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Archive for the ‘water’ Category

This image of The Great Lakes from Mars in January of 2014.

This image of The Great Lakes from Mars in January of 2014.  Yahoo News

Greetings.  Please, get a sweater.  Our winter isn’t over yet.

I wanted to share images, thoughts, and even some video, from my 2014 Winter odyssey towards Buffalo, NY and the environments of the Great Lakes.  I was going to represent my work and the infancy of the Sewing Forgiveness piece, that was to be shown at the U of Buffalo Art Galleries, in the show titled Yoko Ono Fan Club, juried by friend and then curator, Julie Rozman.  Most fellow northerners I know were escaping the record temperatures and ice and headed somewhere south.  Of course, often feeling like I am swimming upstream, why would being in the coldest winter on record, send me to warmer climates too?  I rented a car (Hey!  It had a heated steering wheel!) and headed to Buffalo.  I made plans and reservations for Buffalo a couple of days.  Then, a Fluxus friend and his wife offered their home in Toronto, since I wouldn’t be far.  I committed to little, other than penciling off nearly a week away, and being with myself for most of it.

Driving long distances in February may not have been very smart in hindsight, but I made it there with little sliding around, one speeding ticket (Indiana) and a reason that revealed itself mid route.  I was driving, incapable of syncing my cell with the rental car’s system, trying to connect with dear humans while enroute (with no success) wind blowing, bitter cold all around.  Eyes watering up for the feelings I was having about my own judgement.  Wondering about the sanity of this trip and my ability to make other healthy choices in my life.  You know, that crazy making place we go sometimes when we want to beat ourselves up with the hammer of self doubt.

Then it hit me.

I would/could/should be near 4 of the 5 Great Lakes on this trip.  I followed so much of the weather patterns last year, its effect on the region, the water, our lives.  It was my way of embracing what was squarely in front me.  I came across the Yahoo image (above) from Mars, of the Great Lakes, sometime in early January of 2014.  I immediately thought “I need to render that feeling in porcelain.”  This road trip was weeks later.  I knew that I must supplement the piece,  presently only existing in my head, with melted snow and ice… from each Great Lake.   Of course!

Now the trip made sense.  Purpose, along with folly, mixed in with some risk and discomfort, and add good humans.  Now this is a road trip I could sink my cross country skis into!  I began mapping in my head, and later that evening in Buffalo at the Holiday Inn, and felt at peace with the New York state winds, snow, and the sense of possibilities ahead.

Another inspiring image of one of my favorite lakes.

I knew paddleboarding at Montrose was a far of dream.

I knew paddleboarding at Montrose was a far off dream.

20% of the world’s fresh waters comes from these beauties.  I can’t help but be in awe of them.

Here is a map along with some stats from a year ago, further affirming the uniqueness of our experience last Winter, and what has now proved, to be another, albeit waning, very cold, winter.  Note:  this is from 2014

Great Lakes Frozen 2014

and this comparison of 2014 and 2015 with more information here.

2014 and 2015 comparison with more info on the link below.

2014 and 2015 comparison with more info on the link above.

I think of my father this morning.  Today would have been his 81st birthday.    He is with me every day but especially when I see a swallow in flight.  Happy Birthday Dad.  I still miss you.

Watch for more on the final work, Polar Vortex.  Thanks so much for reading.

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Yes, it has been awhile.  A blog entry just for you this day.  I write from my back porch.  The summer breeze… perfect.  The cats are laying long and contentedly.  As my world calms down I make time for you, the reader;  the appreciator; the curious;  even the bored.

I commit to post upcoming and existing shows;  details of processes, inspiration, amazing makers that I know, and category-less topics because it feels right again.

For today:

A current work on exhibit through December 18th at Governor’s State University – University Galleries.

Please, make some time to go see it and other works by the community that is Lillstreet Art Center and LillstreetStudios.  With many thanks to Jeff Stevenson, Curator, for including me in the exhibit.

Porcelain, iron oxides, asemic writing, lidded jars with melted snow and ice from the 5 Great Lakes from the Winter of 2014

Polar Vortex:  Version 2   2014

Porcelain, iron oxides, asemic writing, facts/statistics about the Polar Vortex of 2014, melted snow and ice from each of the Great Lakes, collected by the artist (and one from a friend of a friend of a friend!  Posts to come) during the Winter of 2014.

Watch for my next post about my Social Practice work titled Sewing Forgiveness that will be conducted from many points throughout the City of Chicago.

With waves of thanks for reading today and for your interest in my art practice.  Cathi

 

 

 

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I want to share so much today that I am not sure where to begin.

cups for Potable – Rock Springs

As the gesture Potable – Rock Springs, WI unfolds I wanted to firstly share the invitation to join me somewhere in Rock Springs or Reedsburg.

Here was the invitation I compiled for the opening of Watermark at Woolen Mill Gallery in Reedsburg, WI.

The cups are on exhibit with some wonderful artists that have made a career of making works related to our world’s water.  A link here to my Facebook images will give you a feel for the works at Watermark along with the opening reception.  The show was wonderfully received with Michael Frels and Hyeon Jung Kim present to celebrate our works and the works of the other artists unable to attend.

I dutifully laminated an invitation, just like the Potable – Pryor Avenue Iron Well in Milwaukee, and placed it near the (public access) well in Rock Springs prior to the reception.  I went to the well with Michael and Hyeon to collect water for the reception too.

Here we are at the well last month…

Hyeon, me, and Michael

at the Rock Springs Well

Husband Paul and I visited the well (me for the first time) last summer per the request of Jay Salinas of Wormfarm.  The well has a history with Paul as he took an across the state bike tour with some good friends in high school back in the 70’s.  They were riding to LaCrosse, WI and came upon the well and drank voraciously. It continues to be a fond memory of his.

Also, here is the well filmed and described on the FindASpring site.

So, on to the present day situation.  I received this email the day after the reception:

************

Ms. Schwalbe-Bouzide,

Your sign was brought to my attention today.  Even though the free flowing spring water is available to the public this location is on private land. Because this is private land you are not authorized to sell or give away any merchandise.

Diane Stoeckmann Chalmers
Rock Springs Artesian Water Corp.
PO Box 181
Rock Springs, WI  53961

***************

And then moving backwards in time from August 5th…

***************

Ms. Bouzide, Ms. Neuwirth and Mr. Salinas,

Thank you for your letters.  As indicated in my daughter’s original email this is my private property and the only activity I have authorized to the public is the collection of water. Consequently, I will not authorize any other type of activities including those discussed in your letter. I ask that you respect my decision.

Sincerely,

William D. Stoeckmann

***********************

From: wormfarm <wormfarm@jvlnet.com>
To: Catherine Bouzide <casbah3d@gmail.com>; Diane Stoeckmann Chalmers <dmschalmers@yahoo.com>
Sent: Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:34 PM
Subject: Re: Terra Cotta Cups

Ms Stoeckmann Chalmers,

We are writing on behalf of Cathy Schwalbe-Bouzide and her proposed Potable Gesture intended to be realized August 13 at the Rock Springs well head. Her intention is to simply fill plain yet beautiful hand-made ceramic cups from the free flowing well and offer them to passers by. She will neither sell nor distribute any merchandise or literature and may engage in pleasant conversation with anyone who stops.

Cathy is a talented and thoughtful artist who has worked with the Wormfarm for 3 years now. Her work both as an artist and curator addresses a range of issues, pertinent to agriculture and rural life in ways that are thoughtful, express respect and curiosity and that have been profoundly moving.

In 2010, she curated “Women and Grains” at the Woolen Mill Gallery in which artists from across the country converged on Reedsburg to create and exhibition that reached beyond the walls of the gallery and had lasting beneficial impact on this community. The Potable Gesture has the potential to do this once again. If there is anything we can do to help facilitate this by speaking to the regulating authorities and securing all necessary permissions and assurances please let us know and we will comply.

Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas
Co-Founders
Wormfarm Institute
culture/ agriculture
608 524-8672
wormfarm@jvlnet.com
http://www.wormfarminstitute.org

***********************
—– Original Message —–
From: Catherine Bouzide
To: Diane Stoeckmann Chalmers
Cc: wormfarm
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2011 11:21
Subject: Re: Terra Cotta Cups

Dear Ms. Stoeckmann Chalmers,
Thanks so much for your communication regarding the Potable Gesture scheduled for August 13 in conjunction with Watermark at Woolen Mill Gallery.

Please accept my sincere apology for not having contacted you prior to posting my invitation.   It is my hope that I will gain your permission, or permission from whomever necessary, to celebrate this wonderful artesian well.  Please know that I was made aware of the Rock Springs Well last year during an art exhibit here in Reedsburg through the Wormfarm Institute, Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas.  Looking the well up on line via Find a Spring,   I was unaware of any permission that might be necessary.

I am an artist who has donated her time, resources, and creativity towards contemplative events, such as Potable, that call attention to agriculture and water use.

You may look at my blog entry here from a similar gesture in Milwaukee, WI in September 2010:
https://casbah3d.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/potable-realized/

Again, it is my hope to gain your permission to complete my art piece Potable – Rock Springs with your generous permission.

Thanks so much for your contact.  I look forward to hearing from you.
Cathi

c.a. schwalbe-bouzide
casbah3d@gmail.com

http://www.casbah3d.com
https://casbah3d.wordpress.com/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/casbah3d/
http://www.lillstreetstudios.com

************************

Well (no pun intended), that is where it all stands today.  I am not sure where the gesture will take place.  On the public access road near the well, back at the gallery with pitchers of Rock Spring Well water back at the Woolen Mill Gallery, or an as yet undisclosed place in between.  I know that if you are still reading this you wish this project well in every sense.  If giving away handmade cups is a radical idea and gesture then please count me in.  Please look forward to more images as the weekend unfolds.

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Non Potable spigot Paulina Station CTA

I wanted to share some sentiments from an unprepared but inspired participant in the Potable gesture in September.  He captures much of what I was trying to communicate and so much more.

Michael Blahy writes:

“Hi Catherine,
You might not remember me from September 28th, but I was the person who came to the Pryor Avenue Iron Well with the big five gallon bottle (and was too camera shy to get photographed!). I am a graduate student at UW-Milwaukee and am currently working on my Master’s thesis. I have been mulling over my essay for some time now, when I realized last night that there’s something particularly significant happening at the well that your Potable Realized project helped me realize (I am so thankful that you extended your experience and thoughts from the well to your blog). The iron well is just as much of a neighborhood gathering place as any of the corner bars in Bayview. For people like me it has become a quotidian experience to fill up and quickly chat with anyone else visiting the watering hole. It is so casually nestled in our neighborhood that it is easy to forget its long history and, more importantly, the connection it provides city residents with local geography and natural resources.
My concerns about the iron well arise out of a narrative I constructed about another vernacular landscape in the area–that of Hubbard Park in Shorewood. I trace its history back to the 1800s when the land hosted a mineral spring resort. Over time the landscape morphed from a rustic park in the country to an amusement park, a train depot, and, finally, what it is now, a residential/park hybrid. However, with the site’s evolution, each layer of history has been slowly erased. The landscape’s rich history is only acknowledged by a few plaques–kind of a let down considering the significance of the geography of the site.
Anyway, it seems to me that the Bayview iron well, in general, and, your artistic project, specifically, have done a better job of inscribing a sense of place that is alive both in its present, day to day form and in its history and geography.
I apologize if I rambled on for too long here, but, if you’re at all interested in discussing your experiences further, I would love to talk more.
And thank you for the wonderful drinking cup! We are enjoying it very much here at home!
Michael”

Michael and I spent some time on the phone with his prepared questions relating to my project and his thesis “In Small Urban Places.”  From his viewpoint I learned and I will be forever grateful.  An artist and one who responds is a true gift.  There are so many of us that make work day after day, year after year and wonder about making an impact.  I am honored by Michael’s thoughtful sentiments and how they might relate to his own discoveries about community.

From Michael’s thesis draft:

“It is so casually nestled in our neighborhood that it is easy to forget its long history and, more importantly, the connection it provides city residents with local geography and natural resources.  Artistic endeavors such as “Potable” literally help one to realize the significance of the place.  It seems to me that the Bayview Iron well, in general and, Schwalbe-Bouzide’s project, specifically, have dona a better job of inscribing a sense of past that is alive both in its present, day to day form and in its history and geography.”

I have been researching other possible site for Potable events in the future.  You might enjoy following this blog:

Find a Spring.  Michael and I both have!

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This entry is dedicated to the family of Ayrie Mekai Jones Murphy.  A dear little four year old that put up an amazing fight in this world.  Love pours from many to your family like water should for all.

Potable Realized

I visited the site on Monday September 28th and put up two laminated posters about Potable.  When my mother and I arrived at 3:00p on Tuesday two people were waiting for us along with my sister in law Laurie Schwalbe, my niece Sheri Paape and her daughter Addison.

The couple waiting for us said “We want to know what this is about!”  The man said he just wanted a cup but the the woman he was with started in with many questions.  “Where are you from?”  “Why are you doing this?”  “What do you want with this neighborhood?  Is Channel Four coming?”  Before I could answer, properly set up, and get my bearings, she had another question.  Whew!  It really got better from then on.  After the discussion felt a little less heated, and my wonderful and calm mother shared supportive words about the project, I excused myself to unload the 100 cups, table, table cloth, basket of lovely MacIntosh Apples from Witte’s Farm stand (a destination whenever I go home during the growing season) and more with my niece.

It was a beautiful fall day in Wisconsin with the colors just turning, the sun shining, with the air still.  BayView WI, is the near southern neighborhood of Milwaukee.  It is home to a vibrant residential, retail, a stunning temporary public art project, and restaurant community.  It is also home to the last public water well pictured here:


Pryor Avenue Iron Well

I became aware of the well prior to my residency with Colorado Art Ranch via Milwaukee’s venerable paper the Shepherd Express. Their article by Sarah Biondich spawned a curiosity and level of interest I couldn’t shake through the rest of Spring, during the residency, and thereafter into Summer.  Then I heard from Wendy Pabich, PhD and Water Deva.  I met Wendy during the Colorado Art Ranch experience.  She is a well respected hydrologist and artist and is sought after to speak and assist with water solutions around the world.  She said she would be speaking in Milwaukee at the Tapping in to Solutions in September and wondered if we could get together…. then the piece that I had turning in my head had to be realized… during the conference!

Fast forward to Tuesday September 28, after the completion of 100 + terra cotta cups, a bit of glaze testing, (thanks Jiyeon Yim – my personal glaze consultant!), two Cone 04 firings , a special event permit with the city of Milwaukee, coordination with four generations of women, and voila, an art gesture.  Here is the flyer for the event:

Potable Invite/Flyer

Several people came by because they had seen the laminated flyer I posted on Monday on site.  Several others had stopped by because they saw something was happening that was out of the ordinary.  Most, however, came to the well because they always do, with their variety of containers, glass and plastic, recycled and reused, to fill their vessels at the well that they don’t take for granted.

Pictures of family, a dear  friend, and people who have come to fill containers from the well water are pictured below:

Two cars unloading containers to fill up with well water on the day prior to Potable.

Prepared to fill up.

Filling up

Eduardo, a “Holistic Healer” demonstrates how he fills his containers.  Eduardo sends people to this well for their water.  He said those that heed his advice have appreciated the water in their path to health.

Set up and ready to go.

Three generations drinking

A wonderful guy and one of the first Potable participants. We shared an extra cup for a nephew who is hospitalized with depression. He said "I will fill it with this water."

Addison loved the colors and the feel of the cups. So sweet.

Dear friend Bonnie Lowell came too = delightful!

Urban dogs benefit too. "Denali" is pictured here.

Cup holders getting used!

This gentleman expressed thanks when he received his cup when he came by to fill his refillable container.

A fun group of "walkers" were surprised and thankful for the cups. They walk in the neighborhood about 5 X a week.

Eduardo and I toasting. A dear guy that loved the cups and the sentiment.

A fun family that visits a new neighborhood each time they walk. Very excited about receiving their own cups.

Satellite Crepes - a delightful couple coming by for water. Check them out online!


Martin, the last Potable participant of the day.


End of Day - 50+ cups given away for Potable

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Plenty of art for Everyone!

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Potable

The art gesture called Potable is taking shape.  Family members with whom I have spoke are excited about the project which I am humbled and excited about.

Participants will include my mother, Helen Schwalbe of Cedarburg, WI 79 yrs.  My brother David’s daughter Sheri Paape and her daughter Addison – 1 year old of Port Washington, Wisconsin.  My other brother Vince’s daughter Cristina and her daughter Lillie 2 yrs. old of Milwaukee.  Possibly my sister Jacquie’s daughter Ruby 9 years old of Chicago, IL.

Pryor Avenue Iron Well Bayview, WI

Here are the specifics:

100 Terra Cotta Cups "Potable"

100 Terra Cotta Cups given to the first 100 in attendance – stamped for the project “Potable.”

4 Generations of Women

Tuesday September 28, 2010

at the Pryor Avenue Iron Well   Milwaukee Wisconsin

(S. Superior and E. Pryor or N 41° 58.218 W 87° 39.582)

Some facts about water and why this well? Why now?

Potable

A gesture and celebration of public water in conjunction with
Tapping into Solutions:  The Future of Water Conference  09 . 27-29 . 2010

  • In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use. – water.org
  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. -2006 United Nations Human Development Report.
  • “For 127 years, Bay View neighbors, and the occasional visitor, have gathered together, bottles and jugs in hand, at the Pryor Avenue Iron Well for its continuous flow of fresh groundwater. The public well, located in a residential neighborhood just a block away from the lake, is the only one of its kind left in Milwaukee, a lone sentinel standing on Pryor Avenue between South Superior  Street and South Wentworth Avenue.”  Shepherd Express  04.10.2010
  • Milwaukee – 1993  By the numbers  44,000 doctor visits.  4,400 hospitalized.  725,000 lost workor school days.  $96 million lost wages and medical expenses.  $90 million new water purification system.   “It was a real tragedy for the community, bu even more for the individuals affected by it.”  – John O. Norquist, Milwaukee Mayor

And finally, Paul and I visited the well on Saturday nite for the first time.  Here are our own images and a video.  Delightful.

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