Jerry Allen Gilmore
Mississippi River Story* that Inspired the Art:
“I grew up in Racine, WI. It’s a medium-sized town in between Milwaukee and Chicago, so I was always on the water close to Lake Michigan. But, I never had a big impact of the Mississippi growing up until I came to school up here in Minnesota at the University of St. Thomas. And the St. Thomas campus is right next to the Mississippi River, so 1) it’s really hard to miss and 2) if you look at the city from the St. Thomas campus looking towards Minneapolis, the first thing that you see is all the trees along the Mississippi River and how pretty they are, especially right now, it’s the beginning of November, so all the trees are still orange and brown and not necessarily losing their leaves. So, I guess the aesthetically pleasing feature of it is the main thing that I see from my day to day life. But, besides that, if I can go out of my way to have the Mississippi River be part of my day, I would always love to go hiking or canoeing or swimming or biking along it for more aesthetic purposes. The aesthetic purposes of the river and of the beauty surrounding the river are what make me feel good about my day and what make me feel happy going home knowing that I either got a nice little workout in, or a run, or a bike, or what have you, that I was able to be out in nature, breathe fresh air, swim in, or touch mostly clean water, that’s still a work in progress, but being able to really appreciate the beauty and the tranquility that the river provides, from Minnesota and all the way down to Louisiana and the delta.”
*Note: This is not the artist’s own story, but a story gathered through a collaborative research project. Learn more.