Terry Evans was born in the heart of the American prairie, Kansas City, Missouri, spending most of her adult life in Salina before moving to Chicago. It is in Kansas, among the hay bales, grain silos and cultivated fields, that Terry's passion for the great plains was born - a passion that has led her on a photographic journey spanning more than twenty years and countless hours 600 feet above the ground in a single-engine plane.
Most of us know the American prairie through Hollywood films, where endless miles of dry grassland mingle with the occasional tree scattered about, as bales of hay roll across the horizon. But the prairie actually contains 80 species of animals, more than 300 varieties of birds and hundreds of plant species, making it one of America's great ecoregions, stretching from central Canada to the Mexican border, from the Rockies to Indiana, covering more than one million miles.
Before the advent of agriculturists and the invasion of the plow, the prairie was inundated by herds of buffalo, elk and prairie dogs living harmoniously within the grassland. Decades later, the buffalo have disappeared, several plant species are now obsolete, and the tallgrass has been replaced by crop circles and manicured paths. It is this change that Evans has been photographing. When speaking about her photographs, Evans says her images..."show marks that contain contradictions and mysteries which raise questions about how we live on the prairie."
From a small plane and, most recently, from a hot air balloon, Evans continues to explore human mark making (above Chicago's Millennium Park, the suburbs of Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and rotational grazing (above the plains of Oklahoma and New Mexico), revealing an order and structure rarely seen from the ground. In Flight: New Views by Terry Evans shows Evans' continued commitment to the changing prairie and its new inhabitants.
Terry Evans' work is part of numerous private and public collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY), Los Angeles County Museum of Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has three monographs produced on her work: Disarming The Prairie (Johns Hopkins Press, 1998), The Inhabited Prairie (University Press of Kansas, 1998), and Prairie: Images of Ground and Sky (University Press of Kansas, 1996).