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Artist Spotlight: Rolanda Root

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

Posted by Lauren Baldwin on January 27, 2023

Rolanda Root is a local artist and art teacher in Pittsburg, Kansas. Primarily, she has worked with 2-D art; however, in the past few years, she's experimented with new and creative mediums.

Rolanda Root

Root's journey with art began in her adolescent years. She grew up on a farm in rural Iowa and became inspired by the nature around her. During high school, she created drawings and paintings, and she entered these pieces into 4-H competitions. Now, she's a 2-D art teacher at Pittsburg High School. Additionally, she occasionally takes opportunities to educate others. Last fall, she presented at the Kansas State Art Educators Conference on leaf processing art to art educators around Kansas.

Pheasant Season: Acrylic on Botanical Print and Encaustic.

In her free time, Root continues to create and considers herself a lifetime learner. By taking classes and attending residencies, she opened her skillset beyond 2-D art. In recent years, she's been drawn to encaustic painting, cyanotype and leaf processing art. Her adolescent years have inspired her to bring natural elements into her artwork. In her collection of geode pieces, she uses crystals that she dug up during trips to Arkansas. Additionally, she has begun to create her own pigments from various plant roots. Root says "There's something to be said from collecting your own art materials."

Root wants her art to make the viewer feel the calmness and peace that nature brings. Some of her pieces advocate for nature. A recent work of hers is a painting of a native plant and its root system. In the root system, the Missouri and Mississippi River are incorporated, as well as several animals that depend on native plants. This piece advocates for planting native plants rather than foreign ones, as they filter our water and support the ecosystem. This piece will be on display at an upcoming show Root will be in.

Surrounding Voyeur: Mixed media.

In the future, Root plans to continue incorporating nature into her art. In addition, she plans to take her work off of the canvas and begin creating wearable art on fabrics. Root's work will be displayed at an upcoming show at Memorial Auditorium on April 3-27.

Root's artwork can be found at Art Forms Gallery in Pittsburg, Kansas. In addition, she frequently shows her work in Beast and Barrel in Joplin, Missouri. You can find her on Instagram at Facebook under the username Rolanda Root Art.

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