Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Where have all the flowers gone?

“Long time passing…”

I think it’s been at least 30 years since I’ve heard Pete Seeger live in concert. My memory of individual concerts has faded, but his voice never will. His spirit moves me to this day. It is a sad day, for I mourn his passing. And yet it is a hopeful day, for if there is one message that sings out louder than any of his many themes it is hope.

I will not attempt a eulogy. That, appropriately, is already being done better and more thoroughly than I can manage. What I do have to offer is a simple, brief personal reflection. For although we were never intimates, his life and his life’s work have had a personal influence on me.

Do young people talk of heroes today? I may be wrong (I guess I hope I am) but it seems far less common to speak of heroes now than it was when I was young. Seeger became my hero at an impressionable age and his example has never diminished. This despite the fact that hero worship comes hard to me. A conflicted relationship with my publicly charismatic but emotionally distant father left me suspicious of authority figures. Pete Seeger’s remarkable voice, along with his commitment to peace, justice and humanity, broke through that resistance. “Keep your eyes on the prize…hold on.” I can’t think of a more important role model.

I grew up near where Seeger lived along the Hudson River Valley. It was the tumultuous Sixties. Seeger was still blacklisted for his controversial political views and I suppose I was the beneficiary of his hardship for he gave concerts to small local audiences. Although I never had the chance to board it, I was on two or three occasions thrilled to spy his sloop, the Clearwater, plying the Hudson River. (Seeger founded an environmental advocacy organization dedicated to cleaning the Hudson and his sloop was both its symbol and a floating music festival.)

My favorite Pete Seeger story started with another singer entirely. Don McLean, who also grew up in the same neighborhood, was another favorite performer back then, well before he became an overnight sensation with “The Day the Music Died.” I was a student at the State University of NY at Albany in, I think it was 1972, when I got tickets to hear McLean sing at a county fair in Rhinebeck, NY. McLean came on stage and announced in an obviously strained and hoarse voice that he was too sick to sing. But he didn’t think we’d be disappointed, he croaked, because he had asked his friend Pete Seeger to stand in for him. No one was disappointed. That one was a memorable concert.

One of the most distinctive features of any of Seeger’s concerts was his penchant for encouraging the audience to sing along. He never sang to the audience, always with us. This seems also to have gone out of fashion.

One of my all time favorite albums is Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome: Live at Carnegie Hall.” In all the years of listening to it never once has it failed to bring a tear of exhilaration when his voice rises in jubilation on the civil rights anthems and another tear of compassion when his voice softly whispers, in Guantanamera,

“Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crecen las palmas
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma

I am a truthful man,
From the land of the palm trees.
Before dying, I want to
Share these poems of my soul.”

Today, as I type these words and hear his voice singing them in my mind, the tears flow freely. Fare thee well, Pete Seeger. “If I had a hammer, I’d hammer out love…all over this world.”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ya Gotta Love the Poetry Marathon!

The intensive arts week described in my last post continued on Saturday. As promised, I made an annual poetry pilgrimage. I was not alone.

Jacqueline Lalley
Every year for the past 20 poets and poetry lovers have converged on the Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood for the annual marathon. It’s always in January, the dead of winter, when the air outside is frigid. The warmth never dies inside Woodland Pattern, however. For 15 hours straight, from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m., poets take turns reading in order to raise funds to support the continued existence of an endangered species: the small, independent bookstore.

It happened last Saturday. I sat through three consecutive hours myself and was thoroughly delighted. No one who can raise the $35 in pledge money that admits you to the podium is turned away (until all ten slots per hour are filled up, which happens early for the popular hours.) Which means that the quality of the poetry can be a bit of a crapshoot.

Charles Rossiter
But hey, during the three hours I listened, no fewer than two poets laureate of Wisconsin were among the readers. And if one or two of the others were of less stellar stature, none lacked earnestness. For every one who read with hesitation or garble the delivery there were three or four who commanded the packed room with power, poignancy and humor.

Peter Goldberg
Some read from published works, some from frayed loose-leaf paper. This year there were laptops and tablets, too. A few emoted from memory. Some eschewed poetry in favor of prose or even music. The room was full of attentive listeners and spirits were high. It’s the poetry marathon and it has a devoted following.

Susan Firer
If your spirits drag in the icy weather or if the incessantly negative news has you down, the poetry marathon is an antidote. A bud of hope that spring will come. And even, perhaps, that peace in the world is possible.

Rick Ollman
I had my point and shoot camera along and snapped a few of the poets while they read. I’ve rendered the images with a bit of artful brush stroke and I offer them to you here. Antler and Susan Firer are the two who, as I said, have served as Wisconsin poet laureate. 

Poets young and old gathered to read to an appreciative audience.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

An Intensive Arts Week

The past few days have been particularly arts intensive in Milwaukee, at least for me and a number of other folks who I have seen repeatedly at different venues.

It began Wednesday with a lecture by photographer Brian Ulrich at Marquette University. His talk was in conjunction with the current show at the Haggerty Museum of Art. Ulrich is represented by selections from three bodies of work: Copia, Thrift, and Dark Stores.

Brian Ulrich
What do images of big box retailers like Home Depot and Target, or images of Goodwill and other thrift stores, or depopulated and abandoned “dead malls” have to do with the War in Iraq? Simply by looking at the prints in the gallery you might not even think to ask the question. But they do, according to their creator, Brian Ulrich, who painted a compelling case for it in his lecture.

In a short video we were reminded of that brief but startling moment in the post-9/11 period when Dick Cheney and George W. Bush urged the people of the United States to “go shopping” as a strategy for beating back the terrorists’ efforts to destroy our way of living. Ulrich’s trilogy of portfolios proceeds from the straightforward pursuit of such consumerism through the more shadowy but also more intimate world of the secondary market and then on to bankruptcies that followed the 2008 economic collapse.

Ulrich’s work is part of a larger suite of exhibitions on display at the Haggerty through May 18, 2014.

Thursday evening saw pretty much the same audience in attendance as three Magnum photographers gave a panel discussion at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Alessandra Sanguinetti, Jacob Aue Sobol, and Donovan Wylie were in Milwaukee as the second of three waves of photographers participating in Postcards from America.

Wylie, who was just completing a ten-day stint here, was able to show us three new selections from Milwaukee. The other two, unfortunately caught onstage at the beginning of their visit, had to rely on presentations of past work. Sanguinetti spoke of her long dormant desire to experience for herself a Wisconsin that she’d been carrying around in her head since childhood. Her first exposure to our fair state, at an impressionable age, was through Michael Lesy’s famous “Wisconsin Death Trip.”

Donovan Wylie
Sobol spoke passionately about the importance of falling in love as a motivation for his photography. His black and white imagery, mostly shot in close range with a hand held primitive camera, was stark, gritty, grainy and intensely intimate. Wylie takes a more formal approach. His subjects are generally architectural. “I think I’ve been in every car park [he’s from Ireland] in Milwaukee,” he told us.

Each of the three has a very distinct style and it will be interesting to find out how they interpret their visit to Wisconsin when their final work is exhibited at MAM next summer.

Friday evening I was torn. With intriguing exhibitions opening in such far flung locations as Racine, Milwaukee’s east side and Brookfield, I knew I wouldn’t get to them all. I did make it to two, UWM’s Union Gallery and the Sharon Lynn Wilson Center for the Arts.

Reginald Baylor & Adam Carr
The Union has a show entitled “Collaborative Design: Great Minds Think Together.” As the title suggests, it showcases collaborative efforts with the collaborators often coming together from a variety of disciplines, including functional design as well as visual, performing and auditory arts. There was a diversity of goals on top of the diversity of disciplines. Many of the entrants had collaborated in order to solve specific problems experienced in social situations, including medical interventions.

This is a kind of socially engaged design and art making in which the medium is clearly not the message, where art is not for art’s sake but for the purpose of making people’s lives a bit easier, more dignified, or for developing a sense of community.

Unfortunately, I arrived early and had to leave before the main event, a panel discussion with Reginald Baylor, Adam Carr, and Sonja Thomsen, who were among the teams of collaborators. The show will be up through Feb. 21, 2014.

The Ploch Gallery at Brookfield’s Wilson Center was filled with boldly abstract paintings by Patricia Frederick. The non-objective paintings, made by pouring liquid paints directly onto the canvas, were described by some as Rorschach tests waiting to be interpreted by the viewer. The dramatic contrast between the Union and Ploch exhibits struck me as symbolic of the way life itself is a Rorschach test and art the way some of us interpret how we live.

Consistent with the famous therapeutic method, when properly administered and evaluated, there is no wrong answer, no wrong way to make art.

Though her work has roots in the Modernist tradition of Abstract Expressionism, Frederick considers the term misleading when applied to her paintings. She joked that the show’s title, “Beyond Belief,” doesn’t refer to the fact that she was able to complete the work. It refers, she said quite seriously, to a spiritual moment in the process of creation when you no longer have to believe in what you’re doing; you know you’ve succeeded.

Frederick’s eloquence at the lectern was no surprise to those of us familiar with her 30+-year tenure as a highly acclaimed art educator at Pius XI High School. The fact that she is able to create a compelling body of work with such a unified vision in spare moments between full time teaching duties speaks volumes about her professionalism and devotion to art.

"Beyond Belief" remains on view through March 1, 2014.

Three days in a row were not enough this week. Today I will be attending the annual Woodland Pattern Poetry Marathon. I recommend it to all bibliophiles and anyone else who has ever been curious about the vitality of the poetry and literary scene in Milwaukee: every bit as vibrant as the visual arts.

If you want to hear my five minutes come to Woodland Pattern between 5 and 6 p.m. I’ll be reading a few haiku from my newest book, Deep West. The full schedule is posted online at Poetry Marathon.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Down by the riverside: Art and activism in Milwaukee

A local artist holds a water vigil in solidarity with West Virginia following the chemical spill.

Melanie was waiting when I double-parked in the small lot next to the Milwaukee River Bridge in the Third Ward. Her breath came out like a cloud as I approached. But with rosy cheeks and a buoyant spirit she greeted me cheerfully despite her wait in the –11° wind chill. Near the end of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk she had set up a shrine on a small silvery table. The location, where the Menomonee River meets the Milwaukee, was chosen to maximize the symbolism of the vigil for which the shrine was intended.

Because of the frigid conditions, the ceremony was brief and simple. Melanie knelt beside the shrine and stretched out a string of hand-printed prayer flags she had made for the occasion while I composed a few shots to document the vigil. Although no one else joined in, we were not alone on the river. We noted with curiosity the presence of ducks in a patch of open water. A pair of mallards and another of mergansers floated amid the steam rising off the river. Farther upstream a team of four coast guards were practicing winter water rescue from a hole they had cut in the solid ice.

Before I arrived Melanie had witnessed the passing of the barge that delivers coal to the We Energies Menomonee Valley Power Plant, taking note of the irony.

Melanie Ariens had invited me to participate and to document her Water Vigil. Nationally, the vigil was organized by 350.org, the global environmental activism organization founded by author Bill McKibben. On Tuesday, January 21 people around the country and the world were invited to “join in solidarity with West Virginians; to honor and protect all water!”

West Virginia, of course, is where a recent chemical spill polluted the Elk River so badly that tap water was shut down for thousands of residents in the capitol city of Charleston. A coal company was responsible for the spill.

Melanie told me, “I felt the need to participate in this vigil to show support from Milwaukee for those affected by the spill into the Elk River. It was the very small thing I could do. Imagine shutting down the water supply to Milwaukee for an extended period due to a chemical spill, then being told the water is ok, with only traces of the chemical in it. How would that make you feel about drinking it or bathing your child in it? It is a real statement of how unregulated and untested the chemical industry is.”

Melanie Ariens is not new to this combination of art and activism. A self-proclaimed “multi media artist, environmental advocate and volunteer community coordinator,” Ariens bills herself as an environmental artist. She has used the water shrine previously as an installation in other local waterways. She has a portfolio of digital images depicting a glass half full (or…?) on the Lake Michigan shoreline and in a variety of streams and other bodies of water. One of her best-known works is a wall-sized rendering of the Great Lakes in denim.

In her own words, “I make shrines, prayer flags, and other artwork as a way to honor the Great Lakes and freshwater. Making the work is a meditation for me, and hopefully an unusual presentation of an idea to get people to reflect on how important water is to life, and importantly to be stewards of this amazing resource.”

Ariens is both passionate and well versed on her issues. About the current vigil she said, “I know from the many years I have worked on pesticide reform that just because a chemical is listed with the EPA—in this case, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol—doesn't mean it has been tested; it just means they know it is out there. If we as individuals don't speak up and fiercely protect our water, abuse and contamination will happen.”

Ariens has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from UWM, where she specialized in painting, drawing and printmaking. Now her work frequently includes multi media and installations. When not out in the landscape, she can be found at RedLine, Milwaukee where she is among the Artists-in-Residence.  

After about ten minutes at the shrine my gloved fingers were stingingly numb; my face and feet not far behind. Melanie, who had been there a half-hour longer, was holding her prayer flags without gloves. Her enthusiasm never flagged however and her smile was radiant. When we finished and started to disassemble the shrine we discovered that the half-full glasses of water had frozen to the surface. We pried them loose and tossed the remaining water into the river below.

In addition to posting them here and on Facebook, two of our images have been uploaded to a flickr page set up by 350.org to demonstrate solidarity and share the spirit of the event. When I checked just before posting this there were 182 images on the site. To see them click here.

For more on Melanie Ariens go to her website.

triptych: Water Vigil

Water Shrine (detail)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference Featured Artist

View of Milwaukee River from Locust St. Bridge
I am honored to have been selected as the Featured Artist for the 2014 Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference sponsored by Sweet Water.

Sweet Water is shorthand for Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., which promotes collaborations to secure healthy and sustainable water resources in our region. The 10th annual conference will take place this year at the Harley Davidson Museum on May 1, 2014.

The conference brings together a wide variety of water professionals, organizations, businesses, elected officials and ordinary citizens for a day of presentations, panel discussions and workshops related to rivers, lakes and water issues.

An annual State of the Lakes address is an important part of the day. The address will be given this year by Dean David Garman and Dr. Sandra McLellan of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences.

For more information about Sweet Water, visit their website. To learn more about the conference, go to Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference.

Lake Michigan after a storm

Monday, January 13, 2014

Open House for Menomonee Valley Artist Residency

You're invited!

Zimmerman Architectural Studios has cordially offered to open their building so that you can meet their new resident artist on gallery night. I am grateful to them and I'd like to invite you to come visit with me.


Menomonee Valley Artist Residency
Zimmerman Architectural Studios
2122 W. Mount Vernon St.

Friday, January 17
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

There is a retrospective of my work on display.
If you have never been to the historic gas building that Zimmerman remodeled for their offices, it's worth a visit in itself!

Refreshments will be served.

Zimmerman is easy to see but hard to find. It is the large brick structure behind the tall octagonal tower near 25th Street between St. Paul and Canal Streets. Access is from 25th Street.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why have an Artist in Residence in the Menomonee Valley?

I read a news article recently about a guy named Jesse Welter who has started a tourist business in Detroit. He guides clients through abandoned buildings because, apparently, there is a great demand to see the devastation and decay of a once great city. (Welter works surreptitiously because what he’s doing is both illegal and risky.) Detroit also has become a mecca for photographers attracted to the opportunities it provides for producing images of ruin and social upheaval. There is a book by two French photographers called, “The Ruins of Detroit.”

Using ruins as an artistic motif has historical roots tracing back at least to the Italian Renaissance, of course, when ancient civilizations were unearthed and used as a springboard for modern transformations of a medieval society. But what is being done in Detroit has been dubbed “ruin porn” by residents who see it as exploiting the decay without offering any solutions to the problems facing their community.

When I first began photographing the Menomonee Valley about 15 years ago, Milwaukee was often compared to Detroit and many thought our city to be on the verge of slipping into a similar abyss. The Menomonee Valley, the geographical center of the city, was also the epicenter of urban decay. We had ruins, too, particularly at the west end of the Valley where the Milwaukee Road once was the city’s largest employer. For a while, until they became unstable and had to be torn down, the chimneys that were the last vestiges of those ruins acquired value as monuments.

Chimneys, 2009

Although Milwaukee still has work to do, we have not suffered Detroit’s fate. The story of Milwaukee diverged from that of Detroit and one of the most important chapters in that story is the one about the Menomonee Valley. Ever since white settlers drove out the indigenous inhabitants, the history of the Valley has been one of repeated transformations.

The verdant wild rice marsh became the locus of urban expansion as the surrounding bluffs were torn down to fill it in. The Valley became Milwaukee’s industrial core—“machine shop to the world.” By the late Twentieth Century industry had moved on. The Valley had been abandoned, blighted with pollution, and hollowed out, much like Detroit.

The Valley is now seeing its fourth major period of transformation. This new transformation has been led, in no small measure, by Menomonee Valley Partners (MVP), a non-profit organization created for the purpose. While the revitalization of Milwaukee is part of a global trend of urbanization, the story of the Menomonee Valley diverges, again, in important ways. As in most cities, jobs and economic development are appropriately a primary concern. But from its inception MVP has had a larger vision.  

What first attracted me to the Valley weren’t the ruins. It was the resurgent wildness that had grown up around them. Neglect, contamination and blight had driven out the people and, ironically, made the valley once again attractive to wildlife. In contrast to the first transformation of the Valley, which filled the marshes, channeled the river and drove out wildlife, the new vision for redevelopment has included restoration of the river and natural areas along with business development.

Spiderwort, ca. 2001
Instead of destroying natural habitats in the name of progress, there is a new understanding that a sustainable future involves the integration of the natural environment with human activity. The vision for the Valley layers on a third component to economic development and ecological rehabilitation: cultural revitalization. After all, what distinguish great cities from merely dense population centers are their cultural assets. They are places made vibrant by their histories, their recreational opportunities and by the arts.

If Detroit is to be saved it won’t be because Jesse Welter saw in it a business opportunity. It won’t be due to a flock of photographers who descend on the city for a day or a week and leave with images, however poignant and metaphorical. It will be the result of community efforts, including the many artists who have taken up residence there and whose work is about transformation and hope rather than decay and despair.

The latest chapter in the on-going story of the Menomonee Valley is one of transformation and hope. It is a story worth telling. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 6, 2014

What do Harvey Littleton and Phil Everly have in common?

Besides the fact that both died recently, that is. At a glance they appear to have very little in common. Harvey K. Littleton was a glass artist and U.W.--Madison art instructor whose work became known in the 1960s and 70s. Phil Everly was half of the Everly Brothers, pop musicians with chart-topping hits in the 1950s and 60s.

What they had in common also transcends the success and fame that each achieved in his respective creative discipline. Littleton's unique style of glass-making led his work to be collected by museum's all over the world. The Everly Brothers not only had a consistent string of hit songs with a similarly unique style but were among the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the year it opened. But what really marked the careers of both was the influence they had on their disciplines and the reverence with which their example was held by later generations of practitioners.

At Madison Littleton founded what became known as the Studio Glass Movement. Furthermore, he taught many equally gifted and occasionally more famous glass artists (Dale Chihuly, for example.) This piece, called Lemon/Red Crown, is owned by our own Milwaukee Art Museum.


Likewise, not only have many musicians covered songs first made popular by the Everly Brothers, including The Beatles, Linda Ronstadt, and Simon and Garfunkle, but their influence is pervasive across the genre lines of Rock, Country, R&B, and Rockabilly.

On a more personal note, while I never took a glass-making class or met him myself, I did attend the University of Wisconsin in the mid-70s when Littleton was at the pinnacle of his career. No one could take art at Madison and not be aware of his stature. I remember walking past the glass studio, which was on a separate part of the campus from the rest of the Art Department. It always had a air of mysterious power, as if it weren't quite part of the real world. Undergrad fantasies perhaps. But the glass that was produced there and exhibited around campus was sublime.

To read the obits go to:
Harvey K. Littleton, Pioneer in Glassworks, Dies at 91

Phil Everly, Half of a Pioneer Rock Duo That Inspired Generations, Dies at 74

Considering Thoreau in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley

The news for the past few days has been dominated by dire predictions of breaking records for cold. Today’s Journal Sentinel calls the predicted temperatures “life-threatening.” I’m certainly not going to go out photographing in the Menomonee Valley until things improve a bit. It’s a good day to stay indoors, with a fire preferably, and to reflect on warmer times and places.

In 2008 my book, Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed, was published. The watershed it examines is my own, the Menomonee River. One of its chapters is about the Menomonee Valley. The book is a series of experiential short stories, accompanied by photographs, about my exploration of the watershed. One of my favorite stories in the whole book is from the chapter on the Industrial Valley. The photograph that relates best to this story, which was featured on the title page, is also one of my favorites. Perhaps that's not a coincidence!

Faint-Hearted Crusader

At the bottom of the bluff, near the river's edge, it is possible to imagine being in a distant wilderness rather than in a narrow corridor between landfills and brownfields in the industrial core of a major city. It is especially invigorating to touch the wild spirit of the river that lies at its heart, feeling the vitality of it, tried but unbroken.
In warm weather, the wear on this trail indicates regular traffic. But snow cover makes clear how rarely used it is in winter. Two, maybe three, people and one dog have preceded me this week. The infrequency of human visitation likely explains the enormous number of ducks and geese taking advantage of this refuge between the stadium and the 27th Street viaduct. Away from the edge of the bluff, out of sight of the waterfowl below, their constant murmur can be heard like a softly chanted litany. When my form appears at the rim it is as if a shot had been fired. Pandemonium ensues and the entire congregation rises. Within a minute, they are gone. All is silent but for the trickling of the current and the low rumble of a single truck high and far away on the viaduct.
In his essay Walking, Thoreau claims to "speak a word for Nature, for absolute Freedom and Wildness." I wish to speak for relative freedom and wildness. They are virtues that can coexist within society and culture while providing a contrast made poignant by the intimacy of their juxtaposition. Thoreau wants to "regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of nature, rather than a member of society," but it need not be an either-or proposition. Rather we must reconcile our social and natural selves as intertwining facets of a single whole. Indeed, until we can see them as one and the same, society ignores nature at its peril.
Thoreau chastises all who are "faint-hearted crusaders" unwilling to commit to true walking. This would require, he says, leaving family and friends, settling all one's affairs, and setting out without thought of returning. That is a journey Thoreau himself made only briefly and symbolically. I, too, am content to retrace my footprints in the snow, back to my parked car, my family, and the life I've made in a city graced by a measure of wildness.

From Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed, 2008, Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago.

To read additional excerpts, click here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Menomonee Valley Artist in Residency

Menomonee Valley Partners, in association with Zimmerman Architectural Studios, has established an Artist in Residency program that begins today. It is my honor to have been selected as their inaugural resident. Official announcements will be sent out shortly.

Menomonee Valley Partners has been a leader in Valley revitalization since 1998 and Zimmerman is one of the oldest and most successful architectural firms in Wisconsin. The residency program is intended to stimulate an exchange of ideas about the Valley, its history, its future, its place as a dynamic and vital part of the fabric of Milwaukee, a place where economic and community development is integrated with parks and natural areas. The exact nature of the work that I will be doing will develop over time as the year progresses.

Zimmerman Architectural Studios is hosting and I’ve begun to move into their beautifully renovated space on the north side of the Menomonee Valley. The Derse Company, another Valley business, has graciously donated a pair of display panels. These are installed in Zimmerman’s atrium and an introductory display of my prints is already in place.

Zimmerman is hosting an open house on January 17, in conjunction with gallery night. I hope you’ll stop in for a visit. Although it’s easily visible from I-94, their building can be a little hard to find. It’s located at 2122 W. Mount Vernon Avenue with access from 25th. Street. It’s just beyond the octagonal brick tower.

I am no stranger to the Valley since I’ve been photographing there since I began work on my book Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed in 1999. However, I felt the urge to get out this morning right away. I also love the falling snow. And so here are two initial offerings from my first day as Artist in Residence in the Menomonee Valley. I invite you to follow my progress throughout the year on this blog or on my facebook page