A Summer Update in October

While I am a little late with this latest update, the leaves have not yet turned in Wisconsin. So while the solstice was two weeks ago, I’m still going to consider this a timely summer update!

I had yet another amazing summer, full of work that hardly felt like work at all. In May, I concluded my spring semester by attending the annual SNAG Conference. This year the conference was held in Chicago, which made my journey thankfully short. This was good because I, along with my graduate peers at UW-Madison, were accepted into the Adorned Spaces exhibition. You can see an image of our mini-exhibit Grassfed, inspired by the history of the UW-Madison Land Grant, below.

June and July were dominated by teaching another crop of up-and-coming artists and designers for the P.E.O.P.L.E. Program Summer Internship Session. This is my second year teaching for P.E.O.P.L.E. and it brought not only new students, but new challenges as well. It gave me a chance to reconfigure my content, and add in more kinesethetic learning exercises making art, while also creating an understanding of the foundations, histories, and theory behind art practice. I learned a lot from my students this year, and couldn’t be prouder of them!

In August, I was hired as a Field Photographer for The Center For Upper Midwestern Cultures and State Arts Board, a total dream job where I got to travel around Wisconsin photographing Nordic craft. In addition to seeing portions of the state I’d never seen before (including Door County and Washington Island!) I also got to meet a lot of amazing artisans and geek out about regional rosemåling styles. Oh, and eat a lot of heart-shaped waffles. It was nice to have a job where my Norwegian language and folklore skills were put to good use.

Finally, in the spring I received funding from my department to do something I’ve always wanted to do - take a traditional craft class at Foxfire. I’ve been using Foxfire’s periodicals in my research for years, so it was a dream to travel to Appalachia and finally see the site and museum. I took a broommaking class with the indomitable Carole Morse, and have been making brooms ever since. Stay tuned to maybe see some in my MFA exhibition…

I also had a little bit of time for some extra fun - including visiting my good friend Jane Ritchie in Georgia, seeing House on The Rock with ONOH, and hiking around Devil’s Lake with my family. Definitely a summer for the books.