Monday, September 6, 2010

Sloup #3: April 2010

Jenny Murphy, Joey Korein, and Janelle Jones

What will you do with the Sloup Grant:
If awarded the Sloup Grant, the money will support a ‘mobile-bicycle-studio’ that three artists (listed above) will use to document their bicycle adventure from St. Louis to the West Coast creating a body of artwork about their journey. Part of the funds will also support a small exhibit of their work upon their return to St. Louis! We will be on the road this summer from the beginning of June to mid-August.

As artists and makers, we are interested in exploring how we can document, record, and map the memories of this unique experience. While we don’t want to give the project tight parameters, so that our experiences can shape the form of the piece, some ideas we have brainstormed are:

• Send one postcard a day to someone (family or friends,) and have them copy it and send it back to us once we are home and compile a journal of the trip
• Embroider our clothing as we travel
• Send artifacts to friends and family from the road and collect them when we return
• Electronically map out our route through photos taken and stored in Evernote (an application for iphones that allows you to take photos, and then it organizes them for you geographically)
• Photographic documentation by Janelle Jones with her Hasselblad 500c/m
• Document gifts made and given to people that host us along the way
• Drawings and Illustrations Galore!

Help us make art on the road! Sloup would cover cost of basic supplies for improvised projects, photography supplies and processing, postage for mailing work created on the trip to a ‘foster home,’ and costs for the final exhibit of the work.

A little bit about yourself and what led you to this project:
Jenny, Joey, and Janelle all graduated from Washington University with BFAs in May 2009. Jenny received a degree in sculpture, Joey in printmaking, and Janelle in photography. For two years we created a lovely home for ourselves living in an apartment together. There, we often sewed, gardened, cooked wonderful food, and had fun like 70-year-old women often do.

After graduation, Joey (a New York native) and Janelle (a St. Louis native) moved to New York City. Jenny, in love with St. Louis, stayed. Joey had the idea to reunite and go on a bicycle tour across the country. Excited (and a little scared) about letting go of all our responsibilities, belongings, and comforts of our communities to explore the country on two wheels, we wanted to give our trip some direction.

We decided to create a work of art along the way. We hope that by ‘making’ on the road we can not only capture the memories of our trip in unique ways but also enjoy the experience on a deeper level as we engage with the journey through our natural need to create.

A previous project of yours, and some ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal):
When we first moved into our third floor apartment, we explored the space and discovered a few metal pulleys attached to our fire escape. Immediately, we all sprung into action attempting to create a pulley system to carry objects (groceries, tools, love notes, etc.) up and down the fire escape with ease.

We rounded up supplies from what we had in the apartment, began creating different vessels to transport objects up and down, and tested out different rope configurations through the pulleys. An hour later the system still wasn’t working (fail) but we experienced the creative collaboration and excitement that could happen between us. The project was small and our goal (to have a working pulley system) was not achieved, but at this moment we connected through our inquisitive personalities and joined forces to create (success!)

Your power animal and/or icon:
chickens riding bikes. tandem bikes.


Your name or the title of your organization: Rebecca Estee

What you will do with your Sloup Grant:

Travel across America and write tiny poems and draw pictures and make small books about my adventure to send to loved ones and strangers

A little about yourself and what led you to this project: I have a pretty silly personal goal that is feeding into this project: I really want to visit all 50 states before I turn 25 and have 13 to go (I'm turning 24 in November so the clock is ticking). Also I've been living in St. Louis awhile now but have recently been feeling pretty itchy to travel. It is hard sometimes to write and get your work moving when you are in the same place and have lots of life things to deal with. I have trouble giving myself the time to get really involved with my creative work when I am so involved at my job and working on other community projects. So I'd like to open my eyes wide and take a little time to step away and see what kinds of things I can produce creatively on my own.

A previous project of yours, and some ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal): I did an internship at the community arts organization in Nairobi called Haba na Haba and was supposed to help start their visual arts program. Basically I just brought in a few supplies and played silly drawing games with a group of 6 boys. They told their older brothers about the classes and they started coming and helping with the teaching and suddenly we grew to a group of 30. It grew and developed really naturally and a lot of the older kids were involved in how and what we taught so that they took over once I left for the states. I think one of the shortcomings of the project was that there were a lot of similar organizations doing similar projects but we had difficulty connecting. While we grew as an organization we were still pretty isolated and had a lot of trouble with funding.

Your power animal and/or icon: DINOSAUR!!!


Your name or the title of your organization: Slow Rocket Urban Farm (on Cherokee Street)

What you will do with your Sloup Grant:

Although our primary day-to-day focus is growing veggies for you (and for us), we see our new little farm as having a large focus on events including acoustic music shows, readings, and video screenings (maybe your videos) on our big wall. While we’re set for all things acoustic, we do not own a video projector or a sound system. With the generous help of Sloup-goers, we would like to acquire these items and then invite you to hang out at the farm to watch films of all sorts while our chickens eat mosquitoes. We are particularly interested in including more imaginative films about food and farming, as opposed to the wonderful -- yet polemic -- documentaries that people often use to promote local and sustainable agriculture.

A little about yourself and what led you to this project:

In March, we were given access to a bit of land to farm on, located at 1944 and 1946 Cherokee Street. We feel really lucky to be part of the unique and increasingly culturally flourishing area that is Cherokee Street. For us, good art, good food, and a strong sense of community go hand in hand; it seems natural for us to use our space to host visual and performing arts events. The wall of a historic two-story brick building is conveniently located on our farm, and would be fantastic for projecting videos. We would like to start a film series at Slow Rocket, screening a wide variety of films including, but not limited to: short/long/art/experimental/local/documentary/international.

A previous project of yours, and some ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal):

Jaffa: I am involved with the garden at the St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center. Teaching kids who’ve often barely/never eaten fresh veggies about growing their own food is great. That being said, the program is within a structure that I do not feel very connected to. In my head, I try to balance the practical and the creative. I feel that for me, and probably a good number of people, it’s probably healthiest to mix the things you love. Among other things, I love art, community, and sustainability; I strongly feel that a project combining these passions of mine will be much more successful than one separating them.

Joss: Having little predisposition towards the technical, and yet loving food and its creation, I have often battled with the strange processes that produce bread, cheese, and vegetables. I've made brittle wheat baguettes and concocted cheese porridge when I should have come out with mozzarella. I once gathered an entire wheelbarrow of the wrong white flower that I was collecting for a French llama-handler and sowed entirely irregular lines of greens in Vermont. Having only recently turned my attention to the cultivation and production of food, I make a lot of mistakes. But I am nonetheless committed to creating a space where people can transition to and explore areas that they were not necessarily trained to inhabit.

Slow Rocket's power animal and/or icon: A nice brown-egg-laying hen.

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