Category Archives: local happenings

wildly blooming

all is blooming here.

some of the poppies are aching
to be gathered and put to use.

others are content to stay put.

rooted down feeding from this rich earth while reaching up and absorbing the light from the soft sun-moon.

being of use by becoming.
by being.

skillfully. unwieldy.

wildly

blooming.

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courage, calm, and curiosity

yup.  another post about change. cause i just can’t seem to shake it.  all the ways of change.

maybe its a life change, like moving across the country only to find out that the school you entered with high expectations was not, really really not, a good fit! or maybe its a small change, like deciding to have oatmeal instead of rice cakes and almond butter for breakfast (not me, i stick with rice cakes. there needs to be some constant other than change.)  Or maybe its an internal shift .. of values, desire, hopes, health … those things are shifting around inside me too.

whatever the change, here are three things to i am clinging to in the face of change:

courage. courage my friends. courage to stand (or sleep). courage to do what needs to be done.  courage to feel it. all of it.

calm heart, calm mind, an ocean of calm, please!

and curiosity .. what is this right now?  getting familiar and curious with it all.  trying to stay afloat. or falling into it and maybe just sinking to the bottom for a while. whatever works.

i made these little bears to remind me to live with courage, calmness, and curiosity. and whatever else comes along.

xoxo
jkl


go outside and play!


World Community Arts Day! Today!

Don’t forget — today is World Community Arts Day – Art as a Catalyst for Caring and Sharing.

Make some art!  Share it with your friends, family, and community!  Send some love out to the universe and eachother.

Today, I stood outside with a group of awesome and committed individuals concerned about social justice and homelessness in Saskatchewan and specifically Regina.

1% Home Sweet Home,  a collaborative effort by individuals and over seven organizations, was created to raise awareness about the low vacancy rate in Regina (1%)  and the cost of housing in relation to our wages.  It was freezing!!  And, in a way, the weather kicked it up a notch to really prove the point – everyone needs a warm, dry safe place to live – don’t they?

Photo credit:  Prairie Dog Mag

The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Regina is $802.  If you are on social assistance, that is 93% of your cheque!  If you work at a minimum wage job, 73% of your income will go towards that $802 apartment and food.

Creator and photo credit: Gerry Ruecker

As a teenager,  I was both kicked out of and voluntarily left my parent’s house (a few times).  I always had a place to stay and have always been grateful to those people who let me stay with them.  I never thought of myself as homeless but I guess that couchsurfing is a form of homelessness.  My experience has given me an understanding of how it can happen and compassion for those who are experiencing it right now. But do you have to experience it or know someone who has to have compassion?

There are so many stories.  As part of the installation, there were also videos playing that Dr. Marc Spooner recorded as part of his study on homelessness in Regina.  He spoke with the experts – those who are homeless.

Today, someone stopped and asked me .. are the homeless just people who don’t work?   It wasn’t really a question.  Even though I have personal experience and a heart for the issue, it is really so complex, I wasn’t really sure what to say.  I tried to say a few things but I don’t feel I said the things that will bring this man to a deeper understanding.  Maybe the media coverage will help to bring the message across – CBC, Prairie Dog, Leader Post, radio stations like MBC all came out to interview and take pictures.

I don’t know.  I still have a lot to learn – so do we all.


i am my own home

I find it so inspiring to search out and discover what others are working on in the area of art and social change.   Lately I have joined a few groups that are talking about art therapy and arts for social change and am excited to learn and share with these new folks  (I will post links and ideas as they emerge).

Connecting with others encourages me to keep expanding my circles – understanding my local and global community – and also pushes me to focus in on what really makes my own heart sing.    Many of my posts have focused on what others are doing so today I thought I would share a bit about what I am up to.

Right now, I am involved in community-based art for social change project in Regina focused on homelessness for World Community Arts Day – Art as a Catalyst for Caring and Sharing (February 17).  I will blog about it more as the day arrives.

I am also creating my own work – focusing on the process of creating as a healing and meditative practice as well as exploring particular sociocultural issues that are embedded in my mind and body.

… the human-animal .. gender … sexuality…  created by me. no name

… emotion-body… the way our bodies process,  hold, and  emotion and experience…

created by me.  this is what grief looks like.

Today on the radio,  I heard someone say that “creativity is the common ground”  and I think that is part of the reason I am drawn to art.  Yes, we have constructed systems around art –   “high” and “low”, “art” and “craft” – and this may have merit in some circumstances and in some circles but when it comes down to it  …

creativity and expression, however manifested, is a dynamic way to share a bit of our souls and come to a deeper understanding of each other and ourselves .. and it can be a whole lot of fun too.


Special Feature: Winnipeg!

After a bit of an absence from the world of the artsandcraftscollective, I am back with a special feature on a pretty groovy city – Winnipeg!   So, what’s up with Winnipeg?  Well …

1. It has a pretty neat satellite image … reminds me of the Nazca lines found in Peru.

The City of Winnipeg has a few stats – Cultural Capital of Canada in 2010. over 100 languages spoken in the area.  And Winnipeg Pride’s website tell me that Winnipeg has  over 40 ethnic cultures with the largest Aboriginal population in Canada.

2.  i have never been there but I have met a few Winnipeggers over the years  – people with a sense of justice, creativity, and a certain prairie feel that warms my heart …

3. its a hotbed of community art projects, programs, and activities!   let’s go check it out ….

 

 

Finger in the Dyke:   Last summer, I met this fantastic performance artist named Shawna Dempsey – who works out of Winnipeg with her creative partner Lorri Millan – at a conference organized by Common Weal.  One of my favourites (cause I am a big fan of Wonder Woman and I own a few of the 1970’s episodes and I love her kickass attitude)  – is this video:   about Super Feminist …  feminism has and continues to play a huge role in my own life and I am grateful to the women that forged paths before me … and continue to do so all around me right now.. in small and big ways …

Shawna is also the Co-Executive Director for Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art – an amazing organization that offers an array of   programs and activities – like discussion groups, special topic-workshops, structured mentoring programs (intensive, long-term, and for Aboriginal artists) …and crafts!  The picture is from the website … just to get you inspired to follow the link and learn more about their organization .. is there an organization like this where you live?

 

 

 

ArtCity!

This picture is taken from ArtCity’s image gallery —  it inspires me to make things and continue to learn more about what other people are doing!   Art City is a non-profit community arts organization that offers art classes for all ages  – including digital photography, open studio times, and pottery.  I have taken pottery classes off and on for years and absolutely love it!  There is something about connecting with the earth, watching the clay form into a sculpture or a bowl and then using that peice of pottery for the rest of my life knowing I made it with my own two hands…..  makes me feel pretty special.

This is the ArtCity building .. even from the outside it looks like a creative, energetic, inspiring, and safe place – notice the bikes outside!!  and no snow … must be summer 🙂

As I was researching this feature, I found out that ArtCity has a partnership with ” The Institute of Urban Studies with the broader community in Winnipeg and Saskatoon for the purpose of participating in the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the theme of which is “Better City, Better Life.” Using a community learning framework, the University of Winnipeg’s Institute of Urban Studies, Art City and the Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc. (SCYAP) will collaborate to visualize and document a prairie perspective on the themes of Expo 2010.”   Found on the Living Prairie City Blog.    You can read more about the project and see pictures by following the links.

There are so many more things happen but I think that is a long enough post for tonight ..  I will continue to post links on the side so you can browse to your hearts content .. if you find something interesting .. let me know!   I think my next feature will be about some of the tough issues that can be addressed through community-based art …

Thanks for sharing and learning …

jessica


the art is on fire

ben and i make things together sometimes … we just play around … to see what happens, what the materials do … to explore ideas for our more finished pieces … here is a little photo journey of a small city we created and then set on fire in my alley …it’s not a finished thing but rather just a part of a larger process … if  we work on it again, i will post some more pics … our friend Collette took the pictures .. thanks Collette!  i discovered i like fire .. and i like mixing materials together .. and i find the canvas limiting … next stop .. sculpture!  with felt and wood and plastics …  yeah for creating and making things and just doin’ it when you feel it …


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