Bonneville Salt Flats is a vast and dynamic perennial salt pan in northwest Utah. It is a rapidly changing system responding to variations in rain, wind, evaporation, and groundwater flux; and also to a century of land-speed racing, potash mining, and recreation. View more
Within the lure of place, there exists a diverse set of stakeholders who will benefit from deeper understandings of the social and natural systems and from expanded perceptions and communication which hopefully will lead to better
Bonneville Salt Flats is a vast and dynamic perennial salt pan in northwest Utah. It is a rapidly changing system responding to variations in rain, wind, evaporation, and groundwater flux; and also to a century of land-speed racing, potash mining, and recreation.
Within the lure of place, there exists a diverse set of stakeholders who will benefit from deeper understandings of the social and natural systems and from expanded perceptions and communication which hopefully will lead to better management decisions as none of the stakeholders benefit if the Bonneville Salt Flats diminish or even disappear.
Geoscientist Brenda Bowen has studied the salt flats since 2013, aiming to advance understanding of how this extreme landscape responds to changes in the environment – the surrounding air, water, climate, chemistry, and life. She works in collaboration with stakeholders such as land managers and the land speed racing community to help enable data-driven decision-making in this dynamic landscape with complex connections between the biophysical processes that allow the salt flats to exist and the social fabric of those that value and utilize this land in a range of ways.
Artist Wendy Wischer began participating in field visits in 2018 and they began collaborating to further raise awareness of the dynamic properties of the Bonneville Salt Flats. This unique art and science exhibition represents the culmination of their efforts. The intention is to tell a story that continues to expand and unfold with each piece. Weaving in and out of visual art and scientific data.
Wischer and Bowen interweave sculpture, photography, video, and drawing with scientific data to encourage discovery of the complex and connecting threads of the Bonneville Salt Flats, and our intricate relationships to land and place.
About the Artists
Wendy Wischer currently lives and works in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received an MFA from Florida State University in 1995 and a BFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1993.
With investigations in a variety of media from sculptural objects, installations, video, sound and public works, Wischer focuses on artwork that highlights environmental issues and seeks to translate data into personal meaning. Through interdisciplinary research, often in collaboration with scientists and engineers, she addresses our environmental crisis in hopes of finding impactful ways to connect people more deeply with the environments they live in and each other. She is the recipient of numerous grants including the Pollock-Krasner Grant, the South Florida Consortium, the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, the Utah Division of Arts & Museums Visual Arts Fellowship, and recently several research grants from the University of Utah where she is an Associate Professor in Sculpture Intermedia. Wendy has exhibited nationally and internationally including Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada, Italy, and Israel. Her work is part of several public collections including the Perez Art Museum, Art Bank Art in Public Places Miami, Art in Public Places Miami Beach, the Boca Museum of Art in Baca Raton Florida, the Colorado State Art Collection, and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums Collection.
Brenda Bowen is a Professor of Geology and Geophysics and Director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center at the University of Utah. She received her BS and MS degrees in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz and PhD from the University of Utah. Her research aims to advance understanding of how changing environmental conditions influence the physical and chemical properties and processes that shape landscapes. She has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications and has been awarded over $3M of competitive research funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Bowen currently teaches about the oceans, sustainability, and global change. She serves as an elected member of the National Academy of Science Board for Earth Science Resources. Bowen’s research practice is conducted in collaboration with scholars and practitioners from across disciplines and sectors including social science, planetary science, microbiology, anthropology, communication, humanities, engineering, planning, land management, policy, and the arts.
Free and open to the public.