Watermark Books & Cafe will host Larry Schwarm for an author talk about his book Kansas Farmers on Thursday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m.
In the landscape of the American imagination the Kansas farmer looms large, an icon of midwestern diligence and bounty. But just as the state's seemingly flat horizon denotes earthly riches, the Kansas farmer contains multitudes. The photographs by Larry Schwarm capture this world in all its depth and diversity, conveying in breadth and detail the grit and mystery, the art and science, of farming in Kansas. The outgrowth of a collaborative study of crop production, farming practices, and land use in Kansas, this volume looks into the larger questions the study raised: why farmers choose to farm and what that life entails.
Larry Schwarm, distinguished professor of photography in the School of Art, Design, and Creative Industries at Wichita State University, hails from a farming family with a century-long relationship to the land, and his photographs reflect a keen sense of both the beauty and hardship of the farmer's life. Taken in the midst of a record-long drought, they picture the age-old industry caught up in the drama of the changing climate--Kansas farmers and ranchers tending crops and animals while working the earth in an ever-shifting balance with nature. As documentary and fine art, these exquisite photographs and accompanying commentary speak to the ageless nature of farming and the pressing questions confronting the present-day farmer in Kansas.