We started the month with fool’s day following a full moon. A day littered with decorated eggs, chocolates, plastic fake grass, and colored bunnies. Many of us do not know or feel connected to what we are celebrating or why we have a day made specific for jokes and jest. Is it important to know why we decorate eggs? At what point in our lives do we ask ourselves what are our beliefs versus our habits, or cultural customs?
We like to ask questions here at Instar. Lately we have been asking questions about the role of the artist and social change, which leads to the question of what is art and who is the artist? These are questions included in our new Instar Lodge Artist Questionnaire, a questionnaire that we ask our LEX*I*CON artists to respond to.
LEX*I*CON ARTIST: Rebecca Bray
This month we feature interdisciplinary local artist Rebecca Bray in LEX*I*CON. Rebecca Bray is co-facilitator of Parenting Praxis at the lodge. She is also the managing director of The Center for Artistic Activism and formerly the Chief Experiential Designer at the Smithsonian Institute. We visited her studio this month to learn more about her creations which include making house plants call you on the phone, devising a way to turn your pee into fertilizer while separating out pharmaceuticals, and most recently collaborating on a project that turns drawings into music. Learn more about her in our feature: The Story of The Story of Rebecca Bray.
NEW PROGRAMS: Community Conversations + What We're Reading
We have also started a new program of community conversations based on themes from our monthly What We’re Reading list. We are so excited about this program that we are designing ahead for a complete summer schedule which will be announced in May. This month we focus on regeneration, enchantment of place, and the values of slow living. Our reading lists includes local authors, Dina Falconi and Akiko Busch. We are hosting the community conversation as a walking talk at Hawthorne Valley (4/29 3pm).
These conversations are free, and open to anyone. We see them as opportunities for emergent ideas between people, rather than learning the truth by experts, or being in a heated debate where someone is inevitably wrong. We are inspired by David Bohm (physicist, theorist) who discusses the idea that truth is dialectic. In his essay, ‘For Truth Try Dialogue’ he says, “In a dialogue there is no attempt to gain points, or to make your particular view prevail. It is more a common participation, in which people are not playing a game against each other but with each other. In a dialogue, everybody wins.”
ARTISTS AT INSTAR: Peggy Awesh + Louise Smith
This month we are delighted to welcome artist Peggy Awesh into the Instar Lodge Studio, well known for her experimental film and video work. This month artist-in-residence Louise Smith is offering an incredible young person’s drawing workshop! Make sure to check it out and sign your children up!