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Archive for March 14th, 2012

Oranges are one of the favorite foods of the Baltimore Oriole.  I find the bird and orange visually appealing because they are the same color!  (The orange and black contrast of this oriole is striking, even without the fruit.)

The base is constructed of found wood — from an old painted sign that I dragged from the wreckage of a burned-out Victorian grocery —  and a croquet ball sporting its original orange paint.

This piece will be available at the Indiana Artisan Marketplace.

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I wrote last about an emerging art project involving the urban birds of Indianapolis.

It’s important to have parameters in an ongoing project.  When I began carving 50 Little Birds, nearly three years ago, I sat down and developed a set of rules.  For the most part ‘ve stood by these.  In doing so I’ve maintained a focus and a style.  Most importantnly — I know my limitations — it’s kept me from being distracted by other projects, ideas and paths.

I’ve been mulling over this project for three days and want to move forward. I’ve a deadline (First Friday of September) and I want to get going.

Of course this is not set in stone.  The gallery will have some ideas about this and I’ve put out feelers to 2-3 folks that will have some valuable input.

The Project

Every Bird Has a Story – Urban Birds in Indianapolis

The Concept

I will be digging up the stories, folklore and adventures of Indianapolis folks within urban Indianapolis.  Though I don’t want to completely ignore the wonderful greenspace in our city, I want to see and hear about birds in yards, parking lots, loading docks, monuments and skyscrapers.

The Confines

For the purposes of this project urban Indianapolis will be defined as 38th Street on the North Sherman Avenue on the East, Raymond Street on the South and Holt Road on the West. Both sides of these boundary streets will be considered.  I will consider stories outside these confines, but you’d better have a great story or a great location.

The Process

I dig out folks and encourage them to share their bird experiences.  These folks will be photographed and their stories will be recorded.  From these stories I will carve thier birds.  At the planned September show these photographs, selections from transcripts and the birds that they inspired.

Purpose and Expected Outcomes

My bird carvings have always been about my own stories.  There has been a tremendous amount of power in this.  Many people are painfully unaware of their natural environment.  This seems to be most true within urban environments.  We are so busy.  There is so much to see and hear and do that we screen what is unimportant.  Unfortunately the natural parts of our environments are often the first to be screened.  In this project the folks that still hear and see will be identified.  In sharing their stories and experiences I hope to make more folks aware and interested. (Note to self – Write about experiences in urban classroom that reflect this.)

There we have it.  My only obstacle it to find the first story and to get to work,  (I’m calling you this week Hazel!)

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