Planting Seeds of Hope
It was wonderful for me to be reunited with everyone I built great relationships with during the 2011 Art Lab.
We arrived a week prior to the opening to begin installing our art at B2. I was joined by Fritz Buehner (Boston,MA), Bently Spang (Billings, MT), Ellen Skotheim (Tucson, AZ), and newest art lab artist, Morgan Schwartz (Providence, RI). Reuniting in the Thar meeting room at B2 was intense, we had all talked about how climate change had greatly affected our lives personally. Bently lost his family home on the Northern Cheyenne Nation Reservation in Montana due to the devastating wildfires in June 2012, hundred of homes were lost and over 200,000 acres of land burned. Fritz’s studio in Brooklyn, NY was flooded during hurricane Sandy. Here is Tucson we endured hotter temperatures this summer and we saw an increase in wildfires throughout the southwest.
This past year I was diligent in sharing all that I learned during Art Lab and every chance I could get, I would talk to folks about the importance of water harvesting, the battle against buffle grass, increasing our tree canopy, and climate change. I also took the information into several middle school classrooms and the John Valenzuela Youth Center here in Tucson. I wanted to make sure and include these students into my art installation. When I visited youth I would bring in juice pouches for them to enjoy while they listened to me talk about climate change and then we did an art project. They would cut their pouches in to shapes of leaves and write their names and schools on them for display on my art installation “Planting the Seeds of Hope”.
During the week of installation at B2 I was able to interact with visitors while creating my sculpture. It was wonderful to meet folks from all over the country and a great opportunity to give them information on my sculpture and why art is important to get everyone talking about climate change. CSA cooked for us every night with good delicious local organic ingredients. Being at B2 with all its scientists and wonderful tour guides, Rillito River Project’s Creative Director, and the wildlife and scenery made this experience not only wonderful but inspirational. I felt like our coming together was powerful and that we can all make a positive change in our world.
Opening day of the exhibition was super awesome! I saw new and old faces and it especially felt good when I saw the youth from the John Valenzuela youth center that came to support me and visit B2 for the first time. Seeing their excitement to learn about science, ecology and art was so rewarding. I look forward to continue to network with B2, Rillito River Project and my community to do my part in planting seeds of hope.