Deborah Karasov: Thoughts of a sometime geographer
Monday, November 2, 2009, 6 p.m., 100 Rapson Hall
H.W.S. Cleveland Fund Lecture
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that sometimes we can be immersed in beauty and yet our eyes have no clear vision. For a landscape architect or environmental artist, it is not such a great matter to have the technical skills to create beautiful things. Many other qualities of character and temperament are necessary. Karasov has always been inspired by those who recommend enlarging our sympathies by the patient and loving observation of landscape. Some say it is in this practice, rather than in formulas or theories, that we can find the promise of perfection for the art of landscape. Our greatest challenge is to mature our imagination among the things of this earth.
Deborah Karasov is executive director of the nonprofit Great River Greening in Saint Paul. She has a Ph.D. in geography (University of Minnesota) and a MLA (Harvard Graduate School of Design). With this background, and as a past collaborator with environmental artists, Karasov writes about major themes of geography and landscape in light of her own experiences. In the art field, she served as director of adult programs at the Walker Art Center; codirector, with Kinji Akagawa, of the Institute for Public Art and Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design; and consultant to the director, Design Arts Program, National Endowment for the Arts. Author of The Once and Future Park, she also coedited the visual arts attachment of the literary review Rain Taxi, was editor of Public Art Review, and has written reviews for Sculpture Magazine, New Art Examiner, and Architecture Minnesota.
Her community service has included: board member of the Franconia Sculpture Park, New Opportunities Committee of Public Art Saint Paul, jury chair for the Minnesota Women's Suffrage Memorial Garden, and task force member of the Ford Site Redevelopment, Saint Paul Green Development Policy, and Critical Areas Zoning.