On view now at SouthShore Arts, through August 27, 2022, is a stellar array of works centered on the theme “Nature Lovers.” So many respected artists and such wonderful works in conversation with each other, curated by the creative force of Linda Dorman and Tom Torluemke, curators, writer, photographer, and organizer and artist and stellar gardener, respectively. Featured artists include: Featured artists: , Zbigniew Bzdak, Peggy Macnamara, Casey Roberts, William Nichols, Corey Hagelberg, Joanne Aono, Tony Fitzpatrick, Catherine Schwalbe, and Em’rynn Artunian. See some of show below in this slide show and better yet, if able, check out the show in person!

I have four new works from 2022, three specifically for this show. I wanted to share a rare political act I have taken with my work, Mending a Nation. I originally created the work for Earth Abundance, curated by Pauline Kochanski for Oliva Gallery, for a show that opened on Earth Day in 2022. I collected moss, soil, rocks, sand, worn drift wood, on my own in places across the US, or had friends in those places send it to me or gifted directly to me. Thank you for your contributions: Danny Mansmith Stephanie Samuels N. Masani Landfair Dr. Geoffrey and Andrea Bove.

Most who follow my work know that I have been facilitating a Social Practice work called Before and After: Mending a Life after a pandemic or some other catastrophic event in your life. Mending a Nation is a continuation of that theme. This statement below was shared for an artist talk I was unable to attend:

“Hello fellow earth lovers.  Thank you to Pauline (Kochanski) and Kimberly (Oliva) for including my work in this important show.   I firmly believe that how we treat each other is how we treat our Mother Earth. We need to do better. Things fall apart. We mend.  They fall apart. We mend again.  My Mending a Nation piece, made of soils and other material things from coast to coast, represents the actions we are taking to mend our lands, our relationships, our systems, and even our thoughts and ways of treading more mindfully – with each other, during this amazing and awful life we are given.  Thank you for your interest in my work and all the works in Earth Abundance.” May 2022

The original work, shown below right before the action, including soil, water, rocks and plant life from Washington, Maine, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois and the Great Lakes along with hand-built stoneware brick clay, a pit-fired needle from a spring workshop at Stirling Hall with Patty Kochavar, and cording for stitches. As spring moved towards summer, political actions continued to shift, especially as they related to decisions by the ever more conservative Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

I felt called to act based on some of the eroding of so much SCOTUS precedence. Below is my statement, near the work currently on view at Southshore Arts.

“It is with a heavy heart that I spread the parts of this work, Mending a Nation, apart.  The photo above shows the work in its original intention, conceived in thought, earlier in 2022.  The opening for this exhibit showed the work intact.  This political action is taken by me for the following reasons:  The multitude of decisions made by our current Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will have ripples for years to come impacting judgements regarding guns, women’s right to choose, ensuring solid voting rights for the most vulnerable, religious schools and federal funding,  the power of EPA to regulate, and even our beloved and most fundamental Miranda Rights.  I genuinely feel the decisions made have gone towards further unraveling and division for a nation and its people already frayed.  Going forward, if this work is exhibited elsewhere, it will be shown having fallen apart and without making sense, as you see right now.  This piece, in wild array, correlates with the highest court in the land not adhering to the will and the consensus of those they serve – you, me, and the most vulnerable citizens.  I am not sure when I will feel comfortable showing Mending a Nation as it was originally intended.  May it be sooner than later.”

Most action images of Mending a Nation – in Protest were taken by friend and fellow artist, Nancy Pirri. Thank you for them! Thank you, too, to the curators Tom and Linda, and the gallery director Brandon Johnson, for supporting this action.

I covet your response to this work, this action, and the call for mending and repair (the root word of reparations) needed. Rumblings of a civil war, a deepening cultural divide, extremism and insurrection, learning to live with an endemic vs a pandemic, and more, call us into the act of mending again and again. Works such as Jenny Kendler’s Mending Wall give me hope. Watch for a Mending a Life event at the wall, later this summer.

What gives you hope?

What do you do when in despair?

How do you maintain relationships with those with whom you disagree?

What are your questions these days?

If you got this far, drop a note to me privately or via this blog post. I will send you a little something for your time. Not kidding. In a world of distractions your attention matters to me and I am grateful.

In art, falling apart, and mending


Thought I might share an update and information about my upcoming Visiting Artist event at Mosnart.

Before and After – Mending a life after a pandemic or some other catastrophic event in in your life, and my completed installation for Fermentation Fest 2021 titled: Mending Waters – Mending Soil – Mending Lives.

In my previous post, I shared some preliminary images from the first large stitches across Honey Creek at the historic Witwen Campground. Below, are some images while in progress and upon completion the stitches, throughout the two days of Fermentation Fest. It was such a pleasure to do this work “live” while people strolled in to the wonder of this venerable event in the Driftless Region, (or as my photo location states: Troy, Paleozoic Plateau). The inquiries, curiosity, apathy, empathy, and deep gratitude were responses I received throughout the weekend. Thank you Jay and Donna of Wormfarm, for your continued interest and support of my works.

Some notes on images: pictured one or two images in is Zane, a local, curious resident, who assisted for a bit on Day 2. He had some wonderful stories about growing up and living a few buildings away from Honey Creek. Also assisting is Sarah Butler, both by stitching the creek and documenting the work progress. Other photographs of me working were taken by visiting artist at Wormfarm, Hannah Taylor (also doing red stitching!). Thank you to you both! A special treat was a visit by dear friend from college (UW Milwaukee School of Fine Arts) and local resident, Kathy Koehl. So fun to share the work with her, too.

Mosnart Visiting Artist is up next and nobody is more excited than I am!

A much anticipated visiting artist stay at Mosnart in the historic Pullman community! JB Daniel’s venerable visiting artist space, lovingly restored Pullman employee flat, is made available to creatives, travelers, and even short term rentals for those in need of alternative living during a pandemic. You can see more images of the amazing, well appointed while spare, art filled, quarters for people like me and maybe you! I will be back to mending with people all weekend (following a private mending event held this past weekend in my own back yard!), during the Pullman Arts and Culture Fest It would be delightful to see you, hang out, mend a textile that you have in need of repair, fix a few worn spots, learn a fancy mending technique centered around the (ancient) trend of visible mending, and so much more. Most supplies will be supplied by me and so far most needs have been anticipated. Side note: please no zipper replacements. The options include you mending your piece. I could mend your piece. We both learn what your piece needs and we collaborate on the best way.

Before and After – Mending a life after a pandemic or some other catastrophic event in your life a Social Practice work will be conducted 11-4 Saturday and Sunday October 16 and 17th, 20201 at Mosnart’s back yard at 11319 S Saint Lawrence Avenue in the Historic Pullman Landmark District on Chicago’s far Southside.

Message me if you would like such an event at your home, gallery, alternative space. I have witnessed fun, connection, and deep gratitude for this gathering as we all negotiate life in the (not quite yet) after times.

A big thanks to Nicole Gotthelf (pictured below at Witwen and currently a Chicago resident) for reserving and then purchasing the first of the edition of 10 mending boxes! Here she is holding her box #1. As always, I appreciate her support and unequalled enthusiasm for artists and all things creati

Message me if you are interested in a Before and After Mending Box. Part art. Part function. Would love them to get into appreciative hands. Message me for details and happy to ship most anywhere.

Nicole Gotthelf, sporting her Before and After Mending Box at Witwen September 2021

Lastly, if you want to dig a little deeper into the Before and After works, consider listening to this interview conducted by the inimitable Nance Klehm for Lumpen Radio. I so appreciate her following my work and please know that part of the inspiration for this work was from Nance, who invited me to her home, to mend of course, many winters ago. Many thanks Nance. Interview here:  https://www.mixcloud.com/lumpenradio/spontaneous-vegetation-with-nance-klehm-9-12-2021-cathi-schwalbe/

Thanks again dear reader, art appreciator, and friend.

Greetings. Wanted to share an update and debut of two new works.

1. Mending Boxes – part art part function.

2. Mending Soil * Mending Water * Mending Lives – an installation at Witwen Campground during the 2021 Fermentation Fest: Grasslands Edition.

The Mending Boxes – edition of 10 will debut at the 2021 Fermentation Fest: Grasslands Edition. (Please, click on the link. There is so much to be curious about, learn about, and to make informed decisions about land, water, soil, and quality of life.)

A bit of perspective: Fall and winter of 2020, I began to think of and execute an edition of 10 mending boxes to coincide with the Before and After: Mending a life after a pandemic or some other catastrophic event in your life. (see previous post) The contents were finally completed this week, while in Sauk County helping prepare for this year’s Fermentation Festival. A glass tube of Kernza was the last item added to the box, planted last summer by artist Tory Tepp, in the hills of the Driftless Region. It just may be one of the way that soil, water, and the way farmers grow grain, that will mend a part of the food system. Other items in the Mending Box include the following:

Army surplus gray metal box

artist book –  images, notes and ideas collected during a pandemic, stab binding (edition of 30)

porcelain needle w/ gold lustre glaze and oxide

Kernza dedicated glass tube with text

Repair/Reparations – ribboned threads in a skin tone gradation

embroidered Before and After handkerchiefs

fuschia velour weighted pin cushion w/ pins

disco ball w usb – don’t forget to dance

pair of dice – don’t forget to play

misc threads for mending

vintage egg darner

seam ripper

hem and seam guide

tape measurer

variety of sewing needles and threader



mending snips

Some images below:

Please inquire with me if you are interested in purchasing one of the boxes. #1 and #7 have red dots. 8 more are available to the first persons interested. Thank you to Nicole Gotthelf for always being a supporter and cheerleader for all things Art and Culture!

Please note: The artist book and porcelain needles are available separately. Send me a dm. Let’s work something out.

The second work, Mending Soil * Mending Water * Mending Lives will be a temporary art installation at Witwen during the 2021 Fermentation Fest: Grasslands Edition. This work has been in the making for several years via proposal and an my head. I will continue the writ large stitching performed throughout the month of August with Out of Site, and take some of the stitching across Honey Creek on the campus of the historic Witwen. Some test “stitches” were made Wednesday with images below. I am very excited to spend the next several days metaphorically mending soil, mending water, and mending lives, with biodegradable, water and wood pulp based survey tape. A thank you goes out to Wormfarm Institute – Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas for supporting this work. They get me and I am so grateful. A thank to Ashley Lusietto for helping me with my first stitches. Lastly to the landowners of both sides of Honey Creek, Ed Smith and Dale Sprecher. You permission is appreciated with deep gratitude.

Some sneak peaks at the first stitches…

The statement about the work is as follows:

A perspective:

“The International Panel on Climate Change has said that by midcentury, the world may reach a threshold of global warming beyond which current agricultural practices will no longer support large human civilizations.”  According to Amanda Little author of The Fate Of Food: What We’ll Eat In A Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World, there is a third way of growing that combines the techno optimist (reinventors) and back to the land (deinventors), which combines the best of both groups.  I think Kernsa is one of those ways.  The biomimicry characteristics (deeply rooted like prairie) combined with the long term study and testing, that only those embedded in science and invention have dedicated, may be one of the answers to feeding in a bigger, hotter, smarter world. 

A description of Mending Lives Mending Soil: 

In late summer, as performance, I have been stitching the ground around a variety of outdoor sites, whereby I have invited people to mend.  The large stitches became a visual cue for the casual passersby to wander in a little closer to engage.  Those in the know, or invited prior to the outdoor performances, arrived ready with a variety of textiles to mend on site.  Supplies were varied and practical.  Real mending occurred from a torn purse, to patches on overalls, to adjustments on a waistline, to mending a coat of deep sentiment, to supplement the cuffs, collar, and elbow.  The writ large stitching on the ground, with biodegradable survey tape, was born out of a proposal from several years ago for a waterway in the Reedsburg area.  That project was not mean to be but morphed into a more visual statement for the Before and After – Mending a life after a pandemic or some other catastrophic event in your life, my current series. The tape, torn in 7-10” pieces, poked into the earth on both ends, serve as a visible stitch.  The three-foot brass needle serves as a visual metaphor, though clearly nonfunctional, for this application.   As we look for new ways to solve current problems, potentially mashing up wisdom of the ages along with current science and technology, as a potential source for ameliorating the follow out from a pandemic, more sustainable methods of feeding people that may be healthier for all and less precious for the privileged, all while being better stewards of our precious soil.  Let’s consider the metaphor of stitching, as I have in this performance, as a way towards healing the wounds of soil, mending our lives and our communities, ridding ourselves of artificial divides, and so much more.   

If you have read this far, thank you for your kind attention. Would love to see you at Witwen this weekend!

Greetings. It has been awhile. As we all wake up from a 16 month fog, as we witness whole countries and some US states, as we continue to struggle with the pandemic and its variants, as we negotiate with loved ones going forward – the who and how to hug, I would like to introduce a new work in the making. A bit of background before that, though. Stick with me.

When this whole thing hit the globe in December/January of 2019/2020, it felt to me like one slow moving shelf cloud, inexorably heading every which way. My first experience with a shelf cloud was camping. Waking up early as one does, seeing the cloud from afar, thinking it will just pass over. On the contrary, the shelf cloud rolled over tents, threw belongings all over the place, and kept up a heavy, piercing rain for quite some time. Stretch that metaphor to what has gone on with Covid 19, and I had the queezy feeling that this shelf cloud was going to be persistent, insidious, and damaging for any one human, community, or nation, in its wake.

The first many months, I couldn’t work in my studio. I consulted from home, as a non-essential employee, to my long term care communities, overlooking my back yard or my front window, depending upon mood and inertia.

I made masks. Lots of them. One for me. Several hundred for distribution to those most in need. Then, I made them for friends and family. My dining room was my stitching place. Windows on two sides made it inviting for long late winter and early spring days, that inexorably moved towards summer. I sewed until I couldn’t. Made some custom masks. I wore them diligently, cuz science. Mostly stayed to myself unless I took walks with dear ones, sat around an occasional fire, or helped with home, garden, and studio projects.

Spring 2020 I put some work out and invited others for Art in Place. Then, a year ago on July Fourth, friends came from Wisconsin for a small outdoor gathering and I made the decision to wrap up the sewing frenzy, complete work for a collaboration due, and figure out what was next.

This is when Before and After was born, articulated in the fall, manifested over winter and spring in words, proposals, and object making, and now introduced to you this Summer. Art teaches patience.

The elevator speech for Before and After – Mending a life after a pandemic or some other catastrophic event in your life

“Following CDC guidelines, we invite you to bring in a clothing item (or two) or household textile that is need of mending.  From holes in socks to button replacement, torn seams to hems (no zippers please!), we will mend together, as a metaphor for the collective process of mending our lives and communities.  We understand that we are still in the process of experiencing a global pandemic, and our interdependence is more prescient than ever. Catherine has invited you in to sit down, consider learning or sharing a skill, reduce waste, and be with fellow humans, as we mend our individual and collective lives.

All anticipated supplies provided including thread, needles, buttons, elastic, sewing machine, iron, mending eggs, etc. provided by the artist.”

Porcelain needles, with Mending a Life imprints, getting fired to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit in the test kiln at Lillstreet Art Center.

Watch for an edition of 10 Before and After Mending Boxes. A mash up of art and function, I have been having some fun putting these works together. Nearly complete and and available, soon! (Mending a Life needles had their debut with a support group centered on trauma, loss, and gunshots. I am humbled beyond words to have them included with the shared healing kits). Also, watch here for further events as the days roll into months, and as the months roll in to next year, and as we learn to move through and potentially heal from the this thing called Covid 19, and the trauma soaked and windblown communities it has left in its wake.

Schedule thus far:


Plant Chicago Friday July 16 and 17 1-4pm Reservations must be made here.

Chicago Park Districts Saturdays, August 14, 21, and 28th 2-4 p and River Park September 4 Link here to event

*Open to the public with no reservations necessary. Several other performance pieces running concurrently, all three in August are sponsored with the generous support of Out of Site.

Locally Sown – a two person show with Pate Conaway at Clay Space September 3 opening. LIsle, IL.

Oliva Gallery Sunday Aug 22 and November 14 1-4.

Through the planning, I have realized I had been conducting mending groups since the 1980’s in the long term care communities I have worked. Now, I am calling them art. According to dear friend, curator, and artist Jeff Stevenson, when talking about this work, “They were art all along.”

Reach out or comment if you have any questions. Please message me if you want a Before and After – Mending a life experience in your town, with your organization, even in your own home with fellow humans you have invited. Let’s have a conversation. No group too small. No group too inexperienced. Consider a mending group near you!

A perfect day to share an image of my work, a winter iteration of TRUTH in the Driftless Region (2012/2013). I made the work for the first Art DTour in 2012, and the Wormfarm Institute. It was autumn and the landscape wonderfully distracting. I was at the end of my 27 year marriage, seeking truth, and the open sky and roving hills of the Driftless Region were the balm I deeply needed. The Art DTour, founded by Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas (both wonderful supporters of my work), the Amish youth rolling down a hill in roller blades, harvest all around, the promise of a new art and agricultural collaboration that continues to build community with intentional urban and rural flow, promotes mutual understanding to this day. Until this was included in the Wormfarm’s newsletter last week, I was unaware of this winter view and documentation of the work.

TRUTH in the Driftless Region Luttropp Farm Photo: Mimi Wiest

A part of Wormfarm’s January newsletter:

What a start to the new year.

The U.S. House of Representatives has now twice-impeached the sitting president. However you feel about it, it’s hard to deny the ground is being turned over. Whether that’s a good or bad thing in your mind, it’s definitely a shock to the system.  With all that’s being uncovered, as the consequences of our polarized politics are on full display, we’re thinking of Cathi Schwalbe’s work from the very first DTour. The word truthwas mowed into a green field at Luttropp Farm—beautiful, mysterious and subtle in the fall. But after the DTour, when the winter’s first snow filled the indentation, the word shone clear and stark in the dormant earth.

Truth can be like that: it can take time to see it.”

I share this post from a friend on FB, regarding the truths of our nation, written by Dr. Susan Rogers:

“After reconstruction ended, the Union troops left the south, leaving newly freed slaves unprotected. So the south replaced slave labor with convict leasing, share cropping and Jim Crow laws all supported and enforced through the efforts of the police and government and the enabling of the KKK. Most of the monuments, statues and public buildings named after Confederate leaders were built after Reconstruction ended and were built in the North and South. There were pardons issued by Andrew Johnson for these confederate leaders. Segregation was legally enforced, even in the North, access to government loans were restricted to whites, etc….. So did the south really lose the civil war? Doesn’t seem like they did. There was no punishment, no disenfranchisement, no exclusion. But there was clearly celebration and adoration of confederate leaders and their followers that was embraced throughout the country. This is why it is so necessary that Trump and his enablers, supporters and followers be condemned, punished and called out for what they are. This country has never acknowledged the continued impact of the white supremacist legacy that began even before slavery and continues still. By allowing the perpetrators of the recent Capitol riots to go unpunished we cannot even begin to heal and grow. Trump must be impeached. This is not about democracy. This is about an opportunity to help to begin to achieve the equality that our Constitution talked about but did not really mean. We cannot let this opportunity pass. It will not divide the country, it will be an attempt to make it unified. We have to address the racial divide that exists by punishing those who continue to worsen it. It will not go away with time, it will only worsen.”

We must Help Each Other

Pictured: JB Daniel’s Help Each Other Project Photo: JB Daniel – north location

We are in the Winter of Lives.

Some of us must figure out what kind of nation we want, going forward. On this day of celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King and the National Day of Service, this republic, formed with democratic ideals, has got to figure out what spring will look like. The national dark cloud of lies, the egregious assault we have witnessed, the ineffective and deadly federal response to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the widespread and insidious need to uproot to get at the truths of our nation’s history and become a less racist nation (too many links to mention but my church, for whom I co-chair the anti racist committee for transformation’s page is a great place to start), call each and every one of us to connect, to serve, to stay alert, to take care of each other, to vote for the least of us, and simply to believe our eyes.

Truth has lain dormant for too long.

Let us give Thanks

I received a text message the other day, with one of my dinner plates attached, asking about food safety.

Pictured: Corn Fossil plate with shino glaze, iron oxides and a lovely amount of carbon trapping. Also, for inquiries, don’t hesitate to send a message me for details.

I assured the person that the glaze, a lovely Shino, was indeed food safe, dishwasher safe, and microwave save (if they took the spinning thing out! Rotating square plates don’t get very far.) The text messages went back and forth a couple of times, to the point where I introduced myself and asked for the texters name. Karen introduced herself, then shared she had bought some of my plates at the pop up shop, that I helped manage, for the Art DTour/Fermentation Fest. In these Covid days, it was a perfect social distancing event along the rolling hills of the Driftless Region. Incredible works, commissioned for certain spaces to give wonder, joy, and beauty in the landscape, at an incredibly difficult period in our world’s health, our nation’s health and response, and as individuals within our communities.

Back to Karen. What a delight! She sent me pictures of how she displayed my plates among other handmade functional works and stacks of commercially made pieces. All are poetically displayed on a variety of shelves from reclaimed lumber and shelving made by her husband (see below!). This is all so fitting as I always use the reclaimed clay from Lillstreet Art Center, when making the stoneware dinner plates. The “reclaim,” used by many in the art center, including cut offs from throwing on the wheel, abandoned works, clay too hard to use and broken up, and then mixed with powdered clay, water, then pugged, weighed, and bagged to be made available to the maker as “reclaim.”

Our texts flew back and forth, sharing images of our homes, with a shared appreciation for the handmade, the discovered, and the gratitude for the makers in our lives. I came to handmade pots through the discovery of clay as a medium, while making handmade tiles for my home (because I saw how much handmade tiles cost to buy!) I thought, “I can make those!” So I did, at Lillstreet Art Center. Then, creating sculptural works among the potters, my, ahem, appetite grew for handmade pots, including some of my own. The common and constant thread of agrarian themed works throughout my art practice, led seamlessly to plates and bowls and shared meals and art happenings centered on food and so much more (including run on sentences!).

Wonderful images from Karen! My plates among other handmade plates, salt glazed, wheel thrown, and even my postcard of installation/temporary works. What a fun grouping.

For all this and more, I give thanks this Thanksgiving and harvest season. What am I doing this year? Planting trees that will bear fruit for years to come. Planting a garden that will help pollinators (including the leaving the leaves until late spring clean up). Celebrating with my nephew and brother in law, in my back yard (with a purchased food warmer), a relatively full menu for Thanksgiving, and punctuated with chestnuts on an open fire.

We gotta find some joy and poetry in this world at this time. I remember many shared Thanskgivings at this, most challenging time. I took none of it for granted.

Thanksgiving at SchwalbeHaus 2018

Thank you, Karen, for the reminder and the appreciation for my works. You inspired me to pause, give thanks, and share gratitude.

A grouping of my plates and other potters, at my AFS family’s home in Maine. It is so fun to think of people dining on my plates from coast to coast.

(Riffing from a Buddhist prayer for loving kindness) May the world be safe. May the nation be safe. May the reader be safe. May the people around me be safe. May I be safe. May we all figure out what kind of life is worth living, stay physically distant and stay social, and consider the safety and well-being of and for each other, as we move into a difficult winter and a spring awakening.

I cannot help but be hopeful while we are in the thick of it, especially after hearing of positive trials and plans for distributing a vaccine, and knowing that following the Bubonic plague came The Renaissance.

*I am always interested in your comments and observations. Thanks for reading.

(Mostly) unprecedented times leads to unprecedented actions. No different with the need and want to create. In the spirit of Fluxus, reflection and adaptation, response to and creation of absurdity and wonder, a few dozen international creatives met on Jitsi to share a score under five minutes. Most were live. Some were created and recorded for the event.

A big thanks to Bibiana Padilla Maltos for herding this delightful, poignant, and thoughtful group of humans.

Link to Day One of Hotel Dada Fluxfest is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bElgxMQk1Is

Link to Day Two of Hotel Dada Fluxfest is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dugyfJRpy6M&fbclid=IwAR3jOTWKk96P9we4UCRTuIXHjWqLmQn9wH45Acfx67aozhIuFZqfdMAoPGU

Links to my score: Before After

Still from Before After

On Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user8773033

On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrkTnQf-Ofo&t=33s

About Before After: I have been working on this small version of a future larger piece. Consider this a maquette of sorts. Applique is hard and it was the perfect thing to do in my cool, basement studio, over some pretty hot summer, Chicago days.

I have been thinking of the pandemic and other life events.

How we might phrase them… before and after something.

How we mend a life

How there are no clear delineations

How the in between is the growth

I think of this from farmer, writer, and provocateur Wendell Berry


“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

Thanks, as always for your interest. Here is your to do list:

*Please watch the 4.5 minute score, Before After. I would love to know your impressions.

*Do a Fluxus score today. Creativity really is for everyone. Hashtag casbah3d on your favorite platform (IG, FB, Twitter or other!) and I will check it out!

*Enjoy a collage of images (below) while in the making, filming, and sharing over Fluxfest, below.

Time for my annual Declaration of Interdependence.

That whole independence thing is an illusion.

These days of a pandemic, with no end in sight;

These days of reckoning of our nation’s past;

These days of mask wearing – or not;

These days of marching;

These days of the much necessary toppling of renditions of fellow humans that should never have never held that space from the get go;

For some during this time, relearning to use your very own hands to fix something, make something, and create something;

Declare our Interdependence.

We gotta understand there isn’t one person on earth who is independent.

We all count on people to pave roads,

make sure the traffic lights are working,

grow our food,

transport our food,

take care of our elders,

make our frickin’ toilet paper,

stock those shelves,

drive that bus,

newspapers and electronic content to keep you informed of current events,

all should really help us understand there really isn’t one independent person on this earth.

We gotta put those guns down in our gated communities, make a sign, and get marching.

We gotta explore our fears and our unwillingness walk in another’s shoes.

We gotta vote cuz what is happening right now is clearly not working.

I think of this Sara Rahbar’s work (below) . I admire her courage. Working and reworking the symbol of our nation, hoping against all odds, that we live up to our documents and ideals.

Declare our Interdependence.

Thank a critical worker.

Wear that mask and deal with the summer sweat. It is the least any thinking human being can do.

Consider Reparations. It is the least this nation can do.Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 10.26.45 AM

Pictured: Sara Rahbar Flag #2 You Broke me in, de-thorned


Wanted to share this lovely piece on the importance of play, memory, and creativity. As an artist and recreation therapist, I know play is one of the highest of the arts. Thank you Adam Zucker! (great links at the end fo the article, too.)

Artfully Learning

mom-and-I-color-correct Christina Freeman, digital film still from this is not a home movie, 2009-2020, film stills and audio. Courtesy of the artist.

“Do we possess an “inner child,” our supposed original or true self? Are we the same person we were as a child? Do we carry our child selves around with us, or is childhood left at the door upon entering the adult world? The work in this show contemplates aspects of youth, transformation and regression, exploring themes of the childish and childlike.”

Those are the essential questions that artist/curators Jenn Dierdorf and Robert Goldkind and a group of 11 additional artists would like us to consider as we experience the multidisciplinary works of art in the exhibition Regress at ABC No Rio’s Bullet Space/292 Gallery.

Growing up is a desirable trait, because it grants us a particular sense of autonomy, which we didn’t have while we were…

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Hello to you, from this all too infrequent blog post.

I wanted to share some upcoming works that will be shown this weekend and share a bit more detail about one in particular.  Women’s Rights are Human Rights will be shown during SOFA Expo this weekend.  Also, TRUTH at Walnut Creek Farms will be shown as part of a show titled Truth as a Contested Concept, at Women Made Gallery.

I am thrilled to share the piece, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, shown in the Inspired Interiors Booth 41 at SOFA Expo 2019!  See the Facebook post here.  Like most things, Facebook is woefully inadequate to fully express the nuance of things or thoughts or ideas, when one wants to go deeply in to a topic.

The designers at Inspired Interiors invited artists to propose works for their SOFA booth, very intentionally focused on significant, historical events, related to women’s rights and women’s history. The accepted proposals were gently steered towards these important events that include reproductive rights, hiring practices based on gender, women’s suffrage, and more.  I am a firm believer in understanding from whence we came in order to understand where we must go.

Here is the more detailed information and further links that hopefully may peak your curiosity about the inspiration for my art work, how far we have come and how far we need to go.

Above is the amazing superhero, Mechelle Vinson, who took her sexual harassment case all the way to the Supreme Court… and won!  The Wiki link goes in to some detail along with this recent Washington Post article.  Long before #MeToo by another superhero, Tarana Burke, there was Ms Vinson paving the way.

A SCOTUS document here from the Washington and Lee University School of Law . helped guide my thoughts while viewing the annotations, double, triple, and quadrubled, underlined sentences by the various Supreme Court justices.  You will find strips of a color print of that document, rolled up in many of the pockets of the skirt.

Oral arguments of the case here, including the only female on the Court at the time, Sandra Day O’Connor.

Lastly, an image detail of the skirt that I will be wearing tomorrow night and through the weekend at SOFA Expo 2019 at Navy Pier, titled:  Women’s Rights are Human Rights, silk organza excerpts from the SCOTUS document in each pocket along with repeated images of Mechelle Vinson.  100 pockets to symbolize the 2020 anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.  45 pockets are black and brown to symbolize the 45 year gap for black and brown people to wait to vote, as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed 45 years later.


(detail in progress) Women’s Rights are Equal Rights

I will be at Opening Night at SOFA Expo from 5p through the evening, wearing the work.  I will also be there wearing the skirt, on Friday Nov 1, 4-6.  Saturday Nov 2, 2-4.  Sunday Nov 3, 2-4.  It would be great to see you!

Lastly, TRUTH at Walnut Creek Farms will be experiencing a reprise.  I am excited to be in this show, opening Friday night.  I have admired the curator, Indira Freitas Johnson’s  work for such a long time, so I consider this a triple thrill to be included in the exhibition.  Opens November 1 6-8p and up until Nov 23.  I will be at the opening, cuz I am still in need of some TRUTH!

I will forever be grateful to Ned and Lyrah Bushnell, for they offered up their farm for the installation back in 2011.  Please refer to past blogposts for more information about the making and documenting TRUTH at Walnut Creek Farms, The Fields Project, and more.  Photo:  Peter J Schulz Photography



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