Posts Tagged ‘Bioneers’

Bioneer sign, 10/09

The live satellite feed from California of the national Bioneers conference was projected onto the domed ceiling of the University of Louisville’s Rauch Planetarium.  A nice cheer and applause followed the mention of the City of Louisville as being one of the participating cities in the 20th anniversary of this event.  Bioneers are people who are social and scientific innovators engaged in the tough challenges that affect us as a result of our rough treatment of the very Earth that sustains us.  I was honored to be asked to participate in the Bluegrass Bioneers which was a three day connection to the national event.

Rauch Planetarium, 10/09

The Bluegrass Bioneers are people who are truly trying to make a difference globally by acting locally.  Several of the Kentucky sessions revolved around the issues of coal and the consequences that result to people and planet from relying on this fossil fuel.  Sustainability and wise land use were frequent themes among the dozens of presentations that were given by experts in their fields.  There was a creative mix of round table discussions, films and documentaries, lectures, music and more that kept things lively and interesting.  Despite the daunting environmental challenges that face all of us, there was an upbeat and optimistic attitude around this event as people networked and strategize on what to do next.

My art at Bioneers event, 10/09

Partly as a result of this blog, I was asked to show a few of my artworks and give a talk about my Falls of the Ohio Project.  Here’s an image of my absurd works in the planetarium that were temporarily relieved of their duty of insulating my basement.  I gave a PowerPoint presentation showing my art in its river context and was really surprised when 25 people showed up on a beautiful Sunday morning to check it out. According to my son Michael,  I probably had a few slides I could have done without, but each time I give this show it will get a little better as a presentation.  With hope, maybe a few people sitting in the audience might think to engage the world using their own innate creativity.  Of the sessions I watched, the plenary talk given by artist Lily Yeh was the most inspiring.  Her projects in Philadelphia and Rwanda demonstrate in the most positive way the transformative power of art.

Bioneer sign, 10/09

I would like to thank Ben Evans for inviting me, “Crow Holister” for the recommendation, and the University of Louisville, Rauch Planetarium, and the University of Louisville Center for Environmental Education for helping to organize and host this event.  I enjoyed the opportunity to share what I do and to make new friends!

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Downed tree at the Falls, 10/09

Another day of adventure at the Falls of the Ohio and made all the more memorable since I had company this time.  My good friend Jefferson, his son Holden, and my son Michael made the short trip across the Second Street Bridge to have fun and collect sticks.  Wood is something the Falls has in abundance and Jeff has a purpose in mind for his sticks.  He wants to support a net over his goldfish pond to keep out leaves and all the cleaning that results when they get in the water.  Jeff always seems to have a purpose or job to do.  The boys decided to collect wood and construct some kind of fort.  That has been their prefered activity at the Falls for as long as they have been coming out here.  I, on the other hand, prefer to play and I made a figure to accompany us.  I call him the Dancing Man and here are a few images from our day together.

Dancing Man, 10/09

Dancing Man, back view, 10/09

Here are front and back views of this figure.  He’s made from Styrofoam, sticks, plastic, and aluminum all found in the park.  Finding branches and roots that have the right gesture to them is what helps give this work some sense of motion.  I like it when I find a piece of foam that isn’t so static in form.  The body of Dancing Man has some torque to it that further enhances the implied motion and helps make it a more interesting sculpture in the round.  The limbs also help animate the figure and lead your eye to the head which has the most detail invested in it.  This guy looks surprised like he wasn’t expecting to get his feet wet!

Dancing Man with Tire, 10/09

Looking through the day’s images, this one is my favorite of the Dancing Man series.  There was enough moisture in the sand that it reflected the back light in this interesting way.  At the moment, it seems that there are more washed up tires along the shoreline than is usual.  One can always find a tire or two, but after the last bout of high water, it’s like sea turtles that have come along way across the river just to find this certain stretch of beach to haul themselves out on to land again.

Michael, Dancing Man, and Holden, 10/09

Dancing Man ventured too close to Michael and Holden’s fort and was captured.  This image does a good job of giving you some idea of the scale of my Styrofoam figure.  Michael’s in the 8th grade now and Holden is a year behind him.  I’m glad they are good friends and I know it pleases Jeff as well.  I first met him when we were undergraduate art students at Murray State University.  Our families have remained close.  Jeff is a wonderful artist in his own right and has become a middle school art teacher in a neighboring county.  I am going to use Dancing Man for an exhibit I’m participating in this weekend.  I’m also looking forward to my Bluegrass Bioneers talk the same day.  Two separate events both involving my art.  It must be serendipity because it sure wasn’t planned out that way!  Final image is of the guys by their improvised fort.  I’ll catch up with everyone later in what will prove to be a noteworthy week for me.

Michael, Holden, Jeff, and Dancing Man, 10/09

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