By Teresa Woodard
Tumbleweeds are rolling into the Columbus Museum of Art. I first spotted a beach ball-sized one juxtaposed beneath a large pop art piece by Roy Lichtenstein. Another rested below a gold-framed Monet-inspired painting. Later, I found a room filled with tumbleweeds as part of a sculptural installation by featured artist Latifa Echakhch. I’ve since learned tumbleweeds refer to at least two plants, Amaranthus albus and Salsola kali. According to plant lore, the seeds of the Salsola or “Russian thistle” hitched a ride on imported grains from Russia. I was also delighted to learn tumbleweeds are commercially grown today for decoration by Prairie Tumbleweed Farm in Kansas – coincidentally the state setting for tumbleweeds at Dorothy’s home in the Wizard of Oz. Check out tumbleweeds’ other starring roles in this clever accompanying video commissioned from media artist Duncan Robson.