As my time winds down here at Arts Letters & Numbers, I’m taking a final survey of my environment in hopes of getting any last inspiration. I am currently working on a piece where I reinterpreted signs found in parks that warn about tics and lime disease.
Last Sunday we had our #WIP (work in progress) Exhibition! There was a great turnout and halfway through everyone listened to a reading from one of the residents. I gave a little speech that introduced the participating resident artists and thanked the community for their support. I also had the chance to meet an ecologist who looks for endangered and rare plant species in New York State. We are going to meet for an educational nature walk within the next few weeks. Last Saturday we also participated in a workshop that a resident hosted. It was a body mapping exercise, where we lay down and were traced in chalk. After being led through a meditation we filled our bodies with the visuals that came to us while scanning our bodies. It was interesting, but I couldn’t help feeling like I had done something like it in grade school. It’s always good to check in with your body though. My legs wanted to run, my stomach wanted food, my back and arms wanted a nap and my head wanted me to quit drinking coffee. None of my body parts were able to come to a consensus. I guess that’s democracy.
Today I woke up at 7am and did community service at a local organic farm in exchange for information and the possibility of a unique experience. It was interesting to see how much plastic organic farms use but I learned that it is the tradeoff for using fewer pesticides. We harvested tomatoes, zucchini and cantaloupe. I was able to walk around and take photographs of the workers and animals as a loveable pup followed along, peeing on ripe crops as we went. Afterward, I met up with my fellow residents in Troy, N.Y. to say goodbye to our beloved resident writer. She works at Columbia and apparently knows the translator of the book I’m currently reading: Memoirs of a Polar Bear.
After returning from Troy, I worked for a few hours setting up my new farm painting before being asked to go to the lake for a swim. I was in need of a break. The studio was boiling and Van Gough only worked 6 months out of the year so why can’t I take 90 minutes. At the lake I was asked by the group to read from my book. They loved it and now they’re all hooked! Below I’m attaching photos from the farm, workshop and some beautiful clouds with a rainbow coming out of them. I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. Next time you see your local farmer tell them you love them. Stay posted for photos from the exhibition, which I will upload tomorrow.