Sunday, October 28, 2012

We Go Out Walking

Photo by Karen Snider
This coming week is the last week that Genius Loci, my art show at Pellissippi, will be up. I'll be giving an artist talk on Monday, tomorrow!, from 3-5 pm at the Bagwell Center for Media & Art. I am grateful to the faculty at Pellissippi for inviting me into the space and for their help in promoting the events and happenings in the gallery.

I am looking forward to taking the show on the road and finding other spaces in the Southeast where I can install it and preach the good word of Land Scouting. Am especially looking forward to a final cataloging of the seed balls installation. Yes!

Earlier this week at Pellissippi I met with a group in the gallery to bind field books and go out walking around Pellissippi's campus.

Two observations about the combined bind-a-book and walk events: 1) People get really into making books. (To the point that we have to cut off our bookbinding in order to leave time for walking.) I believe bookbinding (like map drawing) can be a great way to engage so called non-artists or people who are not confident in making in an important creative process. Not only are we making something, but we're making an object that bears an expectation of further creative use. 2) Every time I go out on an Observation Walk with a group I learn something new-- often about familiar plants.

The three different shapes of sassafrass
leaves. Photo by Karen Snider.
We were joined this walk by Karen Snider, an artist and agri-activist out of Ft. Collins, who taught us the wise adage: There are bold foragers and there are old foragers, but no old bold foragers. Excellent! (As an aside: Karen is involved in a cool project space in Ft. Collins called Hammer Time! Projects. Check it out!) We found an abundance of sassafrass trees, withered staghorn sumacs (no drupes left), many caps from tan oak (or tanoak?) acorns, honeysuckle, and goose poop. Brian Sohn also taught us an excellent mnemonic device for remembering that lichen is a symbiosis of algae and fungi. It involves Alice Algae and Freddy Fungi and ends with the winning punch line: Their love has been on the rocks ever since.

Thanks to all who've come out for the Pellissippi events. Stay tuned for upcoming Land Scout opportunities even as the weather makes us want to stay indoors.

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