Haystack in Maine Summer 2015

Haystack is a world renowned  arts retreat located on Deer Isle, Maine. Bemidji State University enabled me to attend a creativity conference which featured several original thinkers and at least one TedTalking genius.  The following people changed my world and contributed to the collaborative art work Nos-Otros  which will be headed for Guatemala next week.

Brown Gwozdziec roof

The Jewish Temple in Poland

  Handshouse My first connection was with Laura and Rick Brown who are professors at the Massachusetts College of Art and recreate historical buildings and artifacts using traditional materials, techniques and

tools. http://www.handshouse.org/ Meeting Laura and Rick Brown was a transformational experience for me   These two professors share my passion for the power of community building through actual BUILDING!  Rather than chase after the “Never Before Seen” as many solo voice artists do, they are reconstructing the “Forever Lost”and doing it employing the materials and techniques of the original creators. The 1776 submarine and human powered catapult were my favorite.

Krista Lima

Barbara and Krista



Their assistants, Matt and Krista, taught me to grind WOAD and gave me hope for the future!


Rick Brown

Brown Laura

Laura Brown

Brown -B Painting

The teacher look

 They are now worldwide experts in this new field of teaching and learning which Laura and Rick Brown have invented.  As we used glass grinders to grind, and grind, and grind the WOAD, my little distractible heart was screaming for diversion

Brown Grinding WOAD

Grinding WOAD

When I asked Matt how he kept people at the grinding table he shared many stories and insights which the somewhat meditative grinding process produced as a byproduct of the WOAD grinding.   To clarify: The dialogue built community and as indicated by the statement from Matt and Krista… a new menu for WOADISMS. “We are  WOAD Warriors”  “WOAD is me  ”“The WOAD less traveled”


Dr. Ingold and Barbara

Artists as Intervenors: The Social Practice art form: My Artist Statement:Barbara Bridges seeks to empower all people to embrace the creative process. She makes art from artist fabricated components in a variety of media and rescued power objects. She organizes the objects to create meaning and provoke discussions and reflection on a wide variety of social topics including Ode to Gluten (agricultural practices), Onion/Academia Nuts, (Hi Tech/HiTouch in academia) Found In Our Water (water quality), and Talking Chairs (recovery/worldview truths). http://bridgescreate.com/

One of the Haystack presenters was  Cambridge educated philosophy professor, Tim Ingold, who holds a unique theory on art making. Dr. Ingold suggests that artists are simply “interveners” on the journey of the particular materials and/or objects the artist manipulates.  http://www.abdn.ac.uk/socsci/people/profiles/tim.ingold  If you read my artist statement above you can see that theory would have a certain appeal for me.


Michael Strand and EL-bowls

Sandbag Civil Disobedience in the Dakotas Michael Strand, Social Practice Artist, Chair South Dakota State art department  “I am always encouraged by the potential of many minds coming together”  How many miles can this stick travel in one week? Michael presented this lesson at Haystack.  His Sandbag and Cup Exchange Projects exemplify the power of social practice art  http://www  michaeljstrand  com


An el-bowl made from using your elbow








Saul Griffith 2

Saul Griffith in the Fab LAb

Last but certainly MOST! Saul Griffith, Ted-TALKER, inventor and genius of Other Lab https://otherlab  com/  in California. Other Lab shelters another dozen start up companies with 80+ people changing our world in small and large ways.    After listening to Saul speak, I told him I felt I was in the presence of greatness    Never said it before- probably never will again

“The digital and the analog are not in opposition   Digital tools will expand our library of opportunities” 

Saul Griffith

Saul Griffith LAp Top

The great Griffith’s computer

Saul w B

BArbara so starstruck that a wet hair photo worked.

Saul 3



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