Social Practice Workshop

Social Practice Art WARM Forum and Workshop

B All PArticipants

October 3,  2015   9:00 AM-12:00 PM  Location:  Walker Library 2880 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Susan seb  Layl and Barb Jill Barb at Workshop

(612) 543-8400  WARM Members are free, non members $10 each .  Members can bring a friend for $5. Credit Card Preferred.  Please register at

Attendees will review a range of Social Practice projects for inspiration. Next, in small groups, participants will identify a social topic and brainstorm a Social Practice project. Development of projects which could be used in the practice of participants will be encouraged.  Please bring laptops and any other resources which might be
useful to the objectives of our workshop!  We welcome attendees from all
disciplines, teachers, scientists, counselors, farmers and others interested in experiencing how art can change the world!

pic armington
Susan Armington’s art and community work deal with connecting across difference, and the role of art-making and sharing stories in bringing deeper understanding of ourselves and of others.  She
creates large-scale maps with community stories in them, and directs the Talking Suitcases™ project in which participants create and share their own story objects and Talking Suitcases about their lives.  Read More:


Barbara Rogers Bridges seeks to empower all people to embrace the creative
process. She makes art from rescued power objects and artist fabricated components
in a variety of media. She organizes the object to create meaning and to provoke
discussion on a wide variety of social topics. These include projects focused on
gluten intolerance and water quality. Barbara is a 40 year teaching veteran.

Read More:

jon liv

Johnathon Liv: Boston Harbor  2014

Claudia Poser
Debra Ripp
Kate Vinson
Shelly Losee
Layl McDill
Kate Vinson
Jill Waterhouse
Marietta Mayberg
Catherine Palmer
Gary Hoover
BArb Kobe

Johnathon Liv was created for the Route One: USA project.
Mixed Media: Adirondack, Seagull, plastic bottles, cigarette packs,
shells, rope
Wollaston Beach in Quincy, MA was a pungent experience when
I stepped from the car.  I saw many people running and playing
and swimming in the water but it smelled of chemicals to my
Maine nose.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to identify and
verify any studies done on the water quality in Boston Harbor.
I did find several federally funded reports which displayed the
raw data which was difficult to analyze with no legend for
acronyms but I I did find the following report
which indicated that the risk for swimmers was from
human waste – not chemical.
part of Found In Our Waters
More Works: LOVE, Take To The Air:

Websites and  Resources for Social Practice:
Unmaking War-Remaking Men  by Kathleen Barry

One Event :
Civil Disobedience!fargo-sandbag-project
Ongoing:Found in Our Waters -Cuba
Found in Our Waters -Route 1 project
Ode To Gluten –
ecovery –
Sunflower Project –
Talking Suitcases:

Planning Worksheet for a Social Practice Project

Healing and Community
The participants will experience a healing process where they will connect with, and become aware of, their feelings and their bodies.
Project:  Make body casts of a part of their body and reflect on their “amputation”. Could be a metaphorical physical, spiritual or emotional.

Urban Sanctuaries

The participants will record how Urban Sanctuaries could provide  sanctuary spiritual emotional and physical by sharing photos of your sanctuary at #urbansanctuariesmn on Instagram.
Ptoject: Photo Contest will produce a poster. Planning Page

FAcebook Photo contest

Recovering Eden- A Place to Gather and Walk
The participants will feel empowered to transform their neighborhood through intentional walking meditation, clubs and creating  art garden hubs.
Project: Blogging, Performances, art making and other community events

Bemidji State University PEDL GoodBye

In Professor mode

In my professor outfit with Oh Pioneer on the screen

After a three day dash back to Minnesota from Maine, I arrived at Anoka Ramsey to start my last academic semester at Bemidji State University. The PEDL team has built the program back up to 250+  and a dozen professors.  When we all come together at the Face to Face three times a year it  feels like the most energizing of conferences with 250 of your friends!

I saw two cakes on the table and I  thought it must be someone’s birthday-until I read the messages. One said, “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History”. Bemidji DID make history with the first teacher licensure program in the nation.  We have trained over 5000 people to stand in front of a classroom in a very different way.  When Pat Rogers (now provost of Winona State U) first called me and suggested we go online- I gave her the two fingers crossed hex sign. “I could never train teachers online”, I protested! How wrong I was.  I know my students twice as well “in the air” as I ever did “on the ground”.  I am really so very proud of what BSU has built with our PEDL program.              


Installed in my kitchen-ready at a moment’s notice!


VIPs said kind words. I was touched. Department Chair, Tim Goodwin, reported he was flattered that I had called and urged him to serve as department chair.  We needed him and he has been wonderful.  Dean Troy Gilbertson mentioned our long history together when he was the union president. He gave me a ceramic flower vase he had created. Cops make art! How great is that!? The Prof Ed department presented me with a lovely BSU jacket.  My mentor, former dean and now Provost/Vice President, Martin Tadlock named, OUTLOUD, the personal and professional cost of building an online teacher licensure programback in 2002.  His perfect gift to me- a VOODOO doll!   I could have definitely used that a decade ago!! ;/00000.




cake Well behaved women cake viewing cake - live a lifeMirlande Erickson, PEDL program manager,  brought us YUMMY cakes.  The message on the second cake was “There Are All Kinds of Ways to Live a Life”.  I have had a challenging life and I say this phrase often to myself and to others.  It is the foundation of all the courses I teach and how I try to live.  Your truth is A truth, not THE truth.

second generation-Mim

Mim and daughter

Sally Gibson and Diane Aldis celebrated with me at Erte and Loring Pasta with Orangtinis! Lisa Krall gave me a wonderful reflection party game!! Mim, a BSU colleague,  was there with her daughter. We are into 2nd and 3rd generations! We made a difference!

NAte Brager confirms it:
 I’d like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank you, not just for the things you’ve taught me in class but for the work you’ve done in creating this entire program.  For those of us who are non-traditional students, the opportunity for advancement can be elusive.  Politicians and others often tell us to better ourselves, but few people have been able to offer real opportunities to do that.  You are the exception.  Read more: Nate confirms it.



Kris in service

PEDL Coordinator, Kris Nei, responsible for building the program back to its full potential and I suspect organizing my lovely tribute,  played Perry’s Oh Pioneer and gave me the most soulful gift of all.  She asked the audience to raise their hands if they could NOT have pursued a teaching license if not for the PEDL program.  I saw a room full of two hundred people raise their hands. It made me cry. I am confident my baby will grow in wonderful innovative ways I cannot yet imagine.  Join our FaceBook and enjoy the ride!



Bridges, B Three WAves (1)

Three Waves 2015 Mixed Media: Re-cycled frames, original paintings and prints, collage, papier-mâché, beads, 24” X 18” X 4”.


What is my next chapter?  I have art works being shown at a Smithsonian affiliate and Chicago (Take To The Air, an International collaborative project in Guatamala, San Salvador, New York (Nosotros ) and maybe Minneapolis, a Minneapolis Institute of Art/MCAD Guerrilla Girls Exhibition (Three Waves) and one of my proudest summer achievements installed in Sandy Point, Maine (LOVE

Join me for workshops at my Minneapolis studio and in Maine in 2016 (

Friend me on FaceBook!




Nosotros (US)

Many is More in Progress


The Power of Collaborative Creating: Social Practice Art

 Many is More 2015 IN PROGRESS.
12” H X 24” W X 10 “ D
Mixed MediaFound objects contributed by 12 collaborators.

Barbara Rogers Bridges –assemblage artist
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.

Many is More represents an organic brain filled with the thoughts and experiences of a dozen collaborators. 

Keith L. Andrews, bronze sculptor
Nos-otros is an exploration of the processes and consequences of people as they collaborate creatively. While explicit collaboration among equals is the norm in most human activities, it is relatively uncommon in the visual arts. In the name of authenticity and as an unquestioned norm, visual artists generally are expected to practice solo creation.

This project experiments with the alternative by allowing one artist (Keith L. Andrews) to work with a diversity of men and women, young and old, from five nations, using different media, starting from a diversity of visions and working processes. The constellation of themes includes aging, dialogue, social realities, interpersonal conflict, gender, trust, love, loss, and humor.

* Art and artists play many roles in contemporary society   Some artistic practices support just socio-political practices and processes   At other times, artists ignore or even encourage injustices
* We are members of a demographic cohort that has tried for a half century to be involved in positive social change
* We are also beneficiaries of a society that has given us a certain amount of financial freedom and security   And we intend to use that freedom, not to indulge ourselves but to facilitate our commitment to social change through artistic practice

  • We will stimulate and be involved in positive social action
  • We will provide constructive criticism
  • We will denounce and oppose, when needed
  • We will maintain our commitment to bettering the world
  • We will use our time energy and experience for our constant improvement
  • We will work collaboratively with others
  • We are willing to teach and mentor but we will never stop learning from others, including those younger than us

We will always look to the future, focus on the present, reflect on the past

Deconstruction of Collaborator Objects

Reflections from Barbara                                                                              Collaborator Statements

Rock from Sandy Point Beach
Lynda’s next promotion will be the Chancellor of 37 universities    I have worked as a professor for her in one way or another for 18 years   She supported my development of the first hybrid/online teacher licensure program in the United States    She shared the vision   We made it happen    Her choice of this particular rock from our beach was interesting to me   Most of our stones are smooth and round and black   She DID select something rare   As is she.
Lynda Milne  Associate Vice Chancellor –MnSCU MinnesotaFair
A little bit jagged
 milne rock
 lazer chameleon Laser Cut LizardI met Saul at an art retreat at the Haystack School in Deer Isle, Maine   After listening to him speak, I told him I felt I was in the presence of greatness    Never said it before- probably never will again   Thank you Haystack.
Saul Griffith –Ted-TALKER, inventor and genius of Other Lab https://otherlab  com/  CaliforniaThe digital and the analog are not in opposition   Digital tools will expand our library of opportunities 
 chameleon Anole
In the early 1970’s I lived in St   Croix, USVI for 5 years   I had 27 house guests that first year   I had the sisters of my junior high boyfriends show up! The little  house anoles charmed my mom
Jeanne Rogers- Nurse, teacher -MaineA visit with our daughter in the Caribbean was filled with surprises, not the least of which was this little creature that skitted about unbidden in and around all areas in the rooms   
Maine Sea Glass
We met in nursery school, or I should say, when our daughters started nursery school   Bellies fat with our sons, we became lifelong friends and share a love for what the sea brings to our Penobscot Bay beaches
 sea glass 001
Brenda Mercer, teacher, nurse  Maine
Sea glass makes me think of the ocean singing and how blessed you and I are to have known this beautiful bay 
Pine ConeI received my first kiss at age 13 from Eddie Atkins in Pam’s kitchen in Bangor, Maine   I think Eddie kissed all the girls but it was still memorable for me, as evidenced by my remembrance of his name    PS   Pam is not just any old English teacher   She took Steve King’s job at Hampden Academy when he found a $100,000 advance check for Carrie in the mailbox in front of his trailer!
 pine cone etc 001 Pam Johnson English Teacher –Maine
Pine cone-deep Maine rootsreaching to evergreen heights  Constant yet adapting-   like us 
 Traveling twig Traveling Twig
Stick from the Traveling Twig assignment    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
Michael Strand, Social Practice Artist, Chair South Dakota State art department  http://www  michaeljstrand  com
I am always encouraged by the potential of many minds coming together   
 Poland PAint brush World Traveling Brush from the
Gwozdziec Reconstruction project in Poland
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 favorites.
Rick and Laura Brown, PBS documentary, Artists and Teachers, historical Re!constructionists Massachusetts College of Art http://www  handshouse  org/“Hundreds of student workers have created Handhouse Studios and the historically authentic objects which have come to life there    Motto:  “Learn by Building”
Barbara’s  Reflections
Meeting Krista and Matt, former students and current worldwide experts in this new field of teaching and learning which Laura and Rick Brown have invented was another Haystack moment for meAs we used glass grinders to grind, and grind, and grind the WOAD, my little distractible heart was screaming for diversion   When I asked Matt how he kept people at the grinding table he shared many stories and insights which the somewhat meditative process produced as a byproduct of the activity   To clarify: The dialogue built community and as indicated by the statement from Matt and Krista… a new menu for WOADISMS
Collaborator Statements
Krista Lima, Matt Jeffs, Artists and Teachers, historical Re!constructionists  MassachusettsWOAD is one of the most important and difficult pigments used for the painting   It required a great deal of effort to grind before mixing into liquid paint
We are  WOAD Warriors”“WOAD is me  ”
“The WOAD less traveled” 


This project changed me in ways I do not even recognize yet   Jeffs


Watch “Everthing is Illuminated” starring Elijiah Wood   Then you will understand what we experienced   Lima

These two new Sandy Point neighbors have already shown themselves to be “keepas” , as we say in Maine.Smart with Heart.
Greg Biddinger,  ecologist –   Lise Leigh health scientist  TexasThe antler is from a wild deer imported to Texas to be ranched and hunted. A number of the deer caught wind of the ranching/hunting plan, jumped a few fences, found life to be quite good outside of the fences and established themselves most comfortably in Texas Hill Country.  Ah, the open range….true Texans.Collected on Valentines weekend. Antlers are symbolic of the horns of a dilemma, to stay in Maine fulltime or keep migrating back and forth to Texas?
Coquina is the stone that saved Spanish Florida.
And in many ways, Gail helped me save myself. How apt.
Gail Gannon Social studies teacher, school counselor
The Spanish in Florida built the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine out of this light and porous rock. The thick walls absorbed English cannon balls rather than shattering, providing a surprisingly long-lived fortress. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from coquina. If we can absorb the cannon balls of life in order to remain standing, that is much better than being a hard stone wall, easily shattered.

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. 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).

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.  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



More on the connection between chemical imbalance and Addiction

Sweet Sixteen, 1973-74. Paint on canvas,
Collection of Lolli Thurn

Outsider Art = mentally Ill?

Week One A Teacher’s Introduction to Mood Disorders.

Why does that kid act like that?????  


MOOD DISORDERS Mood disorders are persistent changes in mood caused by biochemical imbalances in the brain. Major depressive disorder  and bipolar disorder are two types of mood disorders. Major depressive disorder is depressed mood accompanied by symptoms such as: loss of interest or pleasure in life; irritability; sadness; difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much; decreased or increased appetite; lack of concentration; sense of worthlessness; guilt; and in some cases, thoughts of suicide. Bipolar disorder is a cycle of depressed mood, “normal” mood and mania. Mania is an elevated, exaggerated mood accompanied by symptoms such as: inflated self-esteem or confidence; a decreased need for sleep; increased energy; increased sexual drive; poor judgment; increased spending; agitation; non-stop talk; and increased involvement in pleasurable and possibly  dangerous activities.

Psychosis is the active state of experiencing hallucinations or delusions and can be organic (mental illness) or drug induced. Schizophrenia is a disturbance involving delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and/or disorganized or catatonic behaviour. Delusions are false beliefs or misinterpretations of situations and experiences. Hallucinations can  be auditory, visual, olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste) or tactile (touch), but auditory hallucinations are most common. Schizophrenia is also associated witha deterioration of a person’s ability to function at work, school and/or socially.

ANXIETY   DISORDERS Anxiety disorders are associated with feelings of anxiousness, combined with physiological symptoms that interfere with everyday activities. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder are types of  anxiety disorders.Obsessive-compulsive disorder is marked by repeated obsessions and/or compulsions that are so severe they interfere with everyday activities. Obsessions are disturbing, intrusive thoughts, ideas, or images that cause marked anxiety or distress. Compulsions are repeated behaviours or mental acts intended to reduce anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the re-experiencing of a very traumatic event, accompanied by feelings of extreme anxiety, increased excitability and the desire to avoid stimuli associated with the trauma. The trauma could  be related to such incidents as military combat, sexual assault, physical attack, robbery, car accident or natural disaster.  Phobias are significant and persistent fears of objects or situations. Exposure to the object or situation causes extreme anxiety and interferes with everyday activities or social life. Specific phobias have to do with objects or situations — for example, germs or heights. Social phobias have to do with social situations or performance situations where embarrassment may occur — for example, public speaking or dating.

PERSONALITY   DISORDERS A personality disorder is a pattern of inner experience and behaviour that is significantly different from the individual’s  culture; is pervasive and inflexible; is stable over time; and leads to distress or impairment. Personality disorders usually  begin in adolescence or early adulthood. Dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as “multiple personality disorder,” is the presence of two or more distinct identities that alternately control a person’s behaviour. It reflects a failure to make connections between identity, memory and consciousness. Known by the general public as “split personality,” there is now a controversy as to whether or not it is a real diagnosis.

EATING DISORDERS  Eating disorders are a range of conditions involving an obsession with food, weight and appearance that negatively  affect a person’s health, relationships and daily life. Stressful life situations, poor coping skills, socio-cultural factors regarding weight and appearance, genetics, trauma, and family dynamics are thought to play a role in the development  of eating disorders. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by an intense and irrational fear of body fat and weight gain, the strong determination to become thinner and thinner, the refusal to maintain a normal weight (for height and age) and a  distorted body image. Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by self-defeating cycles of binge eating and purging. Bingeing is the consumption of large amounts of food in a rapid, automatic and helpless fashion and leads to physical discomfort and anxiety  about weight gain. Purging follows bingeing and can involve induced vomiting, restrictive dieting, excessive exercising or use of laxatives and diuretics.
Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Web site: EDAP

FACTORS THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE  TO THE DEVELOPMENT O f   MENTAL ILLNESS The following are factors that may contribute to the development of mental illness: · chemical imbalance · substance use · traumatic life events · heredity · other illnesses. Factors that may contribute to the development of mental illness: Discussion guide Although there is currently no agreement about the exact causes of mental illness, the following factors are recognized as playing a role in the development of various mental illnesses: Chemical imbalance There is growing evidence that mental illness may be partially caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Many people respond well to medications that address such an imbalance and many of the symptoms of their illness are reduced or eliminated. There is no clear causal relationship between substance use and the development of mental illness. People who have mental illness may use alcohol and other drugs to relieve some symptoms of their illness. However, substance use may actually worsen symptoms and delay proper diagnosis and treatment. There are also cases in which substance use has induced psychotic behaviour, both because of the chemical effect of the drug and because the drug unmasks a pre-existing  mental illness. Traumatic life events Similar to substance use, traumatic life events can, in some instances, make people more vulnerable to developing mental illness. Instead of recovering from a situational depression (e.g., grief following the death of a loved one), some people may go on to develop a more profound, clinical depression. Heredity We are learning more about the role heredity plays in the development of mental illness. Researchers have found that with certain diagnoses, the likelihood of a child developing a mental illness is greater if one or both parents have a mental illness. Examples of diseases thought to have a genetic component include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression.

FAMOUS PEOPLE WITH MENTALILLNESS It is important to know that having a mental illness does not mean that you can not live a productive life.   It is exactly like diabetes… the person needs to adjust the chemicals and live a very cognitive and considered lifestyle.    (Diagnosis or believed diagnosis of mood disorder, unless otherwise indicated)ACTORS/ENTERTAINERS/DIRECTORSMarlon Brando Drew Carey Jim Carrey Dick Clark John Cleese Rodney DangerfieldRichard Dreyfuss Patty Duke Frances Ford Coppola Audrey Hepburn Anthony HopkinsAshley Judd Margot Kidder Vivien LeighJoan Rivers Roseanne Winona Ryder Charles Schultz Rod Steiger Damon Wayans Robin Williams 129 ATHLETES Lionel Aldridge (schizophrenia) Oksana Baiul Dwight Gooden Peter Harnisch Greg LouganisElizabeth Manley Jimmy Piersall Monica Seles Darryl Strawberry Bert Yancey   AUTHORS/JOURNALISTS Hans Christian Andersen James Barrie William Blake Agatha Christie Michael CrichtonCharles Dickens Emily Dickinson William Faulkner F. Scott Fitzgerald John Kenneth Galbraith Ernest Hemingway John KeatsLarry King Eugene O’Neill Sylvia Plath Edgar Allen Poe Mary Shelley Neil Simon William Styron Leo Tolstoy Mark Twain Mike Wallace Walt Whitman Tennessee WilliamsVirginia Woolf   POLITICAL FIGURES/WORLD LEADERS Alexander the Great Napoleon Bonaparte Barbara BushWinston Churchill Diana, Princess of WalesTipper Gore Thomas Jefferson Ralph NaderFlorence Nightingale George Patton George Stephanopolous   COMPOSERS/MUSICIANS/SINGERSIrving Berlin Ludwig van Beethoven Karen Carpenter (anorexia) Ray Charles Frederic Chopin Eric Clapton Kurt Cobain Leonard Cohen Natalie Cole Sheryl Crow John Denver Stephen Foster Peter Gabriel Janet Jackson Billy Joel Elton John Sarah McLachlan Charles Mingus Alanis Morissette 132 Marie Osmond Charles Parker Cole Porter Bonnie Raitt Axl RoseRobert Schumann Paul Simon James TaylorPeter Tchaikovshy     ARTISTS Paul GauginVincent van Gogh Michelangelo Vaslov Nijinski (schizophrenia) Georgia O’KeefeJackson Pollock   BUSINESS LEADERSHoward Hughes
Think Different


Clay’s Story

More Genius or Madness??


Authentic Vice:

My experience with addiction.
Anonymous May 16, 2013 2:10 PM

Hello all,

I am a guest of Dr. Bridges come to share my experience with addiction and mental illness.

I grew up in what would be considered by most to be a typical american family. We had a stay at home mother, corporate executive father and 2 kids in our nuclear family. My sister and I wanted for very little, except perhaps a present father figure in our lives. My father was an intelligent man with a high powered job, but his primary interests were smoking, drinking, and pursuing his personal interests.

I swore to myself that I would never pick up a drink or a drug. I grew to despise my self-absorbed father and was completely committed to never becoming like him. This lasted till the end of my high school career. I spent my entire childhood and adolescent feeling like an outsider looking in. Near the end of high school I found acceptance among a group of other social outcasts. I started drinking with them just before my eighteenth birthday.

For the first time in my life I did not feel locked up within the prison of my mind. My thick shell of self-conscious analysis melted away and nothing seemed important. People and situations no longer had the same impact on me. The ever-present feelings of anxiety and disconnectedness disappeared. I made a total ass out of myself, and angered a number of my peers with my outrageous behavior. The consequences didn’t matter. I loved the feeling of absence and I prepared to give myself to oblivion.

Using drugs and alcohol offered me a release. They offered me relief for the first time I could remember in my life. I can’t tell you whether I am predisposed genetically to addictive behavior. I don’t know whether a tumultuous home life and lack of a male role model was causal. People who know little of addiction may assert that my abuse of chemicals was a failing of morality or a deficiency of character. I can tell you, based on the hundreds of people from all walks of life that I’ve met struggling with addiction, that the answer is not as simple as a single sentence.

The relationship between mental illness and addiction is incredibly complex. Strong correlations have been established between the two, and so dual-diagnosis treatment of addiction and mental illness has become more and more common.

Throughout my tenure as a drunk and a junkie I have been labeled with every diagnosis you could possibly imagine. It is incredibly difficult to diagnose an addict who is active in their addiction because many of the symptoms of drug addiction and mental illness coalesce.

Now that I’ve been sober for a period of time, my mental illness symptoms have subsided with the exception of the ones that played a huge part in the development of my addiction. I still suffer from anxiety at times, particularly social. I learned about the power of my cognitions to create these feelings, and as time passes and I practice the tools I’ve been given these symptoms decrease. I got the support I needed from other addicts like myself as well as a community of professionals who truly understood that addiction behaves very much like a disease. As future educators I would encourage you to learn about the disease model of addiction, and if you are somewhat ambitious, the neurobiological research on the subject is truly fascinating.

I can see how many people here have been touched by addiction and mental illness in their own lives. This truly is a problem that affects individuals in all walks of life regardless of status or education. As you become teachers you will invariably encounter those who are already struggling or who are at higher risk than others due to factors such as social rejection, troubled home lives and myriad other factors. Last I read most general practitioners in family medical practices only spent 2-4 weeks learning about addiction in their training. I believe that it is imperative for you as teachers to understand how addiction works, how to respond to individuals struggling with it, and how to talk to families about these issues.
Thank you for your time.

A. N. Addict

More Fun in Maine

mapleschool signAttending a memorial in Milo, Maine provided me with the opportunity to drive by my first home in Atkinson, Maine. We purchased the Maple School House and an acre of land for $500.  We also built a two story building out of railroad ties on the property.  We poured the foundation by hand with a cement mixer. Junior and High School friends Don Grant, Lennie Gordon,  Pam and Jeff Johnson (and others, I think) helped us. The things we do in our youth!!!

This was at about 45 years ago. I was shocked to discover that the dirt road was still a dirt road!  As I drove down it in Big Red (my Ford Flex), I remembered my pedal to the medal trips as I plowed through the spring  mud up to the VW Bug’s axles.  I finished my teaching degree from Atkinson. I would arrive at my student teaching placement in Orono smelling of wood smoke!

Syliva and DOn

Don Grant, Sylvia Foster Cindy Broder and Ron Hebert


My shower






The Maple Schoolhouse DID have electricity but no running water. After my time in the schoolhouse (and my 5 years in St. Croix where we had to catch the water on the roof and store it in the cistern or buy it),  I never step in a shower- even to this day- where I do not think , “What luxury!

Stove and Tub

liv room

School House Living Room









MAple tree

The Maple Tree!!


The Maple Tree School House Stump in the Magic Forest in Sandy Point

So…it was very sentimental to visit the site of my “back-to-the-land” days.  We had the garden, hunted and fished, had chickens, geese, pigs and a horse and after a few years decided this was a very diffident lifestyle. It took all day – every day- just to get ready for winter. This experience, however, has informed how I live in the world.

I am sorry to report that the school house was gone. Even more sad for me, they had cut the two signature maple tress (the only trees for miles around) for firewood!  Many stumps were still laying around and I have to admit that I snagged one which is now installed in the Chateau Mer  magic fairy forest.  Everything old is new again.


Fort Atkinson before

Fort Atkinson in 1973 ish

Fort Atkinson now wih jeep

Fort Atkinson now. Guess they did not want the deck looking at Mt. Katahdin

Fort Interia

Inside Fort Atkinson


Barbie B pulling cement to second floor

Fort Atkinson being built from railroad ties behind the School House  and cement is still standing tall and proud (it has a postmodern shack chic going)  .  I think it is being used as a hunting camp (as confirmed by a cell phone photo I took through the door).

I was shocked to see a compound of three McMansions in what used to be a corn field. This is 10 miles in on a dirt road!! I really wanted to go and knock on a door and get the back-story but I had just read “Under the Banner of Heaven” and I was too nervous. I asked Dr. Google and he reported that a Bunker was born in Atkinson, Maine, the youngest of Silas and Hannah Berry Bunker’s nine children.

Compund with fort

Compound behind Fort Atkinson



siloWe had a big farm next door to us on the Atkinson Road. He raised corn and dairy cows. I was shocked as I arrived- only the silo remained.  What would I find next door?




A colleague and I who brought digital learning to my university 17 years ago remarked at how I was able to stand in front of a gang of furious professors who were trying to block the adoption of online learning and maintain my composure.  I took my  Swiss Army knife out of my pocket book and said, ” If Armageddon came tomorrow and I had this, I could walk into the woods and survive. That gives a person confidence”.  A bit of an exaggeration, but you get the gist!

I was listening to our Paul Stooky  all volunteer sponsored radio station WERU the other day and they were discussing declining population here in Maine and  the aging old hippies and what was going to happen to their Maine land.

“The NARPs will have to save us”, the announcer said.  NARP stands for New Age Rural Professional.

We can only hope.

If not that, we need to make Maine a State Park and be done with it.




Chowda’ Party

J and D

Jeanne and Dustan Rogers



Making an authentic Maine Chowda’ is a very time intensive activity. First you start with a Maine Seafood feast.
You buy the lobsters (contrary to mythology- we Mainers do not pick those arachnids up free on the beach) and clams and steam them- saving the broth. A real Maine chowda’ has no WATER added. THEN you mince (not an easy task)  SALT PORK. Yes, one of the yummy ingredients is no, good, bad animal fat. This is a BIG challenge to many eco-purists and a cultural reality which has saved me from being a liberal extremist embarrassment to myself ; /0


Chowda MAster

Ann the Chowda’ MAster

Chowda Recipie


Zelda and THE table

Zelda and THE table

Wayne, Josh and MArge

The mayor with Josh and Marge

Thumbs Up for Chowda'

Thumbs up for Chowda’











Convening fabulous people from my past, present and future at the table created from a tree rescued and processed over a 6 year period from my Bangor, Maine  was a particularly soulful experience for me.


Lynda and lemons


Kent, Sue and MArty

Kent, Marty and Sue

Jane, Sam and Ev

Sam, Eve and Jane




Chowda' master and Kitchen Queen , Ann and Gail

Kitchen Queen Gail




Hosting my friend and professional colleague, Lynda Milne, from Minnesota and appreciating the kitchen support from my Sandy Point sister, Gail Gannon, made the event a memory for all.

Thanks to Diane and Mark for Orangetini duty. Recipe follows.

Orangetini  recipie

Orangetini and PAt


MARK posing with Orangetini



Maine Adventures June 2015

SP field 4


The first family for Summer 2015 was installed in Chateau Mer on Friday. Yikes…I am getting a little old for this kind of maintenance duty. Bree’s Field is looking great thanks to the Jamaicans who have been coming to work at Young’s Lobster Pound the last decade and came up here on their day off and did a week’s worth of work in a day!



Hot tub at SunriseThe big news is that I have a flush toilet and a hot tub in The Nest (where I live most of the summer).  I leave for Minneapolis on August 15.  Visit! Rent her



Eastern Thought



I managed to create a few art works in and amongst the digging and repairing.  I needed to replace  a chair in my Asian room.  I love all my Chairs but I really smiled throughout the construction of Eastern Knowing. Smiles are good. See Eastern Knowing.

SP Keith and Chair

The old Asian chair being adopted by my neighbor










DECK Sunrise PaintingI am also making small Sandy Point paintings with unique framing . See Sunrise on the Deck.




Road Trip to Maine: Summer 2015

CF4My friend and neighbor on Maine’s Penobscot Bay , Brenda Mercer, offered to fly to Detroit and drive to Maine with me this year.  Now THAT is a friend! Our first stop was Montreal where we had quite the experience in a very expensive hotel , Le Crystal,  which had too many problems to share. Then I would have to live it twice!   We were in room 610 and we started making  jokes about the complainers in room 610 and what the staff must be saying to each other when they saw the 610 light go on! Quebec was exactly the opposite experience. We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac.  . Our room was the turret way to the left. We  were fortunate to book the room at $258.00.  It was a spectacular experience. WAY worth it.  They have done such an impressive job keeping Old Quebec historically accurate. We went on a tour and heard a VERY different version of the colonial period and the role the St. Laurence Seaway played in it.

The most photographed hotel in the world (they claim) and I added to the total!

CF5 CF1 CF Lower Town brenda BArb CF3 Barb CF


Workshops !!

Workshops, Reunions and Retreats

Next Minnesota Workshop September 2015. DTTBA Limit 8. Email to register
Maine Workshop at Chateau Mer : Details: September 2016 Artist Workshop and Retreat  Limit 23. to register. Deposit holds your place. Pictures from the 2013 Retreat     Pictures from the 2008 National Art Educators Workshop

studio4Cabinet of Curiosities Workshop with assemblage artist, Barbara Rogers Bridges, at her unique NE Minneapolis arts district studio at 2323 Monroe St. NE on May 2, 2015   9:00 AM-1:00 P.M.  Click Here for Pictures of  Cabinet of Curiosities Workshop
Brought to you by WARM  Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota

* Sandy Gillespie
*Anne Kramer <>
* Layl McDill <>
*Laura Burlis  Sculpture.
*Gainey, Kathryn A. <
*Debra Ripp <>
* Susan Gainen <>
Susan Bowles
Anne Kleinhenz <> Studio Assistant