Walk on the wild side in Orient

Artists interpreted a “Prairie Footprints” theme for their artwork at the Wallace Farm. Photo: Wallace Centers of Iowa

There are plenty of good reasons to take a nature walk, but if you’d like one more, consider this: 80-some paintings will be displayed along a 1-mile path in the “Prairie Art Exhibit,” which opens June 1 at the Wallace Farm in Orient. Area artists of all ages and skill levels contributed the 2-foot-square paintings inspired by this year’s “Prairie Footprints” theme.

Admission is free to the 9-acre patch of restored grassland, with a pond and an orchard, and the art exhibit is self-guided, so you can explore it at your own pace any day from dawn to dusk through Oct. 1. The buildings (and restrooms) on the historic farm where Vice President Henry A. Wallace was born are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays.

If you plan ahead, you can finish your walk with a delicious farm-to-table meal in the Wallace Center’s restaurant or outside on Friday nights when they serve made-from-scratch pizzas straight from a wood-fired oven. The live music and lightning bugs add a little magic.

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