013. All of the faculty will be present at the screening (with the exception of Ron Frost), and will be available to answer questions from the audience. The Ucross Experiment will be presented next in Jackson, Wyoming, at the Pink Garter Theatre, on June 18.

On Saturday, May 30, a day-long symposium, The Art and Science of Grasslands, will take place at Ucross Foundation, in the Loft at Big Red, beginning at 9:00 a.m., with morning talks followed by lunch, which will be provided, and afternoon workshops from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the field. (Guests are encouraged to attend both sessions but those with time constraints are welcome to choose either the morning or afternoon sessions.) Inspiration for the symposium emerged from the art exhibition, Wyoming Grasslands: Photographs by Michael P. Berman and William S. Sutton, which is currently on view at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery, and will travel to 14 libraries throughout the state as well as the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne. The exhibition represents a photographic collaboration between the artists, the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum, which will open a larger exhibition of the Wyoming Grasslands photographs in early June.

The symposium is being presented by Ucross Foundation, the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative, and The Nature Conservancy. Featured speakers and workshop leaders include: Frank Goodyear, writer, museum curator, and board member of The Nature Conservancy; award-winning visual artists Michael Berman and Willy Sutton; Laura Bell, award-winning author of the memoir Claiming Ground; Jackie Canterbury, director of the Bighorn Audubon Society; Brian Mealor, the new director of UW’s Sheridan Research and Extension Center; Charlie Bettigole, co-director of the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative, along with Arthur Middleton and Catherine Kuhn, with Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Trey Davis and Rick Pallister of The Nature Conservancy; and John Heyneman, director of the Plank Stewardship Initiative. Michelle Sullivan, an educational consultant and newly elected Trustee of the University of Wyoming, will serve as moderator for the morning talks. Science Kids will provide activities for children during the morning session. A closing reception for all participants will take place at the Ucross Art Gallery at 4 p.m.

The afternoon sessions will include a photography workshop, a bird watching hike, a ranch mapping and hydrology workshop, and a naturalist walk for kids. For further information and complete symposium schedule details, call (307) 737-2291, or email or visit Ucross Foundation is located ½ mile east of the intersection of Highways 14 and 16.