Heart of the Prairie

If you are hurrying along the various highways that cross and crisscross North Central South Dakota, you may think of the landscape and the folks who live on this land as being plain, even uninteresting. Upon closer inspection, though, beauty and wonderment abound.

Bruce Roseland, a writer of free verse, and Susan Melius, a photographer, have combined their efforts to try to open a window onto their particular section of the Missouri Coteau in hopes of encouraging everyone to see this land in the same way they do. Bruce and Susan are neighbors, living about 20 miles apart in this overlooked region of South Dakota. They have pooled their talents in writing and photography to create an art exhibit titled "The Heart of the Prairie."

The exhibit is actually a showcase and corollary to the book they have collaborated to create, Church of the Holy Sunrise, a volume that combines Roseland's free verse with Melius' photo artistry to present their unique view of the land they have both grown up in and spent their entire lives on. Both artists wish to draw attention to an agricultural and cultural landscape that is rapidly changing.

They share the view that the people, the land, and nature itself exhibit a great beauty and fascination if you just stop and look around. Bruce and Susan feel as though they are writing about and photographing the same kind of land and the descendants of the same people, plus 130 years, that Harvey Dunn based his paintings on.

25 pieces in the "Heart of the Prairie" exhibit

A Regular - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 9
Deep in My Bed - The Last Buffalo, p. 71
Dirt - A Prairie Prayer, p. 62
Keeping Faith - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 19
Prairie Prayer A Prairie Prayer, p. 1
Prairie Mosaic A Prairie Prayer, p. 32
Prairie Rose - The Last Buffalo, p. 97
A Rebirth - The Last Buffalo, p. 72
Fate - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 101
Are You a Tumbleweed? Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 47
Hobby - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 105
Flight of the Monarchs - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 116
More Quiet Than Silence - The Last Buffalo, p. 78
Pasque Petals Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 58
Summer Canvas Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 53
The Land Talks Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 43
The Last Generation The Last Buffalo, p. 13
Winter Solstice Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 132
Class Distinction Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 26
Cunundrum - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 137
Seek - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 36
Prayer Wheels - Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 121
Ice Damage - unpublished
Worth Getting Up For Church of the Holy Sunrise, p. 131
Rainbows - unpublished