This is our last weekly recap for the season, and it is hard to sum up all that has happened. Eight artists held residency here over four-and-a-half weeks, and they all ended up contributing not only their specific projects to the space, but a sense of the studio being well-used. With classes, events, and residencies, our summer has really activated the studio and set a precedent for future greatness. Thank you to all involved.
As we said goodbye to Amy, the two remaining residents, Paul and Mary, finished or extended their projects in graceful manner. Paul's audio book, recordings of The Gardener of the Dunes by Swift Lathers, took form in a trio of handsomely executed CD cases. He gifted one to the Pentwater Library and one to Shared Space. I can't think of a better soundtrack to working in the studio than poems and musings reflecting on the Silver Lake Dunes by our local hero.
Mary constructed a new hoping machine on the meadow homestead, this one built with foraged branches to remain onsite, settling under the winter snow. This A-frame construction acts as a meditative space and an entryway into the homestead, around which Mary piled walls of the same sticks. The installation to be left behind is a functional space; with twin trails to camping platforms, a fire pit, and a picnic table to work at, eat at, or lay on top of and watch the clouds.
Mary and Paul left the residency mid-week, went on an upstate kite-flying adventure, and Paul returned to New York. We were happy to welcome Mary back for one last Sunday, and she and I attended "A Pleasant Afternoon" at the Oceana County Historical & Genealogical Society. We were greeted by a rainbow of pies and Mears community elders, and made sure to pick up several copies of Swift Lathers' Mears Newz.
An image of participants quilting for Quilt Stories.
For our last talk of the summer season, I stepped in as a visiting artist and gave a presentation on my traveling project Quilt Stories. I shared the fabric collages, patchworks, and storytelling projects that led up to this ongoing body of work. Quilt Stories began as a quilted tent, to collect stories in, and now exists as installation, video, songs, ceramics, and a white quilt covered with stitches from people across the country.
Our second speaker of the evening was the amazing Larry Krone. Larry is from St Luis, now resides in New York, but has spent every summer of his life in a cabin with his family in Pentwater. He opened his presentation with one of his signature country songs, played on ukulele, and led us through a progression of his sculptural works. Utilizing and honoring folk art techniques, Larry has made latch-hook rugs, wisdom tooth dolls, sequined embroideries, and text art with his own hair. He incorporates his meticulously crafted objects and costumes into performances of his personal country-western song repertoire. The crowd was happy to watch Larry strip from his ruffled baby costume down to his underpants of many colors, and connect his wide-ranging body of work to his personal experiences in Pentwater.
Reeling from the success of our first residency season, we are looking forward to next year with new artists and new plans. I am closing this series of posts with this serene photograph Mary and Paul made of their geography lesson in the meadow. If all of the residents have taken one common sentiment away from their time here, it is a reverence for and infatuation with our beautiful state.
Shared Space offers visiting artists and artists-in-residence facilities and support in a secluded and beautiful setting with the chance to meet and exchange with other artists as well as the responsibility of engaging the local community.