WeavingtheRiver

Dimensional Cloth

I'm in a book! Dimension Cloth came out at the end of June and you can now order it on Amazon. How cool is that?

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The book is gorgeous and is a compendium of extremely talented artists taking fabric into the third dimension. I am really honored to be included among people I have been following on Pinterest and Instagram for years. There are also several artists' works I haven't seen before which, I might add, are stunning. All the creativity featured in this book has given me so many more ideas for my work. 

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It's definitely no coincidence that a piece of my work is featured in the table of contents under space. In one way or another, all of my works are about space from carving out space or enclosing it. Moral, the piece here in the table of contents, was the piece I showed at the Missouri State Fair last year. The curator of the Springfield Art Museum saw it, contacted me for a studio visit, and now I'm going to be showing in the 4 x 4 show at the museum later next month. It's beautiful the way things intersect.

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It is just so neat thinking of myself in a book that you could find in a library on a rainy day somewhere far away. This whole process was started a couple of years ago. Part of me wishes that my current work was in the book, but that's learning and growing as an artist. The work you are doing now is the most interesting or innovative.

Upcoming Dates:

I'll be an Artist in Resident at the Missouri State Fair August 9-13th. I'll be installing a huge fabric installation from the ceiling on the second floor of the fine arts building.

Weaving the River will be at InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park from August to September for their big artist symposium on diversity. The opening reception will be August 17th from 5-8pm.

Opening reception for 4x4 at the Springfield Art Museum on August 24th, 5:30-7pm.

Farm Report:

We are in full tilt here. Chinese long beans, cucumbers and tomatoes coming off the vine in bushels. Blackberry jam has been canned and we are just about to can peaches this weekend. I'm thinking of both peach chutney and peach butter to fill the pantry this year.

Juneteenth with Weaving the River

Join Weaving the River in commemorating Juneteenth this Friday from 6-8pm at the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County. We are so excited to celebrate the Quindaro community with an evening of storytelling and music featuring Reverend Stacy Evans and the Allen Chapel Choir. Learn about the rich history of Quindaro, Allen Chapel AME and Western University.

If you can't join us Friday be sure to check us out for the closing reception June 29th 6-8pm when the Elder Statesmen of KC Jazz's Small Big Band will be playing.

This has been a truly amazing project full of so many great connections and stories. It's been a real treat to work with Jen Appel, Justin Border and Jillian Youngbird on this project. And it is impossible to express how much I've grown as an artist and a person through working together. My hope is that our work brings about positive change for the Quindaro community through acknowledging it's significance in our nations past.

Here's a few photos of us installing at the Community Health Council. If you can't make our receptions please swing by any time they are open to hear the soundscape and make a wish for the future of Quindaro. We will be releasing them into the Missouri river after all our installations are complete.

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Weaving the River will also be at the InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park. Our opening reception is August 17th 6-8pm.

To find out more about our project check out Weaving the River

Weaving the River

I'm  excited to share with you the culmination of a project that has been in the works for the last year and a half. On a warm night in January, the members of the PolyArtery Collective gathered at a KC coffee house to create an immersive art experience to reflect the magnificent history and the devastating circumstances of the Quindaro community. Our group is formed by Jen Appell, mistress of song, Jillian Yougbird, photographer and story teller extraordinaire, and Justin Border, graphic design guru. Weaving the River will be at the Quindaro Symposium, April 20th and 21st, at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. Follow this link for registration and more information.

Quindaro Symposium

It has been amazing working with these three because our gifts and skill sets blend so well. We have collected inspiration from the old Quindaro site, visited museums, conducted interviews, and worked on grant applications. This has been a challenging subject but it was always the joy of working together and passion for our project that has led us forward. I've grown so much as an artist and a person through working with these immensely talented artists. I hope that you will come, learn the history and work towards a brighter future for the Quindaro community.

You can find out more about our project and supporters at Weaving the River

PolyArtery touring Quindaro ruins

PolyArtery touring Quindaro ruins

Weaving the River

Over this last six months I've been working on a new project with my fellow Artist Inc team mates. Go Team Orange! Some really exciting things have been happening and I want to document our progress and introduce the project a little bit.  

Weaving the River is an immersive art experience that depicts the unrecognized history of the Wyandotte Indian Settlement of Quindaro.

Once a vibrant trade port on the banks of the Missouri river and a key stop on the underground railroad; few voices rise to tell the epic tale of the progressive township’s resistance and strength.  

According to the Health Equity Action Transformation report released by Community Health Council of Wyandotte County in November 2016, out of 106 counties in the state of Kansas, the citizens of Wyandotte County consist of the most vulnerable populations in both individual and public health.  There is intense overlap of these social determinants of health that show the area surrounding Quindaro to be one of the most at-risk in the county.

Our team will create an installation that envelops the audience in the landscape of Quindaro. A soundscape composed by Jen Appell will include natural samples, voices of residents, songs of slavery and traditional Wyandot music. This element explores the synergies and counterpoints of the community’s complex cultural experience through the span of time. Jillian Youngbird will weave a “river” from sticks and resources collected from the site of the settlement and yarn steeped in water of the Missouri. This physical interpretation of Quindaro, which means “bundle of sticks” or “stronger together”, represents the strength of weaving together a community. Justin Border and I will  interpret the topography of the valley allowing the public to walk the landscape, illustrating the historical and current disparities between Kansas and Missouri. Our team will also create infographics depicting the population’s past and present challenges inspired by hand-drawn graphics created by W.E.B. DuBois. 

A few weeks ago we reached the final round for the Rocket Grant. Though we didn't win a grant we are still confident that our project will move forward. We've made some great connections with local community organizations such as the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, the Kansas City Design Center, Freedom's Frontier, Wyandotte Nation of Kansas, Black Archives of Mid America, Grinter Place State Historical Site and Kansas City Kansas Public Libraries. 

We will document the process of Weaving the River in partnership with Fountain City Frequency to produce a series of narrative podcasts that document the progression of our continued connections to the Quindaro community, physical construction of the installation and the history of Quindaro. This is an exciting opportunity to bring the history of Wyandotte County to a larger audience so that the history is acknowledged and not lost. 

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These are my fellow artists. Looking all business, as we discuss the future of our project over avocado daiquiris. Yum! It's the beginning of a beautiful relationship and project.