Thursday, June 28, 2012

Setup at the Urban Ecology Center

Day 16 (6/24/12)
Urban Ecology Center
It has been a very busy summer so far so I haven’t had a lot of time to get out on the bike trail and build which is unfortunate but I have been busy getting ready for a couple of art shows which is good. Several months ago an artist/gallery owner friend of mine Frank Juarez suggested that I summit my work to the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee. He felt it would be the perfect venue to show my recycled works. I decided to give it a try and was accepted. I had never been to the UEC so had no idea what to expect. At first all that I knew was that I would be with one other person and that I would have the space from July to September. I planned on getting down to Milwaukee to look at the space but it just didn’t happen so Sunday when I went to set up was the first time I saw it. The building itself is incredibly cool. It is all self sustaining with racks of solar panels and a water retention system that waters all the gardens. The main function of the UEC is to educate urban children about the environment through hands on programs. They also provide outdoor equipment such as canoes, bikes, skis, snowshoes and other assorted items for people who otherwise might not have access. I am very proud to be associated with this program. It turns out that the community room doubles as an art gallery and has very nice lighting. Again, I had no idea how much space I would have so I loaded up the back of the jeep and headed down there. It turned out I had space for about ten of my larger pieces and four small ones. It may be a little crowded but I thought it looked nice. It turns out the other artist paints in oils and combines plants and animals in an abstract form which conjures up memories from her past. The opening is this coming Sunday the 1st of July. I will try to post some pictures from the opening.

Solar Panels

Rock climbing wall

Some of the gardens
Set up

One Wall

Norway Wall

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What to do? What to do?


Day 15 (6/15/12)
What to do? What to do? We are getting our house reroofed. Now anybody that knows me knows that I don’t often call in outside help but unfortunately I can’t shingle it by myself and I really didn’t have anybody I felt comfortable asking to help me. I am finding it very stressful to just sit back and watch somebody else work. What makes things worse is that I feel like I am just getting in the way if I do try to help. So Eileen and I decided to finish a rock garden that we had started last fall. She had the day off and we had planned on going camping but because of the roofers we felt we should at least be accessible. I took her to two of my favorite rock foraging spots. How lucky could a girl get? However by noon we were done and looking for another diversion. We decided on taking a trip up the bike trail. It had been nearly a month since our last trip on the trail with Chris. I feel guilty about not getting out more but with the end of the school and getting ready for two art shows I have had to devote my spare time elsewhere. We knew that since it was the middle of the day we would not get any building done but at least we would get a ride and check out what remained of our last adventure. Surprisingly, much of what we had built was still up and in many cases seemed hardly changed at all. I have to suspect that we have had some help with maintenance since even the cairns were standing on many. Since I have been doing this for five years now it is fun to see how the bike trail keeps changing. When we first started the trail had just been built and now it has had time to naturalize. It makes it harder to find building material but makes for a more scenic ride. Well, it’s time to check on the roof so we reluctantly head home hoping they are finished but knowing that they have at least one more day to go.
"Down by the corner"

"Down by the Corner"