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About Bluestem Art

Welcome to Bluestem Art, a family owned and operated business. I’m Frank Brockmeyer. I’m one member of a close-knit family that included seven siblings. I’ve lived in Ohio for most of my life and find the farm country and woodlands of my native Midwest to be where I feel most contented. Wherever I am, I enjoy photographing people, places, and nature.

My wife and I moved into our current home near the geographic center of Ohio almost 20 years ago. We live with our son on rural property located about 40 miles from the nearest big city. When we bought the place (a vacant, abandoned farm) its soil was so depleted by over-farming that none of the neighboring farmers were interested in purchasing it. However, we liked the property’s mix of old fields and beech-maple woodlands; also, we cherished the long-standing cultural and farming heritage of the surrounding area.

Soon after we purchased our farm we recruited a neighboring farmer to plant 10 acres of Switchgrass to provide habitat and winter cover for pheasant and other wildlife. Several years later we hired a local contractor to construct a farm pond. We then planted prairie grasses on the two acres that surround the pond (Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Side-oats Grama, and Indian Grass). The next big project involved planting a stand of the prairie grass, Big Bluestem, in the 3-acre field in front of our house.

These three, relatively large, naturalized plantings have done quite well in spite of the very poor soil. The beauty of the grasses and the variety of wildlife these areas attract throughout the year are continual sources of enjoyment and inspiration.

Meanwhile, my brother Jim has been hard at work creating and developing Bluestem Nursery, located in Christina Lake, British Columbia. He initially offered a modest selection of field grown, winter-hardy ornamental grasses but has expanded considerably and now sells many different varieties of grasses, a wide selection of willows, and some choice perennials.

Jim’s son, Karl, pursued a career in graphic art and works full-time for an advertising agency near Akron, Ohio. Karl is part of the creative talent behind this website.

As I settled into our country residence I regularly procured ornamental grasses and willows from Bluestem Nursery to incorporate into the landscaping around our house. Jim’s nursery sells the kinds of plants that seemed most suited for nurturing the natural-looking landscape I was striving for. As the plantings of grasses, willows, and prairies continued to grow and mature - and as I became more enamored with how good they looked throughout the year - I made it a habit to photograph them in all seasons. I wanted to establish a visual record of their graceful splendor as the landscaping grew and developed through time.

Jim in the meantime has been taking photographs of plants and landscapes in western Canada - particularly within his home province of British Columbia. His photos have appeared both on his website and on the covers of Bluestem Nursery’s annual plant catalogues. More recently, Jim’s photographs have also been exhibited in art galleries in British Columbia and Germany.

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