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home : news : greenwood March 19, 2019

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2/25/2019 11:34:00 AM
Artist Philip Juras to Speak at Land Trust Annual Meeting
Philip Juras, landscape artist, will be the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Upper Savannah Land Trust on March 21 in Greenwood.
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Philip Juras, landscape artist, will be the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Upper Savannah Land Trust on March 21 in Greenwood.

Landscape artist Philip Juras will be the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Upper Savannah Land Trust on March 21 at the Arts Center at the Federal Building in Greenwood.  Juras’s paintings express his desire to both explore and understand the patterns of the natural world. He will share a compelling example of that desire through his presentation “Falling in Love with Grasslands: Paintings from Prairie to Páramo.”  

As an artist and nature lover who grew up in Augusta, where there is enough rainfall to turn most any patch of dirt into a forest in only a few decades, falling in love with the wild beauty of native grasslands has been a revelation for Juras.  He will present a visual tour of landscape paintings that document his journey of grassland discovery.

Drawing on early descriptions of the pre-settlement landscape by chroniclers such as William Bartram and his own studies and adventures in southern nature, Juras’s grassland route traverses high mountain balds, grassy Piedmont barrens, historic Alabama prairies, and the once vast pine savannas of the coastal plain. Then, from the colorful seaside meadows of the Georgia coast, Juras’s exploration continues beyond the Southeast to the lush tall grass prairies of the Midwest and the gorgeous high elevation páramo of the Andes. Through all of these settings his paintings celebrate the rich aesthetic qualities of grasslands while also highlighting that these are threatened ecosystems deserving of our attention.

Juras holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (1990) and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree (1997), both from the University of Georgia. Since 2011 he has exhibited his southeastern landscapes at the Telfair, Morris, and Marietta-Cobb museums in Georgia and published two books in conjunction with those exhibits. His Andean landscapes were exhibited in Bogota, Colombia and Washington DC in 2017. His ongoing projects include the tall grass prairie ecosystem in Illinois and fire adapted landscapes of the Southeast. (

The doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a social and refreshments. Dinner by Shealy’s Barbeque will be at 6:30 p.m.  Landowners who have donated conservation easements will be recognized and a short business meeting will be held.  The Peggy Adams Conservation Award will be presented to someone who has made a significant contribution to conservation in the Upper Savannah Land Trust’s western piedmont operating area.

    There will be drawings for a Savage Stevens 555 over/under 20-gauge shotgun and Leupold BX-2 Tioga HD 10x42 binoculars, both from Hunters Headquarters in Greenwood.  Raffle tickets for the gun and the binoculars are available from board members and staff, or at the door, for $10 apiece. Proceeds from the drawings will be used to promote conservation of farms, forestland and special natural areas in the Upper Savannah area.

There is no charge to attend members of USLT. Cost for others is $20. The public is welcomed. Dress is casual.  Sponsors for the event include AgSouth Farm Credit, Enviva, Greenwood Soil and Water Conservation District, Hunters Headquarters, Ken Driggers Conservation Services, Log Creek Timber Company, McDonald Patrick Poston Hemphill & Roper LLC, Norbord, Inc., Stone & Associates, and SC Implementation Committee for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

RSVP to Rick Green at or 864-941-8072.

Upper Savannah Land Trust is a private, nonprofit conservation organization that assists landowners in Abbeville, Anderson, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties to conserve their land.  

Since its inception in 2000, the organization has protected 49,989 acres of agricultural, forested, scenic, historic and ecologically important properties. The Land Trust considers itself a tool for landowners who are interested in seeing their properties remain in their natural state for farming, timber and recreation.  In addition, the Land Trust represents an opportunity for the entire community to support the natural resources, natural heritage, and natural beauty we value.

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