Friday, June 22, 2012

jetsonorama (sans drama) for the painted desert project

this past week has been hectic preparing for all the artists coming for the painted desert project, hosting gaia + doodles and working at my job 4 days this week.  a big shout out to karen koestner who came from flagstaff to assist while i was at work.  you rocked it!

i got work up before the artists arrived and have a moment now that they're all in page getting paint and enjoying the lake to post images.

ben delmar on 89 north

water is life

i installed this piece about 7 miles north of the first piece after it was altered.

john begishie

cavalene on an outhouse in bitter springs

step on j r's house

step in cedar ridge

king fowler at the old red lake trading post
king is about 92 now and is a code talker.  i shot this portrait of him for pasting on mother's day this year.

there's more goodness to come from breeze, labrona, overunder, doodles, gaia + tom greyeyes.  stay tuned...


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labrona, overunder + tom greyeyes arrive (06.21.12)

gaia greeting labrona

gaia greeting overunder

west side of mrs. woody's food stand x doodles

north side of mrs. woody's food stand x doodles

gaia by his piece as the coal train passes

tom at gaia's wall of those who have passed on

tom with gaia

blue bird cafe

menu at the blue bird cafe

blue bird cafe, north side

blue bird cafe, east side

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

the painted desert - connecting with people + place

andrew changing rocks between rounds

nick + andrew amongst the ruins at cow springs

nick at white mesa arch

it was a good day.  we started with a sweat at jimmy black's camp where he and roy smith told stories and gave insights into the culture.  it's 12 hours later and the aromatic fragrance of cedar is still lodged deeply in my head.  we concluded the day at an arch by my house.  

nick and andrew appreciate that this project isn't about big walls with lots of exposure but more so about connecting with people and the land to generate work that reflects those interactions.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

the painted desert, dispatch 1

wow.  what a long day.  i awoke early this morning.  andrew awoke shortly thereafter.  we stayed in phoenix last night with friends.  nick landed around 12:30 this afternoon.  after scooping him up, he and andrew decided they were ready to go north.  nick really wanted to stop in sedona to get lunch at a spot where he did a mural about a year ago.  i'm not a big fan of sedona but we went.  and in truth, the spot where we had lunch was super cool.  we ate out back under the shade of a tree with the red rock canyon wall visible in the distance.

we got back in the car and headed to the painted desert.  when i told them we were in the painted desert, nick finally got the name of the project.  we drove for about and hour and 1/2 before arriving at mrs. woody's food stand about a mile from my house, i stopped so nick could meet her as he'll be painting her stand.  

the vibe was a little funky.  i wasn't sure what was going on.  i walked over to mrs. daw's food stand and learned from her that a six year old child who was unattended attempted to cross the highway by himself and was hit and killed.  that happened at 2 p.m. today.  mrs. daw and her family and mrs. woody and her daughter sandra were the only people left at the flea market site.  they were deeply affected by what happened earlier.  mrs. woody and sandra knew the little boy who was killed and had spent time with him 3 days earlier.  

mrs. woody went on to tell us how her stand was vandalized recently.  besides spray painting the wood part of the stand, the kids who hit her stand also spray painted her screen.  she said they even tossed a blazing bottle of gasoline into her little cooking stand trying to burn it down.  she and her daughter were confused as to why anyone would want to do that.  nick attempted to help them feel better saying that often when he paints murals, people don't tag them.  

before going to my house, i took andrew + nick to the canyon in back of my house.  they dug it.

exhausted, i give thanks we made it back safely and am excited about where this may all go.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

the painted desert cometh

huh.  it's a funny thing that the last time i wrote anything here there was a lunar eclipse.  and now today, the venus transit.  it's a cool name actually; the venus transit.

it's been a bit of a challenging time.  yote's back on the east coast and is unable to help out though he really wants to with the painted desert project.  i'm feeling his absence.  step's working this summer on the river with grand canyon youth and another organization the name of which i can't remember.  my crew ain't here.  

anyway, things are coming together.  in anticipation of gaia, overunder, doodles, labrona, breeze + tom greyeyes arriving, i wanted to get some work up.  it was cool going out again and spending all day in the heat just scrapping an old installation off of the wall surfaces like i did in gray mountain and at hugo's stand.

while i was installing the tanks at gray mountain, an older, diné woman with streaks of grey in her hair stopped by.  she said she knew my work and liked it.  i think she said her name is rebecca and she's from big mountain.  she comes from a family of activists up there.  i smiled knowing some of the history of activism there.  she said she'd planned to get in touch with me about doing something around water rights.  i told her that as soon as i drove away from her, i was going to install a piece with the theme "water is life."  i showed her a mockup of the piece.  i'm not sure what she had in mind but i don't think that was it.   as she walked to her older model, bumped, dinged and scratched, fuel efficient japanese pick up truck (i think it was japanese), she said "...this is my war pony!"

so, i drove to the site.  interestingly, this is the spot where yote + i first exchanged work 3 years ago.  it was getting late; the sun was setting so i worked quickly.  i had to clean this wall too before painting it.  my old piece of mary reese smiling was starting to come down.  someone had spray painted over the remains with "water is life."  but because they'd spray painted that onto paper, the paper was breaking away such that it was hard to read.  i figured, what the hell.  i'll clean it up and put a water related piece up having been buoyed on somewhat by rebecca.  i got it up just as the sun set.  i finished working on the piece with my car headlights.  the next night i came back to photodocument it.  i'm not sure what prompted me to write a poem but boom!  there it was.  and, with the advice from the woman in baltimore still fresh in my head, i signed it.  

so, i was bummed today to see that the boards covering the windows had been pulled off.  i had a dental appointment in flagstaff and was running a late.  i didn't stop to check it out.  as i drove, i kept thinking "...huh, both windows are uncovered.  odd.  a lot of my time in flagstaff i  spent thinking ", i hope someone took the window coverings down is because they're going to use the stand again."  

wrong.  i think the people who did the "water is life" piece have made this site their spot and personalized the piece by taking the window coverings off.  (maybe i'll get photos up of the altered piece; maybe not.  initially i was too bummed to take pictures.)  this incident is yet another reminder that the project is still about learning lessons in letting go.  the piece ran for about a 5 days (and that's only a guess. i hadn't seen it since putting it up may 28th.)   breathe.  let it go...

anyway, it'd be cool to talk with the people who hang at this spot.  they left alone the piece i did with annette in february on the other side of the stand.  (it's already starting to come down but it's a natural peeling away. ] it hasn't been bothered.)  i've got ideas about interacting with the altered piece.

meanwhile, raam (race across america) is about to begin next week.  i wanted to get work up for those guys too and give them some love.  last year was the first time i got something up intentionally with them in mind.  yeah, it still blows my mind that the fastest riders do this race in just under a week on a bike.  that, and they pass right through the rez when travelling from flagstaff to durango.

so, here's to race across america and the painted desert project!  

step + yote.  i love you + you're missed.

wow!  i just had a nice talk with doodles.  i've never met him before.  although he, overunder + labrona are having transportation challenges, we know it's going to work out.  doodles is really excited about coming.  talking to him, i feel better.  thanks man!

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