As many of you may know (or have inferred) from this blog, that while I am more than happy to openly share insight, thoughts, processes, secrets and trivia about my creative practice, I rarely share information about my personal life. In order to offer a bit of an explanation for my long absence though, I feel inclined to share in the joyful event of this past year. Last July (yeh over a year ago already!) I had a son. He is amazing.
I really thought I would bounce back from the birth with him attached to me (I joked about velcro suits) and continue at my hectic pace of production. While I had some commitments soon after – to which I adhered – I mostly found myself wanting to spend all my time with him (first cuddling and nurturing, now playing and exploring). It has been, quite honestly, a little hard to leave the bubble of fun that is our time together and get back to a committed, passionate and engaged practice.
I’ve had discussions with other artist and working moms and I have decided that as hard as it may be for me (he’ll be fine though!) it is important that I do return to it. I want to set a good – no – great example for him – you can do anything you dream of and you can have an impact on the world. So I am working to find the perfect balance between being a committed and engaged arts practitioner and a committed and engaged mum.
So with that in mind I would love to bring you up to speed.* Let’s see…
- I spent an awesome few weeks attending and participating in the College of Tactical Culture. Thanks to Eyebeam, Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe.
- 9 months pregnant, I spent the hot summer afternoon on a rooftop in Manhattan planting my 100 green roof modules for Seeding the City with some amazing teens from Covenant House. A big thank you to you all (belated) for all your help. These guys also nurtured and grew the plants through summer getting them well established for distribution.
- what would turn out to be 1 day prior to going into labor, I spent the day handing out maps and pigment bottles to loads for people in Battery Park City. All so they could draw all over the park and Lower Manhattan as part of The Big Draw.
- I launched Seeding the City! After 2 years of planning and planting, I hired an amazing project manager who helped make it happen. We started with a few sites and grew slowly over the winter. More updates on on the Seeding the City blog.
- Presented Seeding the City and results from the College of Tactical Culture at the Conflux Festival.
- I filmed an interview about Seeding the City with the KrisCan show – her video should be coming out soon. In it I dance with the baby in a wrap (he was there for the whole interview).
- I was invited to be the artists in residence at Lang College at The New School. I worked with two classes and led my own project class as we explored underutilized spaces and the potential for greening. We participated in the Art in Odd Places Festival with our Plant Here tagging project.
- I told about 500 people 1) to share their favorite word and why, 2) I drank too much water and now I need to pee, and 3) why experiential learning and surprise/unexpected have a powerful impact on learning and memory – all part of the Creative Time Summit.
- I participated in the Wave Hill Winter Workspace program. Spent time catching up on old projects (put together a Seeding the City video for the Kickstarter campaign) and played with some new project ideas.
Jeff Hnilicka Sustainability Lab at Transformer Gallery
Seeding the City
That about brings us up to speed. There are probably some bits that I forgot (what a surprise), and mostly I will be working on the Seeding the City project in the fall, but maybe there will be some new projects popping up soon as I find my balance.
*If you are interested in me blogging more about being an artist and a mum, leave a note in the comments – otherwise I will probably continue to keep it more on the professional practice side (but I am happy to share if there is some interest).