Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



This portfolio © 2018 by Michael R. Hill


The Krasl Art Center, in Saint Joseph, Michigan, is not only an energetic organization but also an ever evolving physical space replete with exciting sculptural experiments. My longtime Krasl favorite, Michael Dunbar’s dramatic Allegheny Drift, was the setting for the initial photograph (inset) in what became my visual explorations with the Blue Shoes (documented in The Year- Long Adventures of the Blue Shoes and Their Friends (Lincoln: Zea Books, 2016); available gratis as a PDF download from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Digital Commons: Inspired by the recent transformations of the Krasl’s grounds, the eight plates in this portfolio constitute a further installment in the Blue Shoes’ photographic incarnations.

In preparation for the next incarnation of the Krasl’s outdoor garden, most sculptures (including Allegheny Drift) were removed during the past several weeks to offsite locations, leaving only empty pads, crumbling stairs, and unused walkways. Thus, on 10 June 2018, a cloudy Sunday one day before contractors were scheduled to begin radically reshaping the Krasl’s exterior topography for the Sculpting Community project (including installation of a stunning new work by Richard Hunt), I took a pair of my Nike shoes to the Krasl and began making photographs. The Krasl’s grounds in early June presented a landscape in transition, a liminal space simultaneously abandoned, silent, suggesting absence, sadly stubborn, not yet demolished or plowed under, forlornly pointing to a future in which these landscape elements will never again be party in quite the same way. The plates in this portfolio were made using a Nikon D3200 camera, a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion laptop computer, and Adobe CS5 software. The typeface is Adobe Hypatia Sans Pro.

This portfolio is dedicated to the memory of Robert H. Stoddard (1928–2018) — Geographer, Mentor, Friend —