Director's Note 9/1/16

September 1, 2016

Lynden's annual backyard barbecue always brings a feeling of shift in its wake, a turning of a corner from summer to fall. The sensory evidence isn't always there: thanks to the rain, many things look greener than they have in a while, and it's only the stressed trees that have begun to drop their leaves. True, the sun is setting earlier and now takes advantage of the reflective surfaces of Marta Pan's bright red Floating Sculpture No. 3 and Bernard Kirschenbaum's aluminum Way Four to transform them into golden objects as it goes down. In the house, quiet descends the day after camps end. Aside from the steady whir of planning upstairs--for the fall education programs--the atmosphere has altered dramatically: no more mysterious thumps emanating from the art studio, or the sound of many young voices passing in and out of doors. The produce from the education garden is being distributed to staff and we even said goodbye to our chickens yesterday (Naomi Cobb packed them in a cat carrier and took them to the farm down the road, where they will become part of the Pampered Produce flock).

There is also a back-to-school feeling as we transition to fall programming. There are a few summer holdovers--Anna Martine Whitehead will be at Lynden September 17 for Run de Echo, the last of four performances this year that are part of Fo Wilson's project, Eliza's Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities. Those of you who shared a meal with Viktor Le and his collaborators after his performance; or participated as Honey Pot Performance inscribed the journey of Wonder, Peppa, Isis, and Althea on Lynden's grounds; or recorded your truth in the Cause Collective's Truth Booth and participated in the program at Eliza's cabin that day shared opportunities to write new chapters in Lynden's history, and to understand how artists, educators, and fellow members of the general public have responded to Wilson's work.

Artist-in-residence Sara Caron eases the transition into fall by continuing to host Coffee Mondays and lead her fortnightly hikes around the grounds. Many school year programs return this month: the popular weekly art drop-in, now spread over two afternoons and two age groups, and not far behind it our homeschool days and school's out workshops. Groups of students will be arriving for field trips and tours, and visitors of all ages will be turning their attention to changes in the prairies: the very young take up the subject of prairie life in Tuesdays in the Garden, and former land manager Bob Retko returns to lead a prairie seed harvesting workshop (this is your chance to gather some Lynden seeds for your own garden). Leslie Perrino will be stoking up the kiln for an enameling workshop, too. The Women's Speaker Series presents Gayle Forman, a celebrated author of young adult fiction making a shift of her own with Leave Me, her debut as a writer of adult fiction.

The big event for September is Urban Forest Fest, an occasion for Lynden to highlight its commitment to sustainability and the use of local resources. We are partnering with Wisconsin Urban Wood (with generous support from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board) to offer a day of activities that include sawmill demos, spoon carving, supervised tree climbing for kids, urban wood furniture vendors, an info fair, food trucks, and music from the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra. The goal is to introduce the public to the process of making wood products from condemned local trees--the ones in our backyards and lining the blocks we live on--and to demonstrate the capacity of urban forests to provide essential ecological and economic value, from carbon sequestration to local furniture. This fourth iteration of the Fest will also be a Family Free Day at Lynden, so admission is waived and we will be running a free shuttle bus from the Park & Ride near I-43 at the Brown Deer Road exit.

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