About the Artist: Michelle Asher

The world is my home, but I keep all my stuff in Nebraska.

Although I was born here, I never really got to know this state until my dad retired from the Navy, and we could return to the place where he and my Mom grew up.

I was introduced to grandparents, prairies, aunts, wide open skies, cousins and seasons. There were no widely divergent weather trends that I noticed during my childhood in San Diego.

When I'm not working at the Journal Star, or pooling creative energies with the Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theater Company, I'm usually found in my 100+ year old "Prairie Box" home, either working in my studio, or writing in my living room. I enjoy odd history, clever humor, waltzing, fencing (epee), books, travel, and finding/being inspiration in others.

I live with my husband/soul mate/best friend ever, and two very spoiled and demanding cats.

Other rain barrels by this artist:
2013: "Wishful Well"

Artwork Interpretation: "Celestial Echo"

This rain barrel is a fusion of two concepts that I connect with Nebraskan prairies. The first is the one view that we so often forget about: our view of the sky. Only on the wide open prairie, away from the glare of city lights can we truly bask in the collective glow of our universe. We have no mountains, no large tracts of forest, a mere handful of urban sprawls, and an enviable, unobstructed view. So many in the world are denied this aesthetic privilege. We need to remind ourselves to look up at night more often than we do.

The second is a powerful, childhood memory. We were visiting family in Nebraska, on a farm near Sutton. I believe I was eight at the time. My Dad called me away from playing with my cousins, and he led me to a side door that overlooked the green fields. I saw hundreds of blinking lights, dancing amidst the corn stalks. It was my first experience with fireflies.

"Celestial Echo" brings together this memory and our amazing vista, beyond the lights of the modern world. It is intended to evoke the wonder and magic of the grassy, starry expanses.