Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Multi-talented Lauren Camp

Interviewing Lauren Camp in her studio in La Cienega
Multi-talented Lauren Camp is going to be included in our new documentary "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico". Our first airing of the documentary in process will be at New Mexico Highlands University January 31st at 7pm in Ilfeld Auditorium, open and free to the public. This will be a rare opportunity to see one of our documentaries in progress. It will still have a very finished and polished style because Bob, our co-producer, cameraman and editor is a perfectionist. 
I do the planning and interviewing and coordination on our documentaries but Bob is the guy who takes all that beautiful footage he has shot and makes it work creatively to create a compelling story for each segment. 

So back to Lauren.....Lauren is an empresario of mixed media, language and radio.
Maybe you have heard her wonderful melange of sound, music and poetry on her radio show on Santa Fe Public Radio KSFR 101.1 called aptly 'Audio Saucepan'. This is a quote from one listener that aptly describes her unique program. One avid listener explains, “Audio Saucepan is such a provocative and refreshing blend of poetry, spoken word, jazz and audio exploration that I can scarcely contain my delight with each broadcast. Lauren Camp doesn’t so much moderate her show; she performs it. It is a rare foray into the power and mystery of radio at its best, an oasis for the ears.”

If you are not in the listening area you can hear a live stream of her radio show by going to KSFR's website. The show is on the air from 5-6pm MST on Sundays.
Lauren not only has a lyrical voice she creates a sense of mystery and drama when she reads her poetry and the poetry of others. On her radio show you will only hear the poetry of others but she is a masterful writer of poetry and performs extensively. She also has a published book of her poems available for purchase called "This Business of Wisdom". Go to her website for information on how to purchase it.
Production still from the documentary of Lauren reading one of her masterful poems

This interview will be unique in it's movement from interview and b-roll to Lauren reading her poems in her melodic and haunting voice.

A visual Bob created for the reading of excerpts from one of one of Lauren's poems named "Slow"
Be prepared to see an engaging and unique interview with Lauren in our documentary.....

Lauren loves teaching and has helped so many others find their voice through working with her. If you love writing, want to hone your writing skills or find your unique writing expression go to Lauren's website and explore one of her workshops.

Last but not least by any means, Lauren is a multi-media artist who often works with fiber. We will be including Lauren's work in our two exhibitions that accompany our documentary in New Mexico. The first is at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M. January 14-February 14, 2013 at the Burris Hall Gallery. Then we will be at Santa Fe Art Institute for the month of April 2013. There will also be workshops, an artist roundtable and other accompanying workshops and activities happening in conjunction. 
Lauren will be including two pieces from her in progress series on the four seasons in New Mexico, a land of intense contrast. You will be able to see "Wind Season" and "Acres of June-July". For those of us who live here we know what a great part wind plays in the shaping of our land as does fire, both of which are not always comfortable to live with but make up the strong voice of this land we call New Mexico.
Wind Season by Lauren Camp
'Wind Season' by Lauren Camp copyright

Detail from "Earth Drawing II" by Lauren Camp copyright

"Earth Drawing III" by Lauren Camp copyright

To find out more about Lauren go to her website
Visit her blog and you will get a preview of what will be happening on her radio show as well as other wonderful 'wordsmithing' from Lauren
And of course listen to her on Audio Saucepan Sunday nights from 5-6pm MST on the radio or streaming at

Multimedia artists are contemporary artists who use a wide range of media to communicate their art. Multimedia art includes, by definition, more than one medium, therefore multimedia artists use visual artin combination with sound artmoving images and other media. The art can take the form of installation artfound objects presented in an artistic form, or kinetic sculpture, among others.
It is important to distinguish between multimedia art and mixed media artworks. Within the visual arts, mixed media tends to refer to work that combines various traditionally distinct visual art media such as certain works of Frank Stella or Jane Frank which merge painting and sculpture, for example. A work on canvas that combines oil paint, newspaper collage, chalk, glass and ink, for example, could be called a "mixed media" work - but not multimedia. Multimedia art implies a broader scope than mixed media, as in creations combining visual art media with elements usually considered the proper domain of literature, drama, dance, filmmaking, or music.
Multimedia artwork also frequently engages senses other than sight, such as hearing, touch, or smell. A multimedia artwork can also move, occupy time, or develop over time, rather than remaining static as with traditional media. Another frequent trait of multimedia artworks is the use of advanced technology, such as electronic or computer-generated soundvideoanimation, and interactivity.
Certain traditional genres such as opera and film are inherently multidisciplinary or even "multimedia" in a very loose sense, since they involve drama, literature, visual art, music, dance, and costumes. Indeed, a union of the arts was exactly what Richard Wagner imagined in his ideal of the "Gesamtkunstwerk" or a "synthesis of the arts" (literally: "complete artwork").
Nevertheless, in contemporary terms, opera or even movies would not properly be considered "multimedia art." A work of multimedia art is usually mounted on a smaller scale than an opera or a movie and is typically created entirely by a single person (rather than the collaborative effort of opera or moviemaking). Multimedia works do not usually require performers. If performers are used, they are usually untrained people, as in audience members who interact with the piece, as opposed to trained singers or actors. Multimedia artwork is often presented in a curated museum or gallery setting, in which the piece is understood to be an extended form of visual art. The creator of a multimedia work of art is typically someone with a formal background in visual art.

Poetry (from the Greek poiesis — ποίησις — with a broad meaning of a "making", seen also in such terms as "hemopoiesis"; more narrowly, the making of poetry) is a form of literary art which uses the aesthetic qualities of language to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.
Poetry has a long history, dating back to the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. Early poems evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit VedasZoroastrian Gathas, and the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoricdramasong and comedy. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively-informative, prosaic forms of writing. From the mid-20th century, poetry has sometimes been more generally regarded as a fundamental creative act employing language.
Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonancealliterationonomatopoeiaand rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. The use of ambiguitysymbolismirony and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly, metaphorsimile and metonymy[1] create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Rulan Tangen and Dancing Earth

Rulan Tangen and Maori choreographer and CNZ
Fellowship winner Jack Gray in "Walking at the Edge of Water"

I discovered the incredible work of Rulan Tangen with Dancing Earth online and was overwhelmed with the the beauty of the still images and ambitious mission of this inter-tribal dance troupe led by Rulan Tangen, choreographer, artistic director, dancer and driving force behind the work of this troupe.
I approached Rulan about including "Dancing Earth" in our new documentary in progress, the "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico".

Seeing her latest performance which she worked long and hard with the troupe to create did not disappoint but rather exceeded any expectation I could have had. "Walking at the Edge of Water" which premiered at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe was moving, unique and spectacular.

This is a description from their website of the intention behind this performance:
DANCING EARTH’s performance - WALKING AT THE EDGE OF WATER - is an inter-tribal contemporary dance expression of Indigenous water perspectives. Every creative aspect of this eco-production reflects cultural and environmental worldview, with Indigenous collaborators in movement, musical composition, language, video imagery, costume and visual art. This work is motivated by the urgings of Native grandmothers and invokes powerfully relevant water themes of creation, destruction and renewal.WALKING AT THE EDGE OF WATER parallels ancestral healing rituals in a dance of inter-disciplinary Native expressions that is both primal and futuristic.

To see a further description of the inspiration, motivation and story behind "Walking at the Edge of water go to

We interviewed Rulan at her apartment in Santa Fe and I found her to be passionate and articulate about the work of "Dancing Earth". This is a woman who has overcome many challenges that she has faced in her life to be the creative and driving force behind this very special inter-tribal dance troupe. She works constantly but is still the most organized person I have ever interviewed. She responds immediately to emails with dates that work for interviewing her and always kept us in the loop on possible shooting days to catch the troupe in practice and performance while she juggles the ongoing struggles of fundraising, grant writing and the demands of choreography, creative evolution of performances and a very demanding schedule of rehearsals as well as workshops for budding inter-tribal dance students.

Water is such a potent image and important issue in the arid southwest and for many tribal cultures all over the world. It is an issue that all of us need to address in all cultures as we pollute and put demands on the ecological systems that support this precious resource that sustains life on this planet. So it is particularly timely that Rulan has chosen to focus on this important issue and theme in Dancing Earth's magnificent performance. Here are some production stills from the performance which you will be able to see excerpts of in our documentary as well as our interview with Rulan.

Sina-Aurelia Soul-Bowe has a haunting voice as well as being a dramatic dancer. She is the product of Native, South Pacific and Afro-Latino bloodlines.

The above are production still grabs from Bob's shooting on our documentary. 

You can also see more photographs of Dancing Earth's various performances done by Paulo Tavares who often shoots Rulan and Dancing Earth. 

To read more about Dancing Earth go to their website and facebook page:
DANCING EARTH CREATIONS is a non profit organization with the mission to support Indigenous dance and related arts, to encourage and revitalize awareness of diversity through artistic expression for the education and wellness of all peoples. This mission is active through the national work of DANCING EARTH Indigenous Intertribal dance Ensemble ( director Rulan Tangen) , and the year round Cuicacalli youth cultural dance training program (director Jesus “Jacoh” Cortes) in San Francisco.
DANCING EARTH has been named by Dance Magazine as “One of the Top 25 to Watch”, and are recipients of the National Museum of American Indian’s 2010 Expressive Arts Award. In every aspect of artistic collaboration – including dance, choreography, music, costume, lighting, video, stage managing - DANCING EARTH gathers Indigenous collaborators, including Nations of Blackfoot, Metis, Coushatta, Cambiva, Yaqui, Purepecha, Shoshone, Navajo, Cherokee, Hopi, Tewa, Tiwa, Towa, and Keresan of North Central and South America. They balance a commitment to share dances with regional, national and international communities at venues as varied as festivals , Universities , elementary-high schools, Native wellness gatherings, youth leadership symposiums, art museums , desert canyons , dried river beds, and symposiums for social-environmental justice. DANCING EARTH inspires creativity and cultural consciousness through community art practice, energetic dance training workshops, site specific rituals and full length eco-productions.
“We gather as individual artists to create experimental yet elemental dances that reflect our rich cultural heritage and to explore identity as contemporary Native peoples. We strive to embody the unique essences of Indigenous multi-tribal perspectives by creation and renewal of artistic and cultural movement rituals. Ancient and futuristic, our dances are an elemental language of bone and blood memory in motion."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Tahlequah Sycamore" is acquired by Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

"Tahlequah Sycamore" 48" x 44", colored pencil on acrylic ground on panel
by Fran Hardy copyright

This piece has just been acquired by the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, Oklahoma for their permanent collection. They chose it out of my pieces that hung in the group exhibition I curated for our "Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: Oklahoma" exhibition at the museum this past September and October. Our documentary of the same name aired on and continues to air on OETA, Oklahoma PBS. This was an exciting project to work on with funding from the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art. 

I found wonderful sycamore, which are water loving trees, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma along the Illinois River when we visited there to interview conservation photographer Kim Baker. Sycamores grow well in river floodplains. Since they were not considered great wood for lumber the old trees have been allowed to flourish. I love their many colored peeling bark. 

The director of the museum has told me that they have a wonderful spot for this piece right at the entrance to their permanent galleries. I am so honored to hang at this beautiful museum that has shown so much support for our project as well as giving me a solo show there December 21, 2007 to February 3, 2008. After the solo exhibition, my painting "Carambola and Roses" was acquired for their permanent collection. That painting done in the early renaissance technique of oil over egg tempera was an homage to my grandfather who inspired me with his beautiful tropical gardens in Florida. I came down to visit my grandparents once in St. Petersburg in April and found this magnificent spectacle of their carambola (starfruit) tree heavy with fruit and a red rose bush in full bloom beneath it.

"Carambola and Roses" by Fran Hardy hanging in the permanent collection of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
Founded in 1919, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is one of the oldest museums in the state of Oklahoma. Father Gregory Gerrer, for whom the museum is named, was a Benedictine monk of considerable artistic talent. During Father Gerrer's travels to Europe, Africa and South America, he collected objects of artistic and ethnological value.

The museum's permanent collections include Egyptian, Greek and Roman objects; art from the Renaissance through the early 20th century; and large holdings of Native American African/Oceanic and Eastern cultural artifacts. In addition, the museum offers exciting special exhibitions throughout the year.

Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to three very different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms.
  • Ficus sycomorus, the sycamore (or sycomore) of the Bible; a species of fig, also called the sycamore fig or fig-mulberry, native to the Middle East and eastern Africa
  • Acer pseudoplatanus, the sycamore of Britain and Ireland; a European maple tree, also called sycamore maple, great maple, or, the plane tree in Scotland
  • Platanus, the sycamores of North America, known as planes in Europe
    • Platanus occidentalis, the American sycamore
    • Platanus racemosa (California sycamore or western sycamore)
    • Platanus wrightii (Arizona sycamore)

    • I would think that the tree I painted is an American Sycamore and perhaps the ones I saw at the Gila River were Arizona Sycamore? If any of you are knowledgeable about this let me know.

Read about the reasons for the beautiful peeling bark of the american sycamore.
An American sycamore tree can often be easily distinguished from other trees by its mottled exfoliating bark, which flakes off in great irregular masses, leaving the surface mottled, and greenish-white, gray and brown. The bark of all trees has to yield to a growing trunk by stretching, splitting, or infilling; the Sycamore shows the process more openly than many other trees. The explanation is found in the rigid texture of the bark tissue, which lacks the elasticity of the bark of some other trees, so it is incapable of stretching to accommodate the growth of the wood underneath and the tree sloughs it off.[1]
A sycamore can grow to massive proportions, typically reaching up to 30 to 40 meters (98 to 130 ft) high and 1.5 to 2 meters (4.9 to 6.6 ft) in diameter when grown in deep soils. The largest of the species have been measured to 51 meters (167 ft), and nearly 4 meters (13 ft) in diameter. Larger specimens were recorded in historical times. In 1770, near the junction of the Kanawha and Ohio RiversGeorge Washington recorded in his journal a sycamore measuring nearly 45 feet (14 m) in circumference at 3 feet (91 cm) from the ground.[2]
The sycamore tree is often divided near the ground into several secondary trunks, very free from branches. Spreading limbs at the top make an irregular, open head. Roots are fibrous. The trunks of large trees are often hollow.
Another peculiarity is the way the leaves grow sticky, green buds. In early August, most trees in general will have—nestled in the axils of their leaves—the tiny forming bud which will produce the leaves of the coming year. The sycamore branch apparently has no such buds. Instead there is an enlargement of the petiole which encloses the bud in a tight-fitting case at the base of the petiole.

Carambola (starfruit)
Carambola, also known as starfruit, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to the PhilippinesIndonesiaMalaysiaIndiaBangladesh and Sri Lanka. The fruit is popular throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific and parts of East Asia. The tree is also cultivated throughout non-indigenous tropical areas, such as in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southern United States.
The fruit has distinctive ridges running down its sides (usually five, but can sometimes vary); in cross-section, it resembles a star, hence its name. The entire fruit is edible and is usually eaten out of hand. They may also be used in cooking, and can be made into relishes, preserves, and juice drinks.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Desert Oasis in New Mexico Part Two

Interviewing Martha Cooper, director of the Nature Conservancy's riparian preserves in southeastern New Mexico

shooting at an agricultural diversion on the Mimbres River at the Nature Conservancy's Mimbres River Preserve

On our first day in southwestern New Mexico exploring the Nature Conservancy's riparian preserves we met Martha Cooper, director of the two preserves at the Mimbres River Preserve. It is a more intimate setting than the Gila River with a river that seems more like a creek from my experiences on the east coast growing up. We were surrounded by beautiful trees and forest in the river bottom. The Mimbres River Valley is an oasis surrounded by desert. We saw beautiful box elder, black walnut, cottonwood and willows as well as number of other trees. On our drive into the valley we saw desert plants and cactus interspersed with green fields and the various other flora that this floodplain supports.

I love the places in New Mexico where water creates this dichotomy of desert and plants and trees that need more water.

The river is fed by springs such as this one that Bob is walking along with his camera trying to find the Chiricahua leopard frog. There is a large marsh fed by the spring. We were unable to see the actual frog but Bob did get shots of them jumping.

The grasslands in the flood plain of the Mimbres River. There are many native american pot shards etc on the bluffs from the tribes that live here.

Like the Gila River, the Mimbres is impacted by agricultural diversion and while the population is not large in the valley, it requires a balancing of human versus animal and native flora preservation. This river is the only place that the chihuahua chub can be found in the United States. The Nature Conservancy works hard to insure that this species of fish can survive. We interviewed Martha in the river bottom with the clear clean water rushing by. It is magical to hear the sound of water in our generally arid New Mexico ecosystem. This like many other special places in New Mexico demonstrates the great diversity of our state.
Fran and Martha crossing the river to go into the floodplain forests and fields
Shooting stills of the river for reference for possible paintings
Shooting stills of a black walnut tree for future paintings of trees. My passion
is ancient trees and trees of all kinds. You can see them on my website 
I didn't expect to find black walnuts in southern New Mexico as we had gorgeous old black walnuts on the farm we used to own in western Pennsylvania. What I find in New Mexico never ceases to amaze me.
This was one of those spectacular New Mexico days that makes one's heart ache for more days out in nature in our beautiful and unique state
This is just one of a flock of wild turkeys that we saw come by us in a long line across the grassland in the floodplain. Bob thought he was going to miss the shot as we were focused on shooting something else but then they just kept coming and coming one at a time in a long line.

When we climbed out of the valley toward Silver City I saw these wonderful plants with the efflorescence dried but still magnificent. I would like to see these when they first bloom. Is this a type of yucca. Can any of you tell me?

In 1994, the Conservancy established the Mimbres River Preserve in southwestern New Mexico, near Silver City. The preserve is an irreplaceable riparian area covering 600 acres and five river miles. The river is a closed-basin desert stream—meaning its surface water never flows out of the Mimbres River basin. But over its 40-mile length, the Mimbres covers a wide and diverse landscape, from its headwaters near 10,000 feet in the Aldo Leopold Wilderness of the Gila National Forest to its terminus in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands near the Mexican border.
The Mimbres watershed includes dense forests of Douglas fir and ponderosa pine, piñon-juniper savanna, desert grasslands, Chihuahuan desert scrub, riparian forests, cienegas (or marshes), springs and stream reaches that may be perennial, intermittent or ephemeral.  The basin, located between the mountains of the Mogollon Rim, the Rio Grande watershed and the Chihuahuan Desert, has been alternatively isolated from and connected with other river systems over time.  As a result, the Mimbres has evolved a remarkably diverse fauna and flora, including a handful of species, such as the Chihuahua chub, that are found nowhere else in the United States.
The waters of the Mimbres, replenished by abundant summer rainfall in the upper basin, also support an extensive network of cottonwood-willow forests, sacaton floodplain grasslands (a coarse perennial grass), hot and cold springs and other rare riparian communities.
The Mimbres River is a 91-mile-long (146 km)[1] river in southwestern New Mexico. It forms from snow pack and runoff on the south-western slopes of the Black Range and flows into a small endorheic basin east of Deming, New Mexico. The uplands watershed are administered by the US Forest Service, while the land in the Mimbres Valley is mostly privately owned. The upper reaches of the river are perennial.[2] The river flows south from the Black Range and the surface flow of the river dissipates in the desert north of Deming, but the river bed and storm drainage continue eastward, any permanent flow remaining underground.[3][4] The Mimbres River Basin has an area of about 13,000 km² (5,140 mi²) and extends slightly into northern Chihuahua.
A wide diversity of species (37 species; excluding arthropods other than crustaceans) are of great conservation concern. Eighteen species (49%) are classified as "vulnerable, imperiled, or critically imperiled" state wide as well as and nationally. Additionally 13 species are classified as "vulnerable, imperiled, or critically imperiled" in the state although they are secure nationally. Birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles are also of concern within the riparian, ephemeral and terrestrial habitats.[3]
The use of water from the Mimbres River is still a matter of contention.[5]

[edit]Mimbres culture

Mimbres bowls at Stanford University
The Mimbres Basin supported the prehistoric Mimbres Culture, which was part of the larger Mogollon culture. The culture developed from around 200 to 1000 CE, known as the pithouse period. During this time the use of pottery increased and there was a greater dependence on agriculture throughout the Mogollon area. This agriculture depended more and more upon irrigation from the perennial and storm flow of the Mimbres River. In the later part of the pithouse period distinctiveMimbres pottery black-on-white designs grew more complex and ornate. Villages and irrigation complexes grew larger, and large kivas were built. These community ritual constructions were destroyed around 900 CE in huge ceremonial fires. This marked a major transition in social and ritual practices.
The Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the diverse Galliformes. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which was originally derived from a southern Mexican subspecies of Wild Turkey (not the related Ocellated Turkey). Although native to North America, the Wild Turkey got its name due to the trade routes in place. During the 16th Century, the the major trade route from the Americas and Asia required the goods to go to Constantinople in Turkey before being sent to Britain. The British at the time therefore, associated the Wild Turkey with the country Turkey and the name stuck.
Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green legs. The body feathers are generally blackish and dark brown overall with a coppery sheen that becomes more complex in adult males. Adult males, called toms or gobblers, have a large, featherless, reddish head, red throat, and red wattles on the throat and neck. The head has fleshy growths called caruncles. Juvenile males are called jakes, the difference between an adult male and a juvenile is that the jake has a very short beard and his tail fan has longer feathers in the middle. The adult male's tail fan will be all the same length.[3] When males are excited, a fleshy flap on the bill expands, and this, the wattles and the bare skin of the head and neck all become engorged with blood, almost concealing the eyes and bill. The long fleshy object over a male's beak is called a snood. When a male turkey is excited, its head turns blue; when ready to fight, it turns red. Each foot has three toes, and males have a spur behind each of their lower legs.
Juglans nigra, the eastern black walnut, a species of flowering tree in the walnut family, Juglandaceae, is native to eastern North America. It grows mostly inriparian zones, from southern Ontario, west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern Florida and southwest to central Texas. Isolated wild trees in the upper Ottawa Valley may be an isolated native population or may have derived from planted trees.
The black walnut is a large deciduous tree attaining heights of 30–40 m (98–130 ft). Under forest competition, it develops a tall, clear bole; the open-grown form has a short bole and broad crown. The bark is grey-black and deeply furrowed. The pith of the twigs contains air spaces. The leaves are alternate, 30–60 cm long, odd-pinnate with 15–23 leaflets, with the largest leaflets located in the center, 7–10 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. The male flowers are in drooping catkins 8–10 cm long, the female flowers are terminal, in clusters of two to five, ripening during the autumn into a fruit (nut) with a brownish-green, semifleshy husk and a brown, corrugated nut. The whole fruit, including the husk, falls in October; the seed is relatively small and very hard. The tree tends to crop more heavily in alternate years. Fruiting may begin when the tree is 4-6 years old, however large crops take 20 years. Total lifespan of J. nigra is about 130 years.
While its primary native region is the Midwest and east-central United States, the black walnut was introduced into Europe in 1629. It is cultivated there and in North America as a forest tree for its high-quality wood. More nuts are produced by open-grown trees. Black walnut is more resistant to frost than the English or Persian walnut, but thrives best in the warmer regions of fertile, lowland soils with high water tables. It is a light-demanding species. The wood is used to make furniture, flooring, and rifle stocks, and oil is pressed from the seeds. Nuts are harvested by hand from wild trees. About 65% of the annual wild harvest comes from the U.S. state of Missouri, and the largest processing plant is operated by Hammons Products in Stockton, Missouri. The black walnut nutmeats are used as an ingredient in food, while the hard black walnut shell is used commercially in abrasive cleaning, cosmetics, and oil well drilling and water filtration.
Where the range of J. nigra overlaps that of the Texas black walnut J. microcarpa, the two species sometimes interbreed, producing populations with characteristics intermediate between the two species.