Director's Note 11/1/18

November 1, 2018

Time, seasonal time, has been winding and unwinding these past several days. I headed to the East Coast at the end of last week, where fall, according to the trees, is just beginning. On the edge of Central Park the canopy still appeared full, the late afternoon sunlight filtering through insistently yellow leaves—a yellow that still carried an echo of the green of the past. Then back to Lynden, where I was greeted by a flaming paper bark maple when I pulled up behind the house. Its crown was a red mass that resolved into a network of variegated leaves ranging from deep red to pumpkin orange. Once inside, I could see through my window that the elm by Big Lake was already bare, its twisted branches revealed for winter. That vibrant yellow visible across New York has already departed; even the curling leaves on the ground have shifted toward red, orange, and brown as they slowly lose their color.

Trees have been much on my mind as I make my way through The Overstory, Richard Powers’s new novel. I saw trees everywhere on my treks through museums and galleries: the grain in the wood of a Brancusi sculpture, the form—not a tree form—that he elicits from that material; the large hands in Charles White’s powerful, meticulous drawings reaching forward and as gnarled as the trunk of the hawthorn across the lawn. Back at Lynden, we are beginning to mount a response to the devastation of emerald ash borer, a blight affecting as many as 300 trees on our grounds. In a collaboration with the Village of River Hills, funded through the Wisconsin RPCs and DNR Great Lakes Basin Tree Planting Grant Program, we have just planted a dozen new trees , a first step in the long work of reforestation.

Many of our public activities are moving indoors as the season changes. Holiday giftmaking workshops fill the next two months, and whether you are making a gift for yourself or another, these workshops provide a cheerful atmosphere for art making as we head into winter. Cary Suneja shares her knowledge of paper marbling; Edie Whitten will guide you through the construction of temari, the Japanese decorative balls that make beautiful ornaments or gifts; and Jane Moore will help you complete a holiday-inspired felted table runner. Jenna Knapp takes up bind-your-own gratitude journals when the Self-Care Studio drops in (which might be a good time to use the paper you marbled earlier in the month). We’ll be making stamps, excellent for printing holiday cards, in our family workshop.

We have another teacher professional development workshop coming up, this one on fabric interventions. Also on the calendar is our first homeschool day of the season--it is about reclaiming spaces--and a holiday School’s Out Art Drop-in just before Thanksgiving. And dog lovers shouldn’t forget our annual post-prandial dog day on November 24. Project FeederWatch enters its fifth season at Lynden in the middle of the month; if you’re interested in putting in a few hours counting birds at our feeders (you get to sit inside, in comfort), let us know.

Tyanna Buie’s exhibition, Im•Positioned, remains on view through early December, and she will be joined by Portia Cobb and Folayemi Wilson for an informal discussion on November 17.

Finally, the 2018 Nohl Fellowship jurors—Lucy Mensah, Risa Puleo, and Ashley Stull Meyers—kick off a weekend of jurying with a public talk at the Haggerty Museum of Art.

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