To Understand the Prairie’s Beauty, ‘Deconstruct to Reconstruct’

I began this project—including the cover of this issue and the illustration at right—having been inspired by old apothecary plant studies. For my subject, I chose to illustrate some of the plant species that can be found on the eastern Wyoming prairie.

As a self-proclaimed “city girl,” plants are beyond my realm of comfort. But, like much in life, I’ve found it important to take a moment to appreciate the fine details of something beautiful. Learning to draw things requires an attention to form, structure, and the minutiae of the subject. Much like what I do in sociology, this is a “deconstruct to reconstruct” approach to understanding the beauty of the prairie. I chose to highlight each plant’s structural features and natural beauty. The gold detailing evokes the glowing scenery of a vast prairie. This art piece, rendered in pen and acrylic paint, is a creative and informative approach to observing and admiring the beauty of the prairie.

About the Author
Sofia Carr ‘22 is a third-year sociology major at Grinnell College. Her studies revolve around economic and social inequalities, specifically how institutions restrict agency along economic and social strata. As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, she is working on research about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on low income students’ academic and social success. Aside from being passionate about her studies, Sofia loves to create art in her free time.