I have been reflecting over my past summer lately, now that it is fall. I spent the first part of my summer closing out my run as Festival Director with Altered Esthetics. I was so proud to hand over the Ae Film Festival to Chelsea Arden Parker and Ari Newman. It was the right time for me to move on since my term as a Altered Esthetics Board Member was coming to an end and I needed more time for my various projects...such a developing Moonland (my next film), focusing on Spectrum ArtWorks (soon to be Avivo ArtWorks), and concentrating on my mixed media art practice. I completed a third round of Photovoice with participants at ArtWorks. I also made a short film with Anita White during the summer, which was so much fun! I was able to fit in felting class with Alice too! I spent every Tuesday doing a watercolor on location class, where I visited various spots in St. Paul with a group of St. Paulites. We painted together and enjoyed the summer evenings in nature.
A vacation with friends at Madeline Island was just perfect, I had a birthday, and I completed the Intensive Training with Springboard for the Arts. I was a finalist in Fine Arts at the Minnesota State Fair but did not get in. There were 51 watercolor artists who were selected as finalists and only 31 were selected to exhibit. I was so close! To Really See: Exploring the Medication Taking Experience, a collaboration I started with Paul Ranelli, opened at the Cargill Hall in the Hennepin County Library-Minneapolis Central, too. I curated over 50 pieces of art for the show!
Below are some of my favorite photos from the summer:
I am happy to share that I have joined the team at Springboard for the Arts an an Artist Career Consultant (with a focus in film/video) and Work of Art Instructor. Read more here. As an adjunct position, the work is part time. I will continue as the Coordinator of Spectrum ArtWorks (soon to be Avivo ArtWorks). If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with me contact Springboard here.
Last week I traveled to Fergus Falls, Minnesota to participate in Springboard for the Arts Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend. I was among ten Springboard Hinge Artists that presented at a special event on the first night, where we all shared about our time at the Kirkbride, and summarized our various residency projects. I spoke about how perfect a two-week residency was for me. I rarely get dedicated time like that to work on projects, particularly because of my work as an arts administrator.
I screened my short film "Loss" and then I read three chapters from my next film, "Moonland," a project I started developing while doing my residency with the Hinge Arts program. After I returned to my hotel that night, feeling appreciative and excited, I realized that it never crossed my mind to ever do public readings of my poetry before. I quickly posted to Facebook: "I have always just incorporated my writing into my films. I know now from the positive experience of reading my work that I need to find more opportunities to do readings. I am very thankful for this realization...which is really a new door that I have opened and may enhance my artistic process."
I also enjoyed learning from and meeting other Hinge Artists and local artists of Fergus Falls. Community is very important to me, so this event will also remain unique to me, as I was able to connect with other artists that lived and worked at the Kirkbride, too.
Now that I am back home, and it has been a week since the event, I find myself looking back...to two and half years ago. When I lost my mother in 2015, the experience introduced me to raw emotions that ranged in levels of grief. To respond to this process and the complexity of death I made Loss where I chronicled my last moments with my mother. I have a few things I want to say about the video and where I am now, as I continue to make art around the experience of losing her:
I said goodbye to her,
I make video poems about her.
I sit with my feelings.
They reveal to me,
through images first
and then words.
Words mean a lot to me, but they alone
cannot express everything for me.
I need images too.
They tend to always come first.
That is why I make video letters, essays, and poems.
What is loss for me?
...Rather, what was loss for me then?
I felt a loss, mom, when I could no longer talk to you.
When I made Loss the word for me at the time was about holding on as well as letting go. I was going through an emotional process, and I still am. Now loss is more like an experience for me.
I stand here now.
Do you see me?
The word loss for me
is more like nodding.
I am saying yes to where I am now.
What was before me is an always.
Now is always changing.
Now is an antecedent.
Loss is the first in a video series I have been working on called "Video Words" where I explore my emotions attached to words.