Artist Creates Piece From The Destruction Of A Tornado

by Erika Janik
| June 4, 2015
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When a series of tornadoes hit Verona on June 17, 2014, the town was hit hard. Trees, a school, barns, and homes suffered severe damage. It also inspired a work of art by Verona fiber artist Pat Kroth.

Invited to do an art installation at the Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha, Kroth was looking for ideas for the exhibition when the tornado touched down. While her home suffered only minor damage, she saw the clean-up efforts drag on for months. The whir of chainsaws were a constant presence. Stacks of wood made her street look like a lumbercamp. Kroth decided to create art from the destruction.

Kroth created a nest using debris paired with audio recordings from nature and the people who experienced the storm. She spent months talking with people about their tornado experiences, including children. To create the nest, she collected wood boards, branches, brush, and tree limbs in her neighborhood and drove them to Kenosha. Weaving the pieces together, the finished nest was about 4 feet tall and 11 feet in diameter.

It was on display in Kenosha from January to March 2015.


Tags: tornado / storm / damage / fiber art / nest / debris / recording / wood / sticks / trees / art installation / Pat Kroth

Erika Janik spins multiple "Wisconsin Life"-related plates as she acquires, edits, records, and mixes radio stories for broadcast -- all while searching for new roadside attractions, hiking trails  and local beer to explore.  She is the author of five books including "Apple: A Global History", and most recently "Marketplace of the Marvelous: The Strange Origins of Modern Medicine