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Alpine, WY, 83128
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Journal

News from Dowd House Studios: places to find our pottery, exhibitions, classes & workshops, new forms and exciting projects.

Filtering by Tag: poetry

FoundSpace 2018: Part 1

Jenny Dowd

FoundSpace 2018 is ready to be explored! 

Now in its Fourth year, this project is a collaboration between the JH Land Trust and JH Public Art. FoundSpace offers the opportunity and challenge of interpreting conserved public land in creative and interactive ways. This year FoundSpace is at Emily Steven's Park just outside of Wilson, WY.

Last year I collaborated with Matt Daly, (see our project here) we had such fun that we decided to work together again. Inspired by the optical combination of words and images in thaumatropes, Matt wrote 12 short poems, one for each month, that highlight the overlooked (and often introverted) mini-fauna found in this area. 

I illustrated each poem, which has been challenging since the magic behind the thaumatrope is 3 drawings- one on each side, plus a combination of the 2 when the disk spins.

The image had to be clear enough to read, yet the multiple parts allowed for slightly more information. I was so excited about telling the stories that I missed an important step- the image has to be perfectly registered on each side so that when the disk flips the image is not blurry. Oops.

I drew the image on paper, transferred it to plywood with carbon paper, then registered the image using holes in the side of the disk. (As seen by the highly technical use of drill bits...) 

Each little critter has such personality and imagery created through Matt's words, it was easy to imagine the story and what I wanted to visualize. I am so excited to be part of this project and to work in collaboration with another creative who sees the world from a different angle. I'm already learning a lot about some of the mini-fauna that I was not aware of! 

The thaumatrope is made cut disks from plywood in a diameter to fit discarded bike wheels that Matt scavenged. I drew and painted on the primed surfaces and made cranks so they can be turned by hand. The stands were made by Matt from discarded fence posts, and all stand at different heights.

We've started with 4 thaumatropes, and will install all 12 within the next month. So stay tuned for updates, and if Emily Steven's Park is part of your normal routine be sure to check back periodically.

There are 3 more artists who have installed artwork in the park: Bronwyn Minton, Bland Hoke, and Brittany Hill. Check back for my post on Saturday June 9th for a full update!

And if you are in the area, stop by Thursday June 7th from 5-8pm for the opening event. (You'll be able to make your very own small thaumatrope!)

FoundSpace 2017 - Part 2

Jenny Dowd

It's here, FoundSpace 2017!

Invited by the JH Land Trust and JH Public Art I joined 4 other artists to create artwork designed to engage and enhance the pathway from the Wilson School to the Stillson lot. This busy pathway is a beautiful spot for walking and biking, enjoyed by dogs and their people, and even horses!

Matt Daly and I have been collaborating on a project that features lost objects and the stories behind their loss. Mailboxes became collection points for these objects and also added to the surrounding nostalgia. Living in a small mountain town means mail is not home delivered, so most of my days include a trip to the post office to check my PO box. Plus a mailbox in the middle of a field with a red flag up invites a look-see.

After months of thinking about this project and making plans our installation day finally arrived! Matt delivered the mailboxes to spots along the path where we attached them to fence pots and trees. With all the parts involved we were lucky to have an assistant, Brittany Hill helped immensely! 

Each mailbox contains a kit for writing love notes to objects that have been lost- tags to tie onto found objects plus pencils and sharpeners. You will also find paper that can be used to make rubbings from the poems on the ceramic tiles. (Check out last week's post for details on how these were made.)

During the opening event Friday night we hung a collection of found objects (lost items as well as some natural found objects) in the JH Public Art Mobile Studio. We invited people to write poems to the objects and place them in the mailboxes so they can be found. It was such fun watching people interact with the mailboxes and to hear about what they found inside!

There is much to discover along the path...

Silent Fallen Tree: Ben Roth carved a tree into a chain and also a bench, a perfect spot to sit and contemplate.

Get-togethers have been carved by Bronwyn Minton and create places to find interesting objects both found and made. An invitation to play, perhaps they with gather different objects over the summer.

Willow Wheel by Bland Hoke is a kinetic sculpture woven from willow, while turning in the wind it makes a beautiful and subtle sound as it rustles and glides through the water. Interesting from any angle, however I should have crossed the creek to take a photo!

There is plenty of time to experience the artwork along the path, come back to interact, see what has been changed, find something new! The artwork will be on site until August 14.

Update: Chalk & Poetry

Jenny Dowd

Three weeks of sidewalk decorating went by pretty quick! Brittany Hill, my chalky partner in art, and I have been decorating the sidewalk and entrance to the Teton County Library in Jackson in anticipation of the visiting U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera

(Catch up on the first blog post here)

Using a mixture of spray chalk and regular chalk, we added to our designs weekly plus enhanced areas that had faded or washed away in the rain. (Images above: week 1, week 2, week 3)

I added lines from the poem "Let Me Tell You What a Poem Brings" around the front walkway, re-working it each week as it washed away. Here you can see some of the process and evolution:

Read the rest of this poem and others by Juan Felipe Herrera here

We added blips and spots for interest and lines to connect.

Last night we both attended a talk by Juan Felipe Herrera at the Center for the Arts, it was the perfect ending to a fun and inspiring project.

Chalk & Poetry

Jenny Dowd

Later this month the Teton County Library will host a writing workshop and community program with U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.

In order to prepare for this event, the library asked me to create a chalk art dialogue around the library. I invited printmaker, Brittany Hill, to help me with this multi-week project.

This past Wednesday we tackled the first area with - who knew? - spray chalk! We used regular chalk also for details, but the spray chalk was really fun, offering fast coverage, intense colors and the opportunity to make stencils.

For this first area we chose a line from "Borderbus"

We are everything hermana

Because we come from everything.

-Juan Felipe Herrera

If you are in the area, stop by and see the chalk drawings evolve each week.

For more information on these free community programs visit the Teton County Library

Community Program: We Come from Everything: Poetry & Migration

Friday April 21, 7pm at the Center for the Arts (Tickets available at the library)

Writing Workshop: Find your Activist Voice Through Poetry

Saturday April 22, 10:30am - 12:30pm at the Teton County Library

Stay tuned for an update in a few weeks!