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Archive for the ‘Art Residencies’ Category

Today is day 6 of my time here in Stillman Valley with The Fields Project – Bringing Art and Agriculture together.  It is in fact my 8th year here after much counting and recounting with Anne Leuck Feldhaus.  (She gave me her application in 2004).  Thanks Anne!  I will be forever grateful.

As the previous post stated… My piece is titled TRUTH at Walnut Creek Farms.  I am staying with Ned and Lyrah Bushnell (they met at the first Fields Project 13 years ago!  They shared their medium format cameras with each other – so sweet!)  Ned educated me last year while here about soil, tilth, friability, no till vs. till, and so much more.  His appreciation of the stewardship of soil was palpable and impressive.  As an image you will see later advertises, Walnut Creek Farms won the Governor’s Award for soil conservation.  Needless to say, Ned is  a no till farmer.

Ned took me for a ride into the water ways last year and pointed out some clay veins not too far in to their fields.  I have been thinking of that clay since last June and have wondered about its use, the geological formations that gave it its color, and wondering about its ability to withstand a firing, possibly at a low temperature for sculptural works.  As Summer moved into Winter which moved into Spring it became evident that I wanted to created a time based work, with the local clay, in the script of TRUTH.

With great thanks to the Bushnell’s for their willingness to share their home, Ned’s farm equipment and time, the amazing meals in Lyrah’s “Test Kitchen,” and the best conversations with them both.

Enjoy some of the videos and images since my arrival.  Look forward to a final image when I have one!  Husband Paul is joining me tomorrow to dig the last several buckets of clay and place the clay on the “H.”  We are both looking forward to it.

Walnut Creek Farms, Stillman Valley, IL with guest appearance – Sidney the black lab.

Getting started, wonderful clouds, and the front loader…

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Here I am again… enjoying the wonderful mash up of art and agriculture with Ned and Lyrah Bushnell of Stillman Valley through the amazing organization that is The Fields Project.

TRUTH is my project this year.  Looking for TRUTH.  Finding TRUTH in soil.  Engaging others about their TRUTH.  TRUTH in my own life.  I asked about TRUTH on Facebook a few months ago having the a world I thought I knew turned upside down.

  • Dee BouzideWhen one has one’s hand full of truth it is not always wise to open it. ~French Proverb

    February 27 at 4:08pm · Like
  • Cathi BouzideLove to you Dee.

    February 27 at 4:10pm · Like · 1 person
  • Dee BouzideDitto Cath! ♥

    February 27 at 4:10pm · Like
  • Alexis Ortizit is a constant choice to see the beauty in the world (gift, not burden)

    February 27 at 5:05pm · Like
  • Shellie Schwalbe OlsonCatherine, my sissy, I am sighing right now…

    February 27 at 5:55pm · Like
  • Rosy O’GradyCalvin Klein sells Truth in a bottle. 🙂

    February 27 at 6:01pm · Like
  • Roberta Ulrich-de OliveiraWhat is truth?

    February 27 at 6:07pm · Like
  • Geoffrey BoveSometimes the truth sucks.

    February 27 at 6:12pm · Like
  • Lee Tracyare you looking for truth that comes with proof?

    February 27 at 6:24pm · Like
  • David Todd TrostTruth is overrated, well-formed lies are far more compelling.

    February 27 at 6:56pm · Like
  • David Aprilhere is some “truth in advertising”…http://www.lostateminor.com/2011/01/08/when-candy-wrappers-tell-the-truth/

    February 27 at 7:20pm · Like
  • Michael A. FrelsI tried finding Truth and Happiness on Google, but could not find the correct keywords to get the results I was looking for. I didn’t find it in the news, though I read it over at least five times today. I didn’t find it on facebook. After planting potatoes, spinach, and onions in the garden this afternoon, I took a walk.

    February 27 at 8:59pm · Like · 1 person
  • Rebecca MolinarI can assume you’re talking about Ron “The Truth” Killings, the professional wrestler. Not to worry – he’s currently signed with WWE under the handle “R-Truth,” and appears on “Monday Night RAW”

    February 28 at 9:54am · Like
  • Lee Tracytry Al Jazzera – english.

    February 28 at 1:21pm · Like · 2 people
  • David SchwalbeThe truth is:to thine own self be true…The check is in the mail….trust me…

    February 28 at 1:43pm · Like
  • Shellie Schwalbe OlsonOh Gravy, what’s a sister to do… 🙂

    February 28 at 2:39pm · Like
  • Wm StevensGravy is Truth, and Truth, Gravy. Rich, scalding gravy so thick that when you pick up a piece of meat the plate comes with it.

    February 28 at 5:08pm · Like
  • Sarah McNaughtonHere’s my take: John 14:6

    February 28 at 8:21pm · Like · 1 person
  • Paul BouzideIt’s there love, underneath all the horribleness that sometimes obscures it.

    February 28 at 10:24pm · Like
  • Lee Tracy cathi, here is a song. i was listening to it and thought of you.
    http://blip.fm/~12b9zbnight! xxx click on the youtube vid to see a beautiful scenery.

    February 28 at 11:22pm · Like

What is this thing called TRUTH that we are so confident that we know?  I ask you, dear reader to explore what you know as TRUTH and assume nothing.

Such an array of responses… I will end here and try to post more tonite.

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Hi All.  A year ago I started this blog because of my experience with Colorado Art Ranch(CAR)  and the residency in Salida, CO centered around water.  I became aware of CAR by an invitation to be a guest speaker at an Artposium in the Fall of 2009 in called Dinner Stories.  Grant Pound, the Executive Director found my work on the internet and felt that it melded well with the theme of food, agriculture, and community.  Several conversations later, a lovely Amtrak ride West, and a shuttle with Peggy Lawless, co-founder of CAR and Grant’s wife, and we were in the magical region of agriculture in Colorado.  A whirlwind of conversations, presentations, poetry reading and writing at an organic pear orchard on the banks of the Gunnison River, and so much more, and this artist was hooked on the organization, its members and mission.

Who can argue about the Science and Art melding as a catalyst for change in our world?

You can read more about my water related residency from my initial posts in 2010.  More importantly, I hope you read the interview with Grant Pound that I have included below.  I am thrilled to be a current board member of the Colorado Art Ranch and believe that the arts, along with sciences, can transform people and communities for a better world.  Come along with me and us to Salida, to Delta County, to Carpenter Ranch, Lake City and to other points throughout Colorado.  You may find yourself thinking in a new way too.

An interview with Grant Pound, Executive Director

Habitat, Symbol & Art
May 27-29, 2011, Salida, CO

ARTS +  PEOPLE + PLACE

  • What is the story behind the Artposium? What inspired you to create an event like it?

The Artposium, a word we made up to describe an arts based symposium, is designed to explore and issue or topic from as many different points of view as possible. Through presentations, performance, art, workshops, discussions and food we learn knew ways of looking at the issue. It is the synergy between art and scientific disciplines that provides this new way of thinking. Artposia vary in length from one to three days and are held in different locations throughout Colorado.

At Colorado Art Ranch we feel there is a need for this type of forum that showcases the arts as a catalyst for change and allows for a whole new approach to a subject. We wanted to create an atmosphere similar to TED or the Idea Festival, but with a focus.

  • What is this year’s Artposium about?

Dwellings, Habitat, Symbol & Art is an inquiry into how we live and why we live that way. We are looking at that very human drive to make and own a space for security, comfort, and more. Humans in the most rudimentary spaces such as prison cells, abandoned buildings, storage lockers, will do something to make that space their own. The word “decoration” does not adequately describe this phenomenon. The impulse is not only about aesthetics, but seems to have a deeper connection to who we are.

  • Is there anyone or anything in particular about this year’s event that has you most excited?

We have some wonderful speakers including architect Danny Wicke from the Rural Studio in Alabama. The Rural Studio is part of the Auburn Architecture Program. They take students into surrounding communities and design/build houses for those who could not otherwise afford a home. The architectural ideas and use of local and re-cycle materials make this program particularly unique. The dwellings end up directly reflecting the inhabitants.

The other presenters are equally insightful. Leigh Davis has photographed the environments that people create out of generic spaces. Christina Kreps is an anthropologist and will provide a more global look at how we live. Craig Nielson is a green builder and inventor of the Shelter Cart, a human pulled conveyance that converts to a shelter.

We have also commissioned a poetry performance piece about dwellings from the River City Nomads.

It will be a great weekend.

  • What do you hope the Artposium does for the greater arts scene in Colorado?

Colorado Art Ranch’s middle name is art. However, this may understate what we do. The arts are certainly involved, but we are promoting the arts as a catalyst for change.  We don’t want to scare anyone away by having them think our programs are only about, and for, artists. On a large scale we hope to raise the level of creative capital throughout Colorado. We want to see creative thinking brought into discussions and decisions about human and land issues. We are creating a model for how communities, artists, and scientists can envision solutions in our transdisciplinary collaboration in Lake City, Colorado, this summer. Hardrock Revision is a month long residency in Lake City to create a vision for a closed hard rock mine.

Contact

Grant Pound

Executive Director

Colorado Art Ranch

303.503.1132

grant@coloradoartranch.org

To join the mailing list:

<http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=001fCFdTiS7mDQ6H9iPBpovmg%3D%3D&gt;

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I was in Oregon, IL (actually housed in Stillman Valley, IL) on my 8th residency with The Fields Project.  A community that celebrates their history of Loredo Taft and his artist colony here in the late 1800’s now celebrates its agriculture and culture connection.

I can thank Anne Lueck Feldhaus for lending her application to me 8 yrs ago for my attempt at the visiting artist experience that has influenced my work in so many ways in as many years.

Ned Bushnell and I after the last soil sample collected.

I was housed with Ned and Lyrah Bushnell at a beautiful family farm, Walnut Creek Farms, in Stillman Valley, IL.  Walnut Creek Farms won the Governor’s Conservation Farm Family of the Year Award in 2004.  Ned grows corn and soybeans with the no till method.  This growing method of farming the commodities has been paying off with healthier soil and life in the field including worms.  It was pure pleasure going into his field and talking soils with him.  His enthusiasm for the process of soil conservation that decreases erosion, keeps unused plant matter in the fields replenishing what the growing has taken, disturbs the top soil less, and is forward thinking in terms of soil health as he works the soil and tilth of his father’s land.

The Oregon Tilth Project, a soil and scent process that I have created,  is why I am here.  I am humbled by the local people I have come to know when they ask “WHAT are you doing this year?”  I seem to have created a sense of curiosity and anticipation for how I might spend my time here and mirror the world that is agriculture in Northern Illinois.

A bit of background:  I read about Laura Parker’s work called “Taste of Place.”  The artist collected soil from area farms, put the soil in a wine glass in a gallery setting, released the aroma with water, and the gallery goers ate produce from that farm and made the connection of soil and food through scent and flavor.  Rarely does my inspiration for art come from other artist’s work.  This is an exception.

Stoneware jars in process.

I have been working on stoneware jars for The Oregon Tilth Project since January.  I collected images relating to farming, tilth, dirt, cultivation methods, and other agricultural images.  I made samples, measurements, shot screens, made prints for the transfer onto clay, all in Tom Lucas’ class Printmaking on Clay.  I spoke with someone from Oregon Tilth at the Family Farmed event this early spring for “permission” to use the name.  A play on names that fits in quite nicely with the theme of the project.  My experiences as a visiting artist with the Fields Project have been varied and wonderful.  Each farm family has been patient, informative, and full of due pride in what they do and are thrilled to share information with the curious.  In no other community could I have pulled off such an event if I had not formed relationships with the host farmers over the years in the environs of Ogle County.

My goal was to get as many decorated jars finished as there were host families and invite them in to the Oregon Tilth Project – A Soil and Scent Gathering or “The Soil Smackdown.”

Farm and Soil collecting videos:

Thanks to Paul Bouzide for still shots and fellow Fields Project Artist Sharron Box for the videos from the competition.  I appreciate you both!

Please note:  This project is supported by a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.”

There were 7 host families along with two other participating farms.  Nine farm families in total.  I spent the week as a visiting artist going to each farm, talking with the farmer about soil, process, crops raised, animals kept, and at times their philosophy and sentiments regarding contemporary agriculture practices.  The statements made were as wonderfully varied as the farmers themselves.  I collected a 3/4 gallon soil sample from the spot of the farmer’s choice, with and/or under the supervision of each farmer.  It was a very wet week so all of the soil samples collected were heavy with rain water.  ATV rides, donuts, event mapping, conservation methods, and so much more were discussed.  I labeled each bag, documented them on each farm with the farmer’s name on an index card, and left the bags open so the soil might breath instead of mold.  By Thursday nite I had collected soil from each farm and was prepared to transfer the soil into the corresponding jars with the help of my husband Paul (while I made myself scarce).

Husband Paul making the samples as consistent as possible.

Potluck Saturday, the traditional day of the gathering of host farmers, artists and sometimes spouses, and other interested and connected individuals who make the Fields Project happen, have a tremendous pot luck dinner.  I asked the farmers to arrive a bit early to join me for the Oregon Tilth Project – aka “The Soil Smackdown. ” The event went much better than I ever dreamed!  Several farmers arrived early (shocking I know) and we ended up having 100% participation.

Some side stories as the competition unfolded:

One farmer took a cup of her soil to her grandson’s little league game to study during the hour or two before the Smackdown.

10 Top Reasons to smell the Dirt was shared by host farmer Joan Pfeiffer.  Her neighbor, Beth Hahn, is a comedienne and offered to create a reprise of “10 top reasons….”  Hilarious!  Here they are on video and in writing:

Wrapped Pfeiffer Centennial Bin - a collaboration with Danny Mansmith 2008

#10  Less expensive than drugs

#9  Good way to block out the manure smell in the air.

#8  Eating the dirt didn’t taste very good.

#7  Once you recognize the smell, you can always find your way home when lost.

#6  All the cool kids are doing it.

#5  The nutrients in the soil are just so additcting.

#4  Sniffing soil is easier than sniffing corn stalks wich tend to get lodged in your nose and draws negative attention to yourself.

#3  After you blow your nose, you can make your own booger-dirt mud-pie

#2 The black residue under your nose is slimming and goes with anything you wear.

And the number one reason to sniff dirt….

Because wrapping a bin takes too long!!!!!

9 farmers waiting for the Soil Smackdown to begin

Other stories….

Gary and Judy Bocker perusing the soils.

During the contest, A farming couple absolutely certain that they guessed their soil… in two different jars, and both were wrong!

Each farmer asked to gently place their hand on the jar that they felt was theirs… with some good natured slapping going on as the competition progressed.

Farmers taking long sniffs, nose first, into the jars as pictured.

A farmer’s wife so incredibly excited that she found her soil that she could not contain herself and then promptly called her husband who was working in the hay field, after she was correct in her soil choice.

And the moment you have all been waiting for….

4 of 9 farmer participants could recognize the scent and texture of their soil. The rest were not pleased.

A big thanks to the following participants:

Gary and Judy Bocker, Polo

Ned and Lyrah Bushnell,  Stillman Valley

Larry and Aneda Ebert,  Ashton

We provided oats as an olfactory cleanser between soils.

Sue Jacobson,  Byron

Joanne Juriga,  Mt. Morris

Ron and Karen Larson,  Mt. Morris

Mike and Joan Pfeiffer,  Ashton

Bob and Sherrie Piros,   Chana

The contest continues....

Barb Samsel,  Oregon

Here are some images and short videos from before and during the event.  I also showed the jars at the Fields Project Art Festival the following day with many people appreciating the project and smelling and feeling the soil themselves to compare.

Successful soil smellers are announced. Congratulations to Joan Pfeiffer (far L) and Lyrah Bushnell (far R) 1 of 4 farmers able to recognize their soil.

All participating farms got a mini for participating.

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Take me Back: An Exploration of Water, local Clay, and Time

During the Artposium Wade in the Water, I planted corn in the center of the piece with Corn Sister Carol Ozaki (pictured third from left).  Pictured too are Carol's husband Ron and Ed Berg.

Corn Sweet (se) Luscious Zea mays var rugosa

During the Artposium Wade in the Water, I planted corn in the center of the piece with Corn Sister Carol Ozaki (pictured third from left below).  Pictured too are Carol’s husband Ron-L and Ed Berg-second from R.
We planted Corn Sweet (se) Luscious Zea mays var rugosa.
“Luscious is a bicolor corn that matures in 75 days – an advantage in areas with a shorter growing season.  Flavorful 8″ ears with 16-18 rows of very tender kernels.  Great fresh but can also be canned or frozen.”
Botanical Interests, Inc.  660 Compton St. Broomfield, CO  80020.
Visitors to the piece during the Artposium

Included are images from John and Ann Graham dated May 28, 2010.  I will say little but include those taken in the last 48 hours by my Art Buddies Ed and Paul Berg.  Wade in the Water indeed.

Images from May 28th. No corn sprouts yet.

Wonderful image from John and Ann Graham

Paula and Ed biked over to the piece.

Take Me Back... getting taken back.

The Arkansas and spring snow melt.

Special thanks to Ed and Paul Berg and John and Ann Graham for sending updated images.

We will see about images and status over the next week or so.

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I have been home for a full week.  I am still in awe of the green. My garden is a rain forest compared to the environs of Colorado.  My perennials look gorgeous; the pond plants are robust with our goldfish thrilled that it is soon to be summer;  The Girls (our urban hens) clearly have enjoyed the spring salad that the yard can bring; the Witchhazel looks lovely and our heirloom rose was in full bloom;  It is raining now in fact… all over the laundry I have hanging outside.

My piece went along quite nicely along the banks of the Arkansas River.  I finished in good time to work on some mixed media works  back at the shared space.  I had many visitors on my last day and early evening of work on site.  Sue Keys, local artist visited along with Michelle Gapp, the owner of the property I am working.  What a treat!  I have greatly enjoyed working on my own out there with nothing but birds wondering what I am doing.  I was keenly aware of the rare plane above my head (may two the entire time).  Most heavenly really.  I know that I am noise sensitive but having no planes above my head was a huge bonus.

When I finished, about 6:30p I rec’d a phone call from fellow artists (C.Maxx Stevens and Hyeon Jung Kim) and a local guy, Shannon.  They had visited earlier and I was thirsty, winding down, and out of water.  They said “Wait there!  We have water for you!”  They arrived before sunset and they generously brought an entire Mexican food-t0-go along with beer, and we dined on the banks of the river as the sun went down.  I finally took my work shoes off (no shoveling dirt anymore) and ran my toes in the cool, cool water.  It was a grand way to celebrate the (mostly) completed work.

Here are some images from both visits that day…

More images, thoughts, and links to come.

Sue Keyes and Michelle Gapp visit my site

Hyeon on top of Shannon's truck to get a good vantage. C. Maxx on the ground.

Shannon removed his shoes immediately. Delightful.

Shannon or Hyeon took this image for me from on top of the truck.

Our sunset picnic on the Arkansas in the shadow of Mt. Shavano

Sunset on Take Me Back: An exploration of water, local clay, and time

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I had a day or two of little work outside because of rain, cold, and such.  Call me a wimp.  I did want to share a video taken at my work site.  The first is one of rafters going by in the cold, rain, and such and having a good time while I waited for the rain/wind to stop.   The river was running swiftly but not too deep.  Several rafts went by with school age children and an adult or two.

The second video is of an irrigation system going in a field for what looks like oats.  Out of view were several deer heading to the water for a drink.  The deer are pretty domesticated as they are seen every late afternoon and evening walking the Salida streets, sidewalks and yards of a fairly urban small town.  Below is a still image of the deer behind our workspace on Hwy. 50.

Some of you have already seen a still shot of my studio mate Apache but here he is…. eating again!

Prep work for a piece. Water, tilth, dirt, and clay - My 2010

Darling Mules of Salida at the base of Tenderfoot.

Strange Finned Creature - I love an Art Car!

5 deer visit the back of our studio looking for us.

My First Visitors - Lillie and her horse Ransom

Michael gets to see One Strange Thing for $1 at the Flea Market. My treat.

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