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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.


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:

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Hi All.

I wanted to share with you an upcoming talk at Women Made Gallery in April.  Please consider coming by.  I will be talking of my work.  Things that are inspiring and we will be making seed bombs.  Would love to see your smile out there.

Invitation to upcoming talk at Women Made Gallery in conjunction with their 14th International Open

Please check out the following link for further information regarding Empty Bowls.

EMPTY BOWLS
Friday, March 25, 2011, 5-9pm

4401 N. RAvenswood

Chicago, IL  60640

Information on who has benefited from this amazing and mindful event:

First Slice is a not-for-profit, community-supported kitchen that provides wholesome food for those living in need in Chicago. It is our mission to foster programs that link those living in poverty with those who are more fortunate and to create strong relationships with other community-based organizations. By doing so, we strive to address the immediate needs of hungry Chicagoans, and to develop long-term solutions to solve the problems of poverty and homelessness.

First Slice is excited to have recently partnered with the Night Ministry to open a new winter youth shelter, the Crib, located @ 835 W. Addison. We provide hot breakfast, bagged lunch, and hot dinners Monday through Friday to over 800 youth per week. We will be collecting any donations to the food drive for the Crib throughout the winter. Anyone who donates is eligible to enter our raffle to win a giant lasagna! We are also looking for volunteers to help cook, prep, and serve at the Crib.

On Tuesdays & Thursdays we provide dinner to the Broadway Youth Center @

3179 N. Broadway St.

On Wednesdays, we provide the Welcome Meal at the soup kitchen in the

Epiphany Church @ 2008 W. Bradley.

We have also provide dinner to the Jane Addams Hull House, Thresholds,

Center on Halsted, and the American Indian Center. First Slice provides school lunches to local schools Pilgrim and North Park Elementary.

Our Subscriber Program sustains the majority of our community outreach

and job placement training. We currently have 2 staff members we gained

through the job training program- one in the back of the house and one

in the front of the house.

Subscribers pay to receive the same high-quality, chef-designed meals

that First Slice distributes to people living in need.

Profits made at our pie cafe are donated directly to not-for-profit

organization, making First Slice’s community outreach programs possible.”

Please note:  Pictured are Gary Jackson’s stack of lovely, soda fired works that have become the icon for this 4th, and nearly annual, event.


A detail of a mat

It has been quite a year for many engaged humans in the long term care communities of Chicago thanks to Ruth Wertler, Life Enrichment Coordinator, and her residents of Bethesda Home and Retirement and many others who have been inspired to make.  You can check out another article of many about this special community and others inspired to change the culture of elder communities.

One year ago was the launch of the Chicago area New Life for Old Bags (NLOB).  As of January 4th there were 137 mats completed (with approximately 95,900 grocery type bags rescued from going to landfills) and distributed through area soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

So many gatherings, counted hrs and uncounted hours of purposeful engagement of elders in a long term care community.  Purposeful.  Not a “sense of purpose” but purposeful as Ruth reminded many of us during a presentation of the NLOB project to those of us also working in long term care.

The project is wonderful and mindful on so many levels that it is difficult to share all of the human connections this project embraces.  Corporations, churches, schools, staff, families, restaurant of an art center, and neighbors all have been educated about the project and have assisted in some way and so many ways over the last year.

Some statistics were shared at each table (and during each presentation) that Ruth has conducted:

Statistics of Homelessness in Chicago in 2009/2010

Here is  a quick slide show of some of the images taken today (think this X many hands, many people many locations and you will have a small grasp of this herculean project):

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The benefits to this project are truly endless but as an artist and a recreation therapist I can’t help but share a few:  social engagement, physical benefits, earth benefits, creation of a broad sense of community and our place in it, anticipation and cognitive stimulation, and just plain old FUN!!!  One cannot also help but mention what the excessive use of plastic does for our environment so the benefits for our environment are huge also.

A recent client of Cornerstone Community Outreach was observed with his mat under his arm while waiting in line for healthy food.  This is the quote from the email from the staff member at Cornerstone “Ruth, last Friday when I was serving lunch at Cornerstone, a guy came in line with one of the “bag mats” rolled up under his arm. I asked him about it and he smiled so wide as he said that it was fine and he was glad to have it. It is so humbling to think that this man who has to carry all his belongings with him considers that mat something of such value that he is willing to carry it everywhere he goes. Tell your NLFOB crew that what they do does make a difference. Thank you!”

Ruth honored many participants today at her community and I just had to share some images and videos of the event.  Several people in attendance couldn’t even take a break and kick back, they had to keep their hands busy making more plarn, mats, and friends.  Special thanks for First Slice Pie Cafe for the wonderful treats served for everyone.  A partner in caring for people less fortunate too.

Here are some of those in attendance working…

and

and here the crocheting…

It is an honor to know Ruth Werstler and I look forward to Ruth and many others leading the way to a purposeful life no matter one’s age.

Finally, I get to share more about The Cornettes – Advocates for Urban Agriculture thanks to a Midwestern panic (and now a two foot reality!) about snow.  Here is our back yard and front yard this afternoon.  Bring it on!

WGN Around Town with Ana Belaval and The Cornettes - (L-R) Lin Shook Schalek (founder, choreographer, dancer of Perception Motion, Inc), me, and Stephanie Samuels (artist and proprietor of Angel Food Bakery). Those two dear friends met me at the studio at 6:00 am!

Firstly, I am going to finally give credit to Phyllis Gilmore for naming The Cornettes.  Phyllis is an Activity Director I have been working with for nearly a decade in the recreation therapy/consulting part of my life.  She is a creative at heart and when we were talking about naming “my girls” she exclaimed “How about The Cornettes?!?!?!”  … and so they were named.  Fast forward a few weeks later and there was Phyllis listening/watching Around Town with Ana Belaval of WGN and they announced “Up next, The Cornettes!”  She spun around in her chair to see none other than The Cornettes on am Chicago TV!  Thanks so much Phyllis!

The three Cornette costumes (following Summer Sweet-the first Cornette before The Cornettes were The Cornettes) were commissioned by the Chicago Office of Tourism City of Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs.  (The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs has been an amazing support to many local visual and performing artists.)  Check out their Chicago Artist Resource site.

Several events later including The Great Performers of Illinois at Millenium Park, Herb Nadelhoffer’s 80th birthday, The County Fair at Garfield Park Conservatory, Art meets Ag show at UW Platteville’s Nohr Gallery with this delightful blog post, The Corn Ball (part of the Legacy Project and The Fields Project, in Ogle County, IL, Slow Food Eat In for healthy school lunches in Daley Plaza (somehow Peemoeller must have missed us), Corn Celebrations at Lillstreet Art Center, Hand Harvested at Tojo Gallery, and many Cornette costume wearers that include but are not limited to the following women:

Annie Abdelnour, Jorkill Almanzar, Zoe Anderson, Sarah Aubry, Helene Alter Deich, Jennifer Dotson, Nicole Gotthelf, Vickie Hayes, Nancy Little, Colleen Lovinello, Amber Mathews, Susan Melcher and mother Sue Melcher, Donna Neuwirth, Lindsay Obermeyer, Corinne D. Peterson, Galadriel Rosen, Ariel Rubin, Stephanie Samuels, Lin Shook Schalek, Mary Lou Wehrli, Sojourner Wright, Jiyeon Yim, and Mary Zehnder.  Thanks everyone!  You have worn the costume well.

Commonly asked questions of The Cornettes – Advocates for Urban Agriculture

“Why do only women get to wear the costume?”

Some may know that the kernel is the female part of the plant.  Here is a clear explanation of the botany of the lovely an ancient Zea Mays.  That is why we introduced Paul E. Nator (worn by Bart Conklin, summer intern from UW Platteville in 2010) in 2010.  We will see how the tassel fits in while juggling wooden corn cobs in future appearances.

“What do they do?”

First, they look lovely don’t they?  In this world of “entertain me” though that clearly has not been enough!  They tell corny jokes, corn facts, talk about urban agriculture and growing their own food (especially keeping urban chickens – yes it is legal!), and plenty of photo opportunities.  In 2010 we debuted their song Let us Grow Some Sweetcorn, sung to the tune of Let me Call you Sweetheart along with Paul E. Nator the corn juggler.  The conversations with people from around the world and in Chicago high rises have been wonderful.  See one here.

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“How do you get to be a Cornette?”

Talk to me.  If you enjoy being with people, love to be a ham, and have a passion for growing your own food and educating others about food systems, you are most of the way there!  I am always looking for new talent!  Honestly, some of the events are paid and I share the income and some of the events are “guerilla” ie. unpaid but very necessary to call attention to our food and growing needs and issues thereof.

How could I book The Cornettes for my event?

Write to me via this blog by commenting.  Let’s talk about your needs, your event, and how The Cornettes – Advocates for Urban Agriculture can add some fun while learning about growing one’s own food.

I hope you have enjoyed some of the wonderful images over the last couple of years and look forward to Dakota Black Popcorn, the final Cornette addition in 2011!  She is going to be beautiful!!!

I wanted to quickly share a link to an article published over the weekend with Chicago Art Magazine.  A big thanks to Robin Dluzen for a great conversation that didn’t feel like an interview and her thoughtful perspective on my work.

Catherine Schwalbe-Bouzide’s Corn Party:  Intent and Reception of Social Art.

These are words from the Facebook post by Kathryn Born – Editor in Chief

“Bouzide will re-appear in the 40 over 40 series… but .. holy smokes, what a wonderful, unpretentious artist. She’s comfortable either being identified either as a relational aesthetic artist, or a nice lady who gave you a free bowl. And that’s a wonderful attitude – if you don’t “get it”, you never even knew it was art, just a posit…ive experience with another human.

Social artists – take note.”

A big thanks to Kathryn and Robin.  I have been reading their magazine on line since its inception and have been in awe of their comprehensive and mindful coverage of a variety of artists in the Chicago area.  And… “They pay their writers!” said good friend Jeff Huebner.