Rural Missouri - July 2012 - (Page 36)
N E I G H B O R S
The Power of Healing Art
Henry Domke uses his images of nature to help patients recover
by Kyle Spradley firstname.lastname@example.org the Prairie Garden Trust. After bringing nature to people with his photographs, Henry now brings people to nature. Henry and Lorna have worked to convert the oring over travel magazines or the latest ecosystem back to a native habitat. Several trails issue of National Geographic, one can’t lead visitors across the property past lotus-covered help but be awed by the imagery of farponds and through wooded forests, savannahs away landscapes and the magniﬁcence and vast prairies. of exotic ﬂora and fauna. The photographers who “We have all kinds of water features,” adds capture these images are always on a quest to ﬁnd Henry. “Hillers Creek meanders throughout the a new vista, a new species or a new landscape to property beneath rocky bluffs covered with moss share with viewers. and lichens that provide great vistas.” But for nature photographer HenThe land has become a paradise for wildry Domke, his canvas for the past life as everything from mammals, aquatic three decades has been his farm in Callaway County. species and a wide array of bird and insect species have become subjects of Henry’s “Sure, you can go to the Rocky • Mountains or Hawaii to make a beautiful photographs. A sight to behold is the New great blue heron rookery, where dozphoto, but who goes to the Midwest to Bloomﬁeld ens of herons nest and raise their take pictures of an old farm?” says Henry. chicks each year. “I love to ﬁnd beauty in the ordinary. If Henry says that about 80 percent you can share that with someone, maybe they will realize they can ﬁnd the beauty of what he shoots is on his property, which is served by Callaway Electric Cooperative. in their own backyard.” “I have to look for something fresh every day,” Henry’s images capturing the elegance of the says Henry. “But at the same time, I am always natural world are sold across the country. Most thinking about how my art can have a positive ﬁnd homes in hospitals as framed art or dramatic impact on people.” wall coverings. He hopes that his images of wildHenry believes his images can help patients ﬂowers in full bloom, sunsets amongst forests, while in hospitals. His wildlife and tranquil landscapes help patients book, “Picture of Health: with the healing process. Handbook for Healthcare Born in south St. Louis, Henry’s family moved Art,” cites several studies to rural New Bloomﬁeld in 1970. His afﬁnity for that have proven certain the outdoors blossomed as he enjoyed seeing images can lower stress on wildlife, walking through pastures and learning patients, reduce the need about the environment. for medicine and improve “It was a little bit of a life changer,” adds Henrecovery times. ry, “but being out in the country is magical.” “I like to give imagery He enrolled in art school while he was still in that is comforting and that high school, but he never made it. To his parents’ evokes positive memories,” surprise, he decided at the last minute to pursue says Henry. “If you are sitmedicine. For 25 years, he worked as a family ting there thinking about physician in Jefferson City before becoming a fullthe cancer in you spreadtime artist in 2007. ing, that is a negative Over the years, Henry and his wife, Lorna, thought. But then you look have added to the farm his parents started. Much onto the wall above the of the land is now a public nature garden called
bed and see this beautiful landscape and remember playing on your uncle’s farm as See more of Henry’s a kid. You can relax a work in a video in the little bit in that posionline edition at tive memory.” www.ruralmissouri.coop. Henry has a lot planned for his property in the coming years. In addition to guided nature walks, improvements are underway so the property can better accommodate the public. Construction design has begun for additional overlooks, trails and new gardens. “It’s going to take a lot of time and effort, but we are in for the long haul to create a place where people can come and experience nature’s beauty,” says Henry. “It is all worth it because there is something about connecting to nature. The sounds of the birds around you, the smell of a prairie rose, the feel of a cool breeze all are experiences we want to share with people.” To view Henry’s work, visit www.henrydomke.com. Visits to the Prairie Garden Trust are by reservation only. To set up an appointment, contact Henry at 573295-6349. More information about the Prairie Garden Trust is available at www.prairiegardentrust.org.
photo by Henry Domke
Above: Henry Domke’s image of foxtail grass taken on his farm in Callaway County illustrates the tranquility of his work. Right: Henry poses with his camera at the 600acre Prairie Garden Trust near New Bloomﬁeld. The Callaway Electric Cooperative member has opened his property so the public can enjoy the beauty of nature.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2012
Rural Missouri - July 2012
A peach of a place
Quilting for a cause
Corralling the faithful
Out of the Way Eats
Platte City’s jewel
Reeling in the competition
Hearth and Home
Rita & Little Ollie
Rural Missouri - July 2012
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