We Always had Chickens

Changes in the Midwest landscape—physically and economically—moved artists Roberta Condon and Lorraine Ortner-Blake to present together two series of paintings to focus on the struggles, joys, and challenges of Midwest farm life. The exhibit, called Long Time Passing, travels Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa from 2021 through 2023.

You will find here the small, gouache paintings done by Lorraine, based on her mom’s stories. Marilyn experienced great changes in agriculture, from childhood on a Depression-era Iowa farm through establishing a dairy farm in Wisconsin in the 1960s onward with her husband, Justin. These paintings tell Marilyn’s stories, and continue the stories of their children on that Wisconsin dairy farm.

See Lorraine’s calligraphic work at LorraineOrtner-Blake.com.