Thursday, March 28, 2013

Aldo & Leonardo Project Up and Running

Aldo and Leonardo, a joint project between Colorado Art Ranch and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, began hosting it's first artists in residence in March, 2013.

The artists are housed at the Sabana Research Station in El Yunque National Forest East of San Juan Puerto Rico. This experimental forest contains the El Toro Wilderness and is overseen by the International Institute of Tropical Forestry and has more plant diversity than all the other US wilderness areas combined. There are seven different forest types from the top of El Toro down to the ocean. The Art Ranch artist are joined by a group of Puerto Rican artists selected by the Museum of Contemporary art of Puerto Rico.

Artists have been joining scientists in the field to gather data and learn about this important wilderness area. They are also creating their own work in reaction to what they observe and experience.

See the Aldo & Leonardo Blog for more information about this project.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lake City Visit-April 26-29

Monarch Pass
Avalanche below the Ute Ulay
Outside the Matterhorn
Hinsdale County Commissioners
By Grant Pound
In late April I drove to Lake City to make community connections for the Hardrock Revision project. I drove through a series of snowstorms, hail, rain and general navigational challenges. Monarch pass was a near white out and the store that’s up there was still mostly covered, but it looks like they have started to dig it out. The snow continued in Lake City until we had about eight inches of wet stuff. I sort of regret having taken off my snow tires.

The next day there was a terrific avalanche just below the Ute Ulay mine, the site of the Hardrock Revision project. Snow and ice pushed through a narrow chute and ended up about 80 feet deep and across Henson Creek.

In the afternoon I met with the Hinsdale County commissioners–Stan Whinnery, Cindy Dozier and Allen Brown. I told them about what we are doing with the Hardrock Revision project and how we wanted to connect the team with the community. The commissioners were very receptive and agreed to help find those people who would participate in the July-August program. There are four levels of participation:
I.              Team Member. These two folks will be directly part of the team and join in all the same interviews, tours, brainstorming sessions as the rest. They will help with the visioning and presentation of the vision at the Artposium on August 13, 2011. 

II.            Interviewee. These individuals will meet with the team and provide their perspective on life in Hinsdale County, attitudes about mining and the mine, and other community issues. 
III.          Test Group. Once ideas have been roughed out, we will use these people to test those ideas for common sense, practicality, and desirability.
IV.           Kvetchers. These individuals will have no direct  connection with the project but will complain about the results when we are finished.

I am writing up a description and requirements for particiapation that I will send to the commissioners, Kristie Borchers (director of Lake City DIRT), and newspaper publisher Grant Houston.

I met with the editor/publisher of the Silver World Newspaper, Grant Houston and outlined the project for him. He was also in attendance at the commissioners meeting.

I also met with included P. David Smith, historian and publisher. David and his wife run Western Reflections Publishing Company  and David has written a great many books on the history of the San Juan Mountains.

David Smith was found at the Mocha Moose complaining about Ph.D.s with fellow Ph.D. and coffee shop owner,  Kris Pedersen.  It seems like a coffee shop is a good place for people to find out about the Hardrock Revision project.

Elk outside Lake City

Monday, April 25, 2011

Feral Filmmaker Burcu Koray Speaks

April 2008, I arrived at Denver International Airport to be welcomed by a dashing gentleman who wouldn't shake my hand*. “Americans are Weird!” I thought, and followed him to a cafe, where I would be fed and interrogated. The subjects of inquiry included hot topics in politics (remember 2008?), what I thought of the mating habits of killer whales, who I thought would win in a fisticuff situation - Tesla or Edison (T-E-S-L-A!); and of course, what the hell I was doing in Colorado. If I didn't know it before traveling the 6,161 mile distance that Colorado Art Ranch was the right fit for me, this little tête-à-tête with Executive Director Grant Pound would assure me. In about fifteen minutes we'd be joined by a tall and dreamy artist who was so cool we were momentarily silenced. (He did shake my hand!) In the course of an hour, we were greeted at the Art Ranch HQ by two sexually confused dogs (one of whom would later try to impregnate my shoe), a sculptor arrived in a prairie schooner with two hundred of his most favorite Volant skis and fell asleep on the floor. When a gorgeous woman appeared out-of-thin-air and laid eyes on me, the picture was complete. I knew it for a fact that I had come to the right place. (FYI, co-founder Peggy Lawless doesn't have to mouth words to talk to little-alien-artists like me.)

This was the first three hours of my Art Ranch residency.

If you think I'm good enough a writer as to successfully sum up my entire Art Ranch experience in the three paragraphs allocated to me, think again. I can perhaps write a book about it or make three films. (Two of which I already wrote)

So I'll bargain for three more paragraphs, just to tell you a little more.

More miles would be traveled to Routt County, more hours would pass and I would soon meet:
the Poet who made us all star gaze, the Sculptress who wove us delightfully close; the wordsmith who spoke for the Mother Earth and the sculptor who yielded crops. The other dreamy painter was the real reason we all took on birdwatching. The Guardians of the river had us at “hello”. The ranchers had giant hands and even bigger hearts they held things with; the keeper of the books was my own secret thing. And we all knew it, where we were, once in the Hall of the True-Mountain-King. We went to the dump. To the reservoir. To the next town. I wrote, I read, I taught how to write films. I ate, I made half a film, I felt lost and found. There was rolling down the hills, making fires, arguing for hours, thinking, probing, making, asking. And at all points, atop the beetle-rotten trees, lost in the frozen marshland, singing to passing trains, talking to new good friends; Everything spoke, rather screamed to me, that I was at the right place, and at the right time, even though I came from a far away place, and scrambled time for a living. On an island in an ocean of land, I was educated on community, at all times and above all things; on how big it is to make small things.

And if you're reading this:
Peggy, Grant, Betsy, Geoff; Carol, Diana, Michael, Cathy, Bland, Carrie, Matt; Erica, Michael, Chad, Gavin, Tammie, Beth; John, Nancy, Steve, Toby, Bandit, Sopha; my brilliant students, my library stalkers, the unavoidable birdwatchers; magpies, heifers, farmer Bob's wayward horses, the mountain lion no one believes I've met, my true friend the white snake, the railway, the powerplant, the barn; and as always, our Dear Wayne - Far away in the galaxy, in the city of two seas (and elsewhere), I think of you and of my mountain home; often and dearly. And I know that wherever we are, whatever we do, there exists this giant forest of people, connected through time and space, people I can trust will not stop, will not cower, will not hide, no matter what. And this is what the Art Ranch has really given me.

This Earth will see better days, and then we'll make art, divide the atom into even smaller parts and grow good crops, not to fight battles or change the world; but to know and change the world that is our selves.

Until we meet again,

Burcu Koray

(Art Ranch and me? We fit to a T.)

Burcu Koray has run out of space to brag about what she's made lately or complain about what she has not. To listen to her outrageous stories, see what she's been up to or learn about the mystery of hand-shakes*, find her in Istanbul, Cannes, London or Mariensbad in the following months!

EDITORS NOTE: It said on google that it is offensive for an unknown male to shake hands with a female in Turkey. So much for google.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Matthew Moore Launches Digital Farm Collective

No, this isn’t the same as Farmville, so don’t send him your chickens or cows. Matt Moore (Steamboat 2008 Residency) has been working on a project called the Digital Farm Collective. You may see a video of the project instead of reading. The Digital Farm Collective is an online database, or living library, that shares footage and philosophies on the growth of our produce collected from farmers all over the nation. Matt would like to invite you to support a project that connects us to our food, the farmers that grow it, and all of us to the land.

The foundation of the Digital Farm Collective will be built by collecting images of the most important daily process of agriculture, the growth of our food. Using time-lapse videos of the lifecycles of plants, along with pointed interviews of farmers who have participated in the project, we will build an online network for people all over the world to explore.

You may help by sending the project page link to friends and family who are interested in our food and its future. Send suggestions of farmers you know who would be interested in participating. Send Matt questions you always wanted to ask a farmer! Which edible plants would you like to see growing? Be a local advocate for this global mission and help get the word out on the Digital Farm Collective. Help change or food system through sharing the story of not only the plants, but of the farmers and families that grow them.

Artist in Residence Carol Hummel in India

Colorado Art Ranch (Steamboat 2008 Residency) Carol Hummel spent the month of February creating site specific artwork in Bodhgaya, India, with 30 artists from around the world.  Buddha Enlightened - 2 Be challenged the visiting artists to create work commenting on  the concept of world peace.

Carol created 5 artworks during the event.  In Namaste, Bhai! Namaste, Didi!  (Hello, Brother! Hello, Sister!), Carol examines the ties that bind human beings together by hand-making bracelets and gifting them to everyone she meets. World peace, she believes, must begin with personal connections.  She has given out more that 2,800 bracelets in India during the past year.

Best of Luck, Nuclear World builds upon the Indian tradition of wrapping string around Banyan trees to make wishes come true.  Each day, she wrapped the tree in the colors of the flags of the 9 countries that possess nuclear warheads.  As the strings were wrapped, the colors wove together to form a beautiful fabric, an analogy about the hope that by interweaving our cultures, we can create something of beauty instead of destruction.

In No Shadow of a Doubt Carol collaborated with local village woman to crochet a shadow of a tree.  The black shadow seeping from the landscape serves as a reminder that human actions can drain life and vitality from the environment.

The last two projects were dedicated to focusing attention of the importance of water to the future of humanity.

Nomad Meredith Nemirov show at AndersonRanch Arts Center

by AndersonRanch

Julia and Edward Hansen Gallery
AndersonRanch Arts Center
April 5-May 13, 2011

TREELINES is an installation of ink, watercolor and gouache drawings of Aspen trees that chronicle an experience of a walk through an Aspen grove. Meredeth Nemirov approaches the work through the door of Asian philosophy that that references the sensitivity to the all-encompassing sweep of the seasons that formed, in part, the foundation of Japanese life and culture beginning with the establishment of Kyoto as the capital city in 794. Central to Chinese philosophy is the fundamental notion that nature and humanity are one. Traditional Chinese painting employs monochromatic linear elements and voids and depicts the preference for subject matter derived from nature.

Meredith's narrowing focus has moved her work towards a certain abstraction that is informed by the patterns and linear elements employed by early cartographers to record the land. In a contradictory way, the work has expanded to include visual elements that move in and out of the environment through time and physical space. As Meredith states, "my vision for the work is to convey the idea that nature is not observed from one particular location. Nor is it fixed in time byt has an invisible and intangible aspect (beyond direct experience of the senses) related to sequential changes n cyclic patterns that suggest an underlying purpose."

Meredith received a BFA from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Awards include a Director's Grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts (CCA), the Telluride Council for Arts and Humanites Small Grants and Artist Fellowships for Residencies at the Anderson Ranch in 2005 and the Vermont Studio Center in 2010. Her work has been shown at the Brooklyn Museum, The Queens Museum, Yeshiva University Museum, and in many other group shows.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Daniel Wicke of Rural Studio to Speak at Dwellings

We are happy to announce that Daniel Wicke will be coming to share the work of Rural Studio with us. Rural Studio was started in the 90's by architect Sam Mockbee as a way to combine real-world experience for Auburn architecture students with the extreme need for housing in rural Alabama. The students work with future homeowners using found, recycled and donated materials to build homes that are architecturally significant and appropriate for those that live in them. 

Daniel Wicke is the Rural Studio Outreach/Thesis Instructor. His duties as Outreach/Thesis Instructor include primary advisor to the Outreach program’s $20K House, co-teaching both the Outreach and Thesis programs with the studio’s director Andrew Freear, and overseeing continuing thesis projects. He has assembled Rural Studio’s work in the exhibit, Small Scale Big Change, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and co-designed a pavilion representing the Rural Studio.

There have been two wonderful books and a documentary about the Rural Studio Program. The books, Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency (2002) and Proceed and Be Bold: Rural Studio After Samuel Mockbee (2005) do a great job of capturing the philosophy and humanity behind the building projects. The documentary, Citizen Architect, is also a great overview that compares and contrasts the thinking behind Rural Studio with some of the other contemporary architectural thought. Exposure to Rural Studio will have you wondering what other issues of modern life could benefit from this type of thinking.