Western Slope Conservation Center Partners with Elsewhere Studios on INSPIRED: Art at Work Project
Elsewhere Studios has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Arts in Society Program for the project, INSPIRED: Art at Work, which will bring artists to Paonia, CO, in summer 2018 for two-month fully funded residencies, as well as provide a stipend and materials allowance for a local artist. Working closely with Western Slope Conservation Center and four other local partner organizations (Citizens for a Healthy Community, Farm and Food Alliance, Solar Energy International, and the North Fork Valley Creative Coalition), and a scientific advisory team, they will create socially-engaged artworks that address issues stemming from the impacts of legacy coal mining, such as: preservation of culture and environment, creation of a resilient economy in rural Colorado, pressures created by oil and gas development, and loss of jobs. These collaborations are designed to broadly engage the community and promote dialog about concerns vital to the future of our area.
The community-based or social action art projects, will culminate in a final Symposium scheduled for August 24-26, 2018 that will feature the work of the artists as well as local and national speakers, readings, films, music, live art, and tours of the valley to visit art installations, art studios, farms, and wineries. The Symposium will also help promote the work of the partner organizations.
The organizers are looking for community members interested in helping with the project and planning the final symposium. If you are interested, please contact Karen Good at email@example.com
For more information and for link for artist applications, go to http://www.elsewherestudios.org/inspired-art-at-work/
North Fork Valley artists are:
Of Anthracite and Apples, by Clara Pena, working with Matt Jenkins and John Steele
These educators find themselves more and more drawn into media and story for the sake of community dialogue. Clara comes from a family of agriculturists and coal miners, and this short film will document the history of extractive industries in our valley and ask the community what a new, resilient economy would look like. “I think our community’s story has the potential to resonate with people across Colorado and the globe because, as James Joyce put it, “in the particular is contained the universal.” Our valley’s struggle is the universal struggle for survival and prosperity. I hope the film allows people from many perspectives to celebrate the history of our valley while reimagining our economic future,” says Pena. A second section of their project will be a mini-series documenting the artists and course of the INSPIRED project, and will take on interns from Montrose High School’s Advanced Multimedia classes.
Per(Fumes) of Prayer, by Christine Palafox and Tanya Blacklight
In response to the approval of 146 fracking wells upstream from the Paonia reservoir, this duo will design an Eco-dance, built around ritual, with contemporary, ancient, and ethnic movement. The filmed dance will feature Delta County locations, in their beautiful abundance and potential vulnerabilities, and highlight juxtaposed relationships of industrial The work will apply renowned modern dancer, Anna Halprin’s, “RSVP Cycles” methodology for creative collaboration.
Curbing Social Entropy, by John K. Melvin
“Our world is grappling with economic and ecological realities, yet we don’t universally see the simplicity of their interdependence. I uncover inter-dependent relationships and present them in artworks to provoke and instigate dialog,” says Melvin. He increasingly incorporates clean-ups, material collections, and pollution/consumption awareness workshops and exhibitions into his work. Learn more at http://www.johnkmelvin.com/
Because of the larger scale of his sculptural creations, Elsewhere seeks public and private land location prospects in considering siting a public art piece this Summer.
Riverine Collection / Portrait of the North Fork Gunnison River Basin, by Anna Macleod
Macleod’s ongoing work, ‘Water Conversations’, examines the politics, traditions and practices surrounding water in a variety of global locations. The work is centered around locating commonalities, local problems and interlinked futures of our planet in the management and consumption of finite water resources. In the space of the workshops/ think tanks, a process of ‘Troubling,’ a tool she has developed, engages participants to anticipate and discuss known problems or barriers, and circumnavigate psychological and concrete obstacles to imagining different futures for water and land management.
“Living in rural northwest Ireland has given me a strong interest in communities undergoing rapid change through climate change and post industrialisation. My work employs scientific methods, interdisciplinary collaboration, performance and socially engaged activism to build metaphoric spaces for re-imagining the future,” says Macleod.
About our work:
As Elsewhere Studios dives into our first dedicated “socially engaged” art project, we face into the question, “What’s art have to do with that?” The ‘that’ in the fore of our minds, is our North Fork Valley home, a center-point for organic farms, ranches, orchards, and vineyards that feeds much of Colorado and beyond. It is also the loss of jobs with mine-closures, and growth and development pressures too. We are dedicated to helping show our community how food-focused endeavors, renewable energies and ‘creative industries’ may be a pathway to increasing livelihood and prosperity for families here. North Fork Valley towns are in a unique position to decide for themselves, and take action, in forming how our beloved places will look and feel in 5 years, 15 years, 30 years from now.
Further project context:Working closely with scientists, and policy-makers, and five local partner organizations: Citizens for a Healthy Community, Western Slope Conservation Center, Farm and Food Alliance, Solar Energy International, and North Fork Valley Creative Coalition; artists will create socially-engaged works exploring issues such as: preservation of culture and environment, creation of a resilient economy in rural Colorado, and values under threat by fracking, development, and loss of jobs. These collaborations and a final symposium are designed to broadly engage community dialog on concerns vital to the future of this rural area.Through a series of meetings/discussions, the artists and community members will define a particular issue or set of issues such as, the impact of energy development, Gunnison River health, air quality, changing energy resources, the loss of coal mining jobs, changing cultural norms, etc.