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Trees say people live here; ghosts say they used to. Laramie's most famous ghost stories feature people who lived during its early days as a railroad camp and home of the Territorial Prison. Some cottonwoods can live for a century, and they, like ghosts, serve as a connection to the past. However, though cotton fills the sky like a flock of spirits each year, the seeds within represent Laramie's future--a place where trees drive their roots into hard soil, hoping for water.

The line work Tessa used in her response piece has an emergent quality. Just as a story changes and grows through it's oral history - an expansion and contraction in embellishment and memory - the patterns in her lines grow and take on new shapes with the development of the expanding spiral. The rings within a cottonwood's trunk seem symbolic of Laramie's ghost stories--hidden and yet housed.

LeClair_booklet.pdf (1314 kB)
Booklet for Cottonwoods

LeClair.wav (439 kB)
Audio introduction to Cottonwoods

GhostsandCottonWoods_Dallarosa.jpg (2204 kB)
Artwork by Tessa Dallarosa in response to "Ghosts and Cottonwoods"

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