Last week I dropped by for a visit with Pam Rogers in her new studio at Arlington Arts Center. Pam had just returned from a residency at Ragdale, in Illinois. I was struck by the beautiful strangeness of her work – delicately sewn and stuffed oranges that resemble botanical shrunken heads, miniature “specimens” of bundled fibers, and intricately drawn grass tangles. There’s an exhuberant oddness in all of her work that I love – it reminds me why a walk in the woods is so satisfying – you can usually find something glorious but weird. In her artist statement Pam explains that, “I am always intrigued with presenting beauty with elements that challenge the viewer to question what lurks beneath.” She also makes her own paper and paints from invasive plants and native soils that she collects. The fifty acres of tall grass prairie surrounding Ragdale provided ample material for her impressive skills. I can’t wait to see what she will do with the land underneath GRACE when she presents an exhibition exploring the natural history of our site. Only one downside – we’ll have to wait until the fall of 2012 to find out.