Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Sense of Place

Dust to Dust, no.10

Dust to Dust no.10 (detail)

Hello from the banks of the Missouri River in the last hot days of summer! My posts are rather infrequent these days, but am so busy during the day at my job at the library that my blogging life has suffered. As everyone knows, it is extremely hard to keep up with everything and we all must make choices. My friends here in cyberspace are still very important to me and I hope you will all understand my absences. 

I'm very busy at the public library creating a whole slate of new adult progamming, which is very exciting, but keeping up with all the threads of contacting folks, publicizing and marketing on top of my regular tasks, is keeping me more than engaged each day (well, 4 days of the week). It is bringing out my inner list maker, that's for sure! I'm exciting to be involved in this community building effort here in our small town. And now, to talk about this newest work from my studio.

As those of you who have followed my work for some time may have guessed, these are a continuation of the the Dust to Dust series. My reading and study of the history of the grasslands, the prairie and plains continues, enriching my understanding with each new book. There seems to be an inexhaustible amount of material and I find it all fascinating. The threads are all so interwoven, like a tapestry. The selling of the plains to folks from the east as an agricultural paradise and then the subsequent turning of the grasslands, which evolved over millions of years, into fields for planting....well it's a very long, complex story, still unfolding today. All the reading and ruminating finds its way into the work as I try to make sense of the history of the land and my place within it. 
Dust to Dust, no.11

Dust to Dust no.11 (side view)

Dust to Dust no.12

Dust to Dust no.12 (side view)

Dust to Dust no.13

Dust to Dust no.13 (side view)

These pieces are made on cradled panel or canvas with layers of acrylic and ink. The top piece, no.10 is 8" x 24" and the others are all 8" x 8". For me they are about the trace of buried civilizations, the bittersweet history and memory of those who have come before. Even as a relative newcomer to South Dakota (8 years),  my own history is steeped in this part of the country, as my parents were born and raised in Glendive, Montana, a town in the eastern part of the state on the Yellowstone River. My great grandfather, a French Canadian, was one of the first settlers there, having gone out with the railroad in the late 19th century. So much history to mine in this land. I think we all searching for identity and a sense of place. I would love to hear your stories of finding a connection to place and to the land.

Three new pieces in the Dust to Dust series are currently underway! Look for all the pieces in the series, along with other recent works (Notes From the Ancestors, Celadon Suite and more!) on my website www.robertspizzuto.com

See you again soon....look forward to hearing from you to share ideas and conversation!


  1. Beautiful work. I agree it is hard to fit in everything we want to do, something has to give.

  2. It looks like in your spare moments you are still finding stories to tell, and doing it beautifully!

  3. Hi from Sioux Falls! I have done some study on the prairie and on family history lately and found that my family on both sides came to South Dakota in the 1870s from Norway, Scotland via Canada, and Germany via Russia. Some of the first Europeans in the area. I am fourth generation prairie girl.

    1. Hi Diane....just saw your reply! So interesting, isn't it, to discover our roots, finding out how our history is connected to place! Thanks for your comment!


I'm happy to hear from you...comments and questions are welcome!