Director's Note 8/1/18

August 1, 2018

We’re catching our breath. Sending thank you notes, paying bills, walking the grounds to site a sculpture, talking to our arborists about failing ash trees, Japanese beetles, and errant limbs. Most of all, we are processing the experiences of our very active July, which culminated in the performance of Citizen last Saturday. Joined by a cast of more than 40 performers of all ages, Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group presented Wilson’s reimagining of the piece, making use of the landscape, bodies, communities, and sculptures that comprise Lynden. When, at the end of the performance, Reggie Wilson led Arianne King Comer up the hill to join the performers wrapped around a tree--dancers from Fist and Heel, the Roselette Dancers from Clinton Rose Senior Center, the children from Walker’s Point Center for the Arts who participated in our collaborative Citizen camp, and the community members who bravely devoted three weeks’ worth of evenings to becoming part of the piece--I more than half expected the dying maple to burst into life.

In the hours that followed, we cleaned up, sent people on their way, and struck the outdoor dyeing studio that had been Arianne King Comer’s home for the past month. I already miss her constant presence, the center of gravity she created around the dye vats, electric frying pans filled with wax, tables littered with beautiful and well-used wooden stamps. I miss seeing her standing by the large, propane-fueled boiling kettle, stirring the cloth with her big, thick, stick as she removed wax from T-shirts, onesies, cloths, dresses, and sheets before laying them on the ground or in the rafters of the tent to dry. I miss feeling the ebb and flow of visitors who came to work with this indigo advocate and resist-dye master: some coming day after day, others dropping by just once. Comer’s work, now joined by the work of many community members who agreed to leave it on display for the moment, still fills our gallery. Be sure to stop in and see Ibile’s Voices before it closes on August 19, and consider taking one of Comer’s batik paintings home with you.

Thank you to all who attended, participated, and helped us with housing and other forms of support, as well as to the many funders who helped us bring so many artists and community members together.

Call & Response continues in August with a performance by artist-in-residence Portia Cobb (August 11), and the opening of Tyanna Buie’s solo exhibition, Im•Positioned (August 26). Cobb will be joined by the Jazzy Jewels and the Silverado Trail Riders (and two of their horses) for Rooted: Lizzie’s Legacy, an exploration of Lizzie, the imagined Gullah-Geechee woman at the center of Cobb’s project; her own Aunt Lizzie; and Uncle Pomp, a character created by Aunt Lizzie.

August brings our annual fundraiser, Harry & Peg Bradley’s Backyard Barbecue, on August 23. Tickets are on sale now, and proceeds underwrite our education programs, which serve over 4,500 children with hands-on activities at the intersection of art, nature, and culture each year. This event is of signal importance to us here at Lynden, making it possible to offer our programs to children for free or at reduced cost, and to cover bus transportation when schools cannot afford it. Without your support, our programs would not be accessible to the majority of the children we serve. The barbecue is also a relaxed, informal event with wonderful food by Braise, music by the Nathan Hale High School Orchestra and Sista Strings, plenty of family-friendly activities, and a stellar magician. Our auction items—including an opportunity to watch a Milwaukee Bucks Game from a luxury suite at the brand new Fiserv Forum—go online shortly, and we will accept bids in advance. Consider booking a VIP Table or purchasing a ticket today, and if you’re a long-time friend of Lynden, extend the invitation to others you know.

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