An informal partnership of artists and advocates from Great Lakes gathers for their fourth online event, which will feature a Michigan economist and environmental artist.
John Austin and Linda Beeman will share their respective stories of their connection to our waters in a Great Lakes inspired event taking place on October 12 at 7pm.
Austin was a recent 16-year elected officer on the Michigan State Board of Education and served as President for six years. He directs the Michigan Economic Center, a center for ideas and networking to drive Michigan’s economic transformation.
Austin also serves as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the Upjohn Institute, where he leads those organizations’ efforts to support economic transformation in the American Midwest.
He teaches economics at the University of Michigan. Austin coined the term “blue economy” to describe how our water bodies and water innovations contribute to economic growth, and created the Growing Michigan’s Blue Economy initiative to engage stakeholders in the use of Michigan’s natural water, as well as water research, education and innovation to support economic development and new business and job growth.
He received his master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a bachelor’s degree in economics and politics from Swarthmore College with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa.
Beeman is an environmental artist, educator and curator working exclusively with the ancient art of mokuhanga, the Japanese art of woodblock printing.
She was born on the Shiawassee River and still lives just a short walk away. She attended the University of Kansas, where she studied fine arts and art history. She continued her studies at the Dundas Valley School of Art in Ontario, Canada, where she focused on printmaking. As a self-taught mokuhanga artist, Beeman was recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Culture and invited as artist-in-residence at Mount Fuji in 2012.
She was selected as the 2019 Artist in Residence at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. She also spent time as an artist in residence at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Beeman is a multi-award winning artist and has had numerous exhibitions in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.
Outside of Japan, Beeman is one of approximately 100 professional mokuhanga artists worldwide and one of a handful of mokuhanga teachers in the United States.
She has traveled extensively in Japan and is past President of the Michigan/Shiga Sister State Board. She served as President of the Sister State 50th Anniversary Goodwill Mission in 2017, which brought 50 Michigan residents to Shiga to participate in “friendly diplomacy.”
Beeman is also the founder and director of Art From the Lakes, a multi-year artist exchange program between Shiga, Japan and Michigan.
A former board member of the Friends of the Shiawassee River, she led collaborative initiatives with river biologist Kentaro Taki, associate professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Shiga Prefecture, and worked with students at Shiga High School to study river ecosystems and fireflies and restore populations.
For more information and the zoom link for the October 12 event, go to: https://www.stephanieprechter.com/great-lakes-inspired
Great Lakes Inspired is an informal partnership of Great Lakes artists, managers and advocates who seek to strengthen and advance the connections between Great Lakes art and science to inspire Great Lakes stewardship. The group seeks to educate the public about the science behind the healing properties of water, particularly the Great Lakes, using art as a vehicle.