Getting to Know Kathy Fiscus Our July Speaker

Posted on 6/28/2021
by Michelle Biodrowski, Naturalist and with Kathy Fiscus
Get to know our July speaker, Kathy Fiscus & get ready for "Loess Hills & Scenic Byway Art" on July 8th!

Pottawattamie Conservation is excited to announce another teriffic Speaker Series event this July 8th. This year's events held in partnership with the Council Bluffs Public Library & supported by a grant from Humanities Iowa, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Our program is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 8th & will be held in meeting room B at the Council Bluffs Public Library located at 400 Willow Avenue in Council Bluffs. This event is open to participants age 14 & over & is presented free of charge. 

Click Here for More Information & to Register Online

Our speaker is Kathy Fiscus, she will guide our exploration of Iowa's Loess Hills through art and storytelling using the lenses of archaeological, geological and fossil records! 

Get to know our July speaker & get ready to meet her on July 8th!

Kathy devotes much of her time researching and painting the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway from the perspective of archaeological, geological and fossil records. Most of her Loess Hills paintings depict 13,000-5,000 years ago. She also paints nature scenes including sunsets and sunrises, trees and Iowa landscapes.

What sparked your interest in conservation and the Loess Hills? 

While I was working at the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau, I often engaged with Conservation staff.  I was attending a public meeting where Chad Graeve explained about the extensive root system of native prairie plants.  I was fascinated and wanted to learn more.

Pottawattamie What Lies Beneath Series, Painting by Kathy Fiscus

You are presenting at the speaker series coming up on July 8 what are some highlights we can expect at your presentation? 

Often images of prehistory Loess Hills are black and white photographs or pencil sketches.  My presentation is an explosion of color.  I explain how the Loess Hills were formed and I emphasize the fragile nature of the hills.

What is your favorite part of your work? 

I love imagining the appearance of prehistory Loess Hills humans, plants, and animals while trying to remain scientifically accurate.

Fremont County Series: Hunting Bison at Sunset, Painting by Kathy Fiscus

If you only had a minute or two to inspire or encourage people to care about the Loess Hills, what would you tell them? 

While Loess is everywhere, Iowa has the ONLY Loess Hills National Scenic Byway.  Early explorers were amazed by the appearances, the vistas, and the oddities of the Loess Hills.  You will be impressed if you just visit the hills.

Are there any suggested books or publications you would suggest, for participants who are interested in learning more prior the event in July? 

Land of the Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of the Loess Hills by Cornelia F. Mutel (Editor)

What is one piece of knowledge you would like everyone you interact with to know? 

The only other place in the world where Loess soil is as deep as in western Iowa is China, and China has experienced dramatic erosion of their Loess.  Our Loess Hills are a rare, unique landform which we should promote, protect, and preserve.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your work? 

Nature is constantly evolving, often so slowly we don't notice.  But the changes Iowa has experienced over the last 20 thousand years or so is hard to imagine.

Join Kathy for Loess Hills & Scenic Byway Art coming up on July 8th! Click Here to Register Online for this Free Program Today!

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by Kylie Gumpert, Promotions & Outreach Coordinator

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