Collage Art Is My Livelihood

Bradley’s Story
Livelihood can be defined as the means of securing the necessities of life. I earn my living arranging waves of boxes into very thin long lines, which flow from city to city, state to state across the nation; coordinating intermodal containers for the Union Pacific Railroad. And while I have a career in logistics that provides my financial means, it is actually my art making that has provided me the drive, purpose and creative release that has so enriched living this life.

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The Lessons of Art Are My Livelihood

Jody Boyer (Untitled Forest of the Trees)

Untitled (Forest for the Trees) by Jody Boyer

Jody’s Story
As a teenager I loved art and science. The pressure that art was not a career led me to believe science was the logical choice to pursue. So I left the arts behind and went off to college. Not long after, I ran into a different set of life’s pressures. When I was only twenty years old, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I left college to help him navigate the trials of treatment and the tribulations of being told there was little to nothing that science could do. During this time he gave me a camera and I started putting my energy back into the arts. Science and art are both about observation. They are both about discovering and making meaning. I learned that life is not practical. Life is not always logical. Life is more often than not a poetic mess. As artists and scientists we strive to make sense from that mess. We strive to find solutions to the problems we are presented and ways of making order and beauty from the complexities of our world. 

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Photography Is My Livelihood

Pat’s Story

Boyd County Triptych

“Boyd County Triptych” by Pat James

An early definition of livelihood is “the quality or state of being lively.” When I am taking photographs in the hilly pastures of my family’s property in northeast Nebraska, I see the soft forms of the earth, the jagged lines of trees and grasses, and the changing textures and colors during different times of day and seasons. As I walk to the top of hills, climb down deep draws, follow cow paths, and push my way through thick sumac stands, I feel the sensations of the wind and the ground on my feet and face, in my lungs, and in the muscles of my arms and legs. Although I can see great distances up and down the Missouri River and across into South Dakota, I can be enclosed in smaller spaces under trees and in draws. I am separate and solitary, but I am also inside a larger spiritual whole and part of natural and human history. It is a place that I have come to love, but it is also a place that transcends my brief time in it. Photography connects me to the land and to the people who live there.

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