Home on the Range
Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam Where the Deer and the Antelope play; Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the sky is not cloudy all day. --- Dr. Brewster Higley, Kansas, 1876
Jonathan Stangroom and Jennifer Weigel collaborated on Home on the Range, located at Curlz & Cutz salon at 282 Broadway. Home on the Range includes a painted backdrop by Stangroom with a diorama by Weigel of a golden bison, horse and seated figure.
The backdrop features an idealized landscape with purple mountains majesty, wide-open expanse of grass, and brilliant blue sky. A solitary silver lined cloud represents the allure of the romanticized West in contrast to the truth of the further displacement of native peoples and harsh, rugged realities that fortune-seekers & pioneers faced. The iconic bison is painted gold to celebrate its importance and status as a symbol of the West, connecting and celebrating the diversity of this country and land both in Somerville & the Northeast region and beyond.
Stangroom considers his paintings to be goofy drawings with serious paint. The drawing alludes to the landscapes found in “Rocky and Bullwinkle” or “Dudley Do-Right” cartoons, striving for a kind of crude and simple elegance, while the paint handling becomes more sophisticated, incorporating techniques that bespeak pointillism with layers of transparent glazing.
Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist who recently moved to Somerville, MA from St. Louis, MO (the Gateway to the West). Her work touches on themes of beauty, environmental awareness, identity, and memory & forgetting. She often celebrates the Midwestern landscape in her work, which incorporates assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, painting, performance and more.