Archive for February, 2011

CSP Mystery Ball – 2011   15 comments

Posted at 4:24 pm in Art,Bisbee,future

detail from Bisbeeland – an outdoor installation by Robert Bennett

As mentioned in my last post, for the past month, I’ve busy working on several art pieces destined for an installation at the Mystery Ball fundraiser for the Central School Project (Bisbee’s community center for the arts). The event was held on Saturday, February 5th, and has been declared a great success. Over 20 regional artists created visual, audio, multimedia and performance art installations on three levels of the CSP’s unique and historic building located in the center of old Bisbee.

view of MADEA installation by Joe Klinger and Danny Seltzer

All of the installations were wonderfully creative. One interesting aspect of almost every installation was that they were made from found objects and recycled materials. Although I can only feature a few of the works here, please visit the online gallery which I’ve created to display some of the photos that I and a couple of friends shot during the evening. Just click on any image to see its larger view, and the same goes for the photos in this blog post. I spent a good three hours wandering around all levels of the building, studying and photographing installations, and watching the multimedia and performance art productions. All were fascinating or entertaining in some way.

NoVOGRAFIAS: poembirth multimedia performance installation by Logan Phillips

One of my favourites of the evening was Logan Phillips’ multimedia performance installation, NoVOGRAFIAS: poembirth. It was visually intense and kept many watchers spellbound, standing crowded together peering through the doorway into a small room. I sat on some nearby theater seats and slipped over to shoot photos and a couple of video clips when there was a brief gap in the watchers. Here is a short video clip of the performance which went on almost non-stop for three hours (the clip is in .mp4 format). The other multimedia piece that held my attention for quite some time was the Digital Puppets Brought to Life by Natural Interactions – by the Circus of Tiny Invisibility. The installation featured a digital puppet theater consisting of a cloth projection sheet. Passersby could stand within a certain area in front of the screen and move about in ways which would cause clowns, acrobats and other digitally created puppets to move on the projection sheet. All of this is best seen rather than described, so I’ve put up a short video clip of one mystery ball attendee acting out in front of the screen while a clown figure responds on the screen. Of course, each person who came along had his or her own ideas about how they would like the puppet to behave, making for some rather hilarious innovations.

view of LIFE: the ultimate gamble installation by Jen & Judy Harris

My hat is off to all of the artists, and the many volunteers who were responsible for putting together a terrific evening of art and entertainment, and also to Melissa Holden, executive director of the CSP, who did such an able job of coordinating the event. Everything seemed to run so smoothly.

For my part, I enjoyed contributing as one of the installation artists (see below for a photo of attendees viewing some of the pieces and see the main photo gallery for more images). I realize that others may not realize the significance of my participation in this event, but I feel the need to take note. Since my husband, Don’s death, I have not had much interest in creating art. In fact, it has been almost impossible for me to produce much of anything, in spite of lugging a well-stocked sack of art supplies, brushes, pens and canvases, back and forth across North America through several crossings over the past two and a half years. However, something about putting together this installation finally motivated me to be creative and productive, at least for awhile. Here’s hoping that the momentum will continue.

Note: Here is a link to a gallery of images of my own Life’s Little Mysteries installation.

view of Life’s Little Mysteries installation by Bev Wigney

Written by bev wigney on February 9th, 2011

lowry pueblo   7 comments

Posted at 11:20 am in Colorado,history,old buildings

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, but there is a reason. I’ll get to that below. Once again, this is a “catch-up piece” from this year’s trip down to Arizona. In my last post, I wrote about the visit to Hovenweep National Monument which lies on the most eastern boundary of Utah. After camping a night there, the dogs and I carried on with our travels. Hovenweep is contiguous to an area on the western boundary of Colorado which has been designated as Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. That area encompasses a number of ruins and countless archaeological sites, including the Lowry, Painted Hand, and Sand Canyon Pueblos. On this trip, I visited only Lowry Pueblo due to time, weather, and the amount of hiking I was prepared to do. My goal for the day was to visit Lowry, then drive onward through a couple of Colorado villages before re-entering Utah and driving north to camp near Moab.

Leaving Hovenweep, I followed a narrow paved road that led through a high desert landscape of rock and sagebrush. I passed several roads leading off to ruins I had elected not to visit on this occasion. Shortly, I crossed the state line between Utah and Colorado. I was a little surprised to see the high desert suddenly give way to huge rolling tracts of irrigated hay fields. Roofed hay shelters, jammed to the rafters with large rectangular bales, dotted the countryside. A couple of long transport trucks were being loaded with bales that were probably bound for some region where hay is scarce. It was all a little puzzling as I had read that there are so many archaeological sites throughout this area, but I suppose that many of these farms were established awhile ago and fields must have been picked clean of rocks, then in more modern times, irrigation set up, to tame what must otherwise be fairly hostile lands.

As I neared the end of the 20-odd mile route between Hovenweep and Lowry Pueblo, I began to wonder where these ruins must lie as the farms seemed to be becoming increasingly developed and prosperous. As I drove the final short stretch of road, I caught sight of a sign pointing off to the left, a bit past a farm operation. Turning in, the road wound between some junipers before ending in a small parking lot. The pueblo ruins lay atop a knoll just a little further on. I had been told that they had a partial roof, so was not surprised by their appearance, but more by their location. This rocky, natural area lies just beyond neighboring irrigated hay fields. I parked and wandered along the trail to the ruins, stopping to read the interpretive signage. I’ll leave it to those who are interested, to check out the above-linked BLM page on the ruins – there’s quite a bit of info there, along with a map of the site. Suffice to say that the ruins are, in many ways, similar to those that I would soon visit at Chaco Canyon, in New Mexico, but are not quite so large. They have been excavated, but roofed over, and part of them reburied. It should probably be mentioned that many ruins are now left either undisturbed, or excavated and then reburied, as exposure to the elements is very hard on these structures and causes them to deteriorate without continuous maintenance. What we see as excavated and “stabilized” ruins, are just a small fraction of those which are left buried throughout the entire Four Corners region.

Within the main settlement structure, there is a kiva which one can view by entering the ruins through a low door opening. As the structure is roofed, that area is dimly lit, but probably gives a feel for how it would actually have looked during use when these ruins would have been sheltered by roofs made of branches and other materials. I stood awhile, imagining a time when the kiva would have seen ceremonial use. After leaving that space, I walked the short distance to view the great kiva which lies a bit separate from the village ruins.

This kiva (see above photo – click on all photos for larger views), is quite impressive in size. Although I visited several ruin sites in the region, I did not see any so large again until Chaco Canyon. I’ve included a photo of the interpretive sign at the kiva (see below) as it contains several interesting bits of information including the note that it seems this is a very old kiva, and that objects excavated at this site seem to show that it was in use over many centuries. Also, that stones on the floor are arranged in a way which creates symbolic figures of winter and summer people.

After leaving Lowry, I continued onward to the town of Pleasant View, Colorado. then turned northwest onto route 491, which passes through the village of Dove Creek before crossing into Utah and arriving at the town of Monticello. Along the way, I noted several buildings with signs for dry bean companies. A few old trucks were parked around a couple of these, so I stopped to shoot a few photos (I love old trucks). Approaching Monticello, I could see storm clouds dropping snow on the high peaks of the Abajo Range just to the west. It seemed that my decision to move on from Hovenweep was sound. Turning north, I headed for Moab, hoping to find a campsite somewhere outside town. More about that in my next post.

Above, I mentioned being quite busy lately. For the past month, I’ve been working on several pieces of art for an installation at the annual Mystery Ball fundraiser for the Central School Project (the community arts center) in Bisbee. I’m just in the process of putting up images of the pieces that I’ve created. I’ll be adding more today and again after the event this evening. You can find the images on my pbase photo gallery at this location, and there will be more about the event coming up on my blog soon.

Written by bev wigney on February 5th, 2011