Director's Note 7/1/17

July 1, 2017

First things first: Lynden is open all weekend, and on Monday, too, but is closed for the day on July 4. If you have visitors in town, you might want to bring them over for the docent-led tour on Sunday at 2:30 pm. If you are deep into gardening just now, you could attend our workshop on natural approaches to garden pest control on Saturday, too.

This summer’s chickens have hatched, just in time for their piping to replace (disconcertingly) the bird calls in Cecelia Condit’s video installation, Tales of a Future Past, which came down this week.

June has left its mark on the landscape, and not just in ephemeral lakes left in the wake of rainstorms. Strong winds took down a willow tree earlier this week. Gary Gresl unveiled his installation, The Body Farm at Lynden; Joseph Mougel completed Rolling Hills, the first part of a two-part project, by digging a hole from dawn to dusk on the longest day of the year. He will return on the shortest day for Still River, when he will dig a companion hole.

The Bonsai Exhibit opened and is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On the other days, feel free to peer through the viewing gate or enjoy the patio by the water. Michelle Zimmer will be talking about the design of the garden surrounding the exhibit on July 29. If you’re strolling around, you may find the anomalous remains of costumes left behind by the animal-performers in Handel’s Bestiary, the Danceworks/Milwaukee Opera Theatre collaboration. You can join Danceworks here at the sculpture garden on July 22 for a family friendly movement workshop and a camp-related performance, Beasts in the Garden.

Things continue to alter and move as July approaches. We have been installing Katy Cowan’s exhibition, reflected-into-themselves-into-reflected in the gallery and on the grounds. The exhibition opens with a reception on July 9 and remains on view through October 29. It offers many pleasures. Exuberant painted wooden sculptures-- prairie plants will come to mind--fill the gallery, and bronzes, slipped into unexpected locations outside, provide a playful and subtle commentary on the not-quite-wild environment at Lynden.

Expect to encounter several artists-in-residence in July, many of them here to continue work begun by choreographer Reggie Wilson in 2015 and artist Fo Wilson last summer. Much of this is part of our Many Elizas programming, the second year of responses to Eliza’s Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities, Fo Wilson’s Afrofuturist installation on the grounds. On July 23 author Bianca Marais is the guest of the Women’s Speaker Series, reading from her new novel, Hum If You Don’t know the Words, and that afternoon we are delighted to present an intimate concert with Arsene DeLay on the porch of the cabin. (Keep your eyes peeled for a few more performances on the porch this summer.) Reggie Wilson will be here for three weeks, and will host guests from Milwaukee and Chicago as he develops future projects, including the remaking of his latest work, Citizen, here next summer. Other guests include chef and food anthropologist Scott Barton, who will preserve vegetables from Lizzie’s Garden with Portia Cobb. Textile artist Arianne King Comer arrives late in the month to prepare for a two-week dyeing residency with Cobb, and to meet with Reggie Wilson about collaborating next summer. Be sure to visit Lizzie’s Garden when you are out by Eliza’s Cabinet; if you’re lucky, you may see Cobb performing as Lizzie, an amalgam of her great aunt and an imaginary Gullah-Geechee woman born 20 years after the Civil War. The project explores foodways that survived slavery in the South Carolina low country.

Artist-in-residence Sara Caron has bowed to popular demand and will continue her Wednesday evening hikes in July. This is very good news for the staff at Lynden. We are big fans of her trail maps, her lapel pins, and—yes!—her trail mix. A new four-week session of tai chi with Angela Laughingheart begins July 9, Colin Matthes offers a wet-on-wet watercolor workshop on July 22, and poet Amanda Ngoho Reavey invites you for Bahala na! Writing the Wild Edges, a craft talk and workshop on July 29. Tuesdays in the Garden meets twice (July 11 and 25, the subject is flower power), dogs are welcome on July 15, and we’ll set things afloat in Little Drifters, a family workshop on July 16. Our Innovative Educators Institute takes place the week of July 10-14. The theme of this summer’s laboratory is narrating space—something we do quite regularly at Lynden--and you may encounter the group working with Reggie Wilson, Fo Wilson, Rose Curley, and Colin Matthes. You are invited to join them on July 28 for the opening of the exhibition of the work created during this summer laboratory for teachers.

Summer camps are up and running. There are just a few spaces left; book now.

Don't forget: tickets for Harry & Peg Bradley's Backyard Barbecue, our 6th annual fundraiser to benefit our education programs, are on sale now. Join us Thursday, August 24, 5-8 pm for a feast from Braise, libations from Brenner Brewing, entertainment, activities and more.

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