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NNWSA Participates in the Northwest Flower & Garden Show Jan/Feb 1997

The Northwest Stone Sculptors Association and Richard Hestekind have teamed up to create a sculpture garden and courtyard for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Guests will experience the power that stone and metal sculptures radiate when placed in a garden setting designed to do them justice. Guests will walk along a stone path, through a landscape of beautiful plants and trees. They will pass a reflecting pool on their journey to experience a contemplative courtyard, where the clean, cool water in a stone fountain flows, waiting to soothe their weary souls.


The Northwest Flower & Garden show is an annual event that averages sales of fifteen thousand tickets a day during the five day event. For the last six years the NWSSA has excited the public with information and sculpture at their educational booth on the sixth floor of the Washington State Convention Center. Tracy Powell is the coordinator of the exhibit this year. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to educate the general public about stone sculpture design, placement, and materials. Artists will take turns at the booth, speaking to the public about their personal vision and that of the NWSSA.


Richard Hestekind is the designer and driving force behind the NWSSA Garden Display. Steve Sandry is assisting him. 1997 will be the third year NWSSA has been invited by the Flower & Garden Show coordinators to create a garden, that has an emphasis on combining sculpture with landscape design.


NWSSA members send a big thank you to Rich Hestekind. It is due to his talents as a landscape designer, and his loyalty to NWSSA, that we have this opportunity to educate the public in such a dramatic manner. NWSSA also thanks the approximately twenty-five artists who have loaned us sculpture for the garden and educational booth displays.


Richard Hestekind extends his personal thanks to Marinakos for supplying the garden stone, Landscape Design Center for the specimen trees and shrubs, and Meredith Earls for her excellent work on the brochures and publicity for this event. Tracy Powell and Rich Hestekind also acknowledge the NWSSA volunteers for their work on creating the booth and the garden. Without their creativity, organization, and hard physical labor, this event would not happen.


The Northwest Flower & Garden Show will run from Wednesday, February 5th, through Sunday, February 9th. Show hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 9:30 pm, and Sunday, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. We hope to see you there.


1997 Silver Falls Sculptor's Symposium - Sept/Oct 1997

All in all, the 3rd Silver Falls Symposium May 22-26 was wonderful, somewhat spontaneous, and well done. Of course I have a biased opinion because I was one of the staff members. It was my third Silver Falls Symposium AND I only live 21 miles from the park. (You can see the logistics I'm working with.) The off-and-on rain could have made everyone irritable but it didn't. People alternated moving further under their tarps, going for a cup of tea or coffee, or going to their room for a nap. The mosquitoes and no-see-ums could have made everyone miserable when the weather warmed up but they didn't. We all used bug spray and commiserated while scratching.


The auction could have been ho-hum for "old-timers" and confusing for new people, but it wasn't. Maybe the free wine furnished by Sudha Acher helped, but it was a rollicking good time even for the old diehards who really dreaded it (you know who you are). To add to the fun, as a spotter I was supposed to nick anyone who moved at all , but everyone was rolling in their seats so much I gave that up immediately. Terry Kramer as auctioneer made the auction an absolute joy, with smooth support of Anastasia Miller, Jonas Blaut, Kathy Ellis, Penelope Crittenden, Kathy, me and all the volunteers who carried armloads of donations to the other building after dinner so we could set it up. $962 was raised and someone threw in the balance to round it up to $1,000 so we were all really pleased for a first auction. Everyone was ready to pack George Pratt into their car and take him home with them after the symposium. His eager, ego-less presence was felt by all. I had asked Thomas Miller to bring some obelisk-shaped"scraps" of white Colorado marble with him for me to purchase for a specific sculpture in mind. He bronght and quickly sold five 2-3 foot stones that had an average footprint of 5" x 5"! The stones were so sleek it was exciting to realize you had very little to remove to get a finished sculpture.


Back for a third Symposium, Duffy Stender from North Bend, Oregon, was so fascinated by one of the stones, he purchased it and, on the way back to his carving site, this SOAPSTONE carver realized he had no way to carve it! So he went tu John Pugh's truck and purchased a die grinder and "fell into the stone." It was a joy to listen to him marveling at the way the light moved through the stone and the exquisite shadows it cast. Kathy Ellis (another staff member and purchaser of one of the obelisks) and I wondered ifwe could get pictures of the five different resulting sculptures just tu see how different they all turn onto If we succeed, you'll see them io a future issue.


Instructor Bud Egger brought a figure in progress io limestone to show his process of transferring a workiog drawing onto stone. It was an inspiration to see the four tiny hand tools he uses to attack huge pieces of stone. (He doesn't use power.) He told Karla (the Symposinm registrar) her translucent white alabaster face was "gorgeous" and I honestly think the woman floated the rest of the day. (Funny, I had told her the same thing but it didn't have that effect.)


I saved the best for last - my massage with Carolyn Anderson the last morning when everyone else would be busy. She was set up in the lobby of her lodge. I really needed and was looking forward to my first experience under her infamous fmgers. Very scantily clad, I slid under the covering and fell under her spell when IN MARCHED THE CLEANING CREW!!! It seems checkout time was 11:00. They threw open the doors to the rooms, mice iocluded, with all my stuff still unpacked, and started cleaning. Karla (a registrar's work is NEVER done) piled my things on the lobby couch while Carolyn and I stoically pressed on, stobbornly oblivious to the noise and complete lack of privacy. Finally giviog up, I slid from under the covers, grabbed a handful of what I hoped were the right assortment of clothes and dashed to the bathroom to dress. Talk about an anticlimax!!


The drive home took me 25 minutes - a tough transition from TOTAL freedom to total reality. As I unpacked each of the treasures I'd bought, traded for, or been gifted with, I thought about the time I'd been given among people who make me feel normal, who speak this wordless language of sculpture, and who, just like me, peer into stones to see themselves.


NOTE: At Camp Brotherhood the following month, I was asked by many how Silver Falls "compared." The Silver Falls Symposium differs several ways: fresh, fluffY towels each day; your bed made everyday (every third day with fresh linen); incredibly delicions, nutritions meals that spoil everyone (including vegetarians) starting with breakfast at 7:00; clean modern lodges that sleep approximately 16 in each (two per bedroom) and have large bathrooms (one men's; one women's); lobbies in each one with comfortable couches! chairs and readiog lamps and stocked fireplaces; free bicycles and helmets provided for exercise; miles and miles of exquisite trails among old growth forests and streams (the nearest falls are 172 feet high with an easy trail goiog behind the falls for a spectacular view); and a wonderful calm that seems to come from the air itself. There was only one large compressor so the noise level isn't quite as "throbbing" and John Pugh from Steatite is usually the only stone vendor, though with a lare selection of stone and tools. The camaraderie, energy level and exchange of ideas are the same, but the fact there have been fewer people meant you get to know everyone. The weather is still relatively cool and it gets dark earlier, but this makes for nice gatherings in the meeting hall, lobbies or fire pit. The capital city of Salem with its historical attractions is only 23 miles away, but the "public" is curiously absent at the actual symposium site.

1997 Camp Brotherhood Sculptor's Symposium - Sept/Oct 1997

This is for those who haven't attended Camp Brotherhood, but wanted to or at least wondered about it. This year was my first. Take my word for it, it is big. A huge centrally-located compressor and four or five generators keep the ground throbbing during all working hours, but it quickly becomes a given and you mentally tum it off. There were 91 people. Some you never get to know beyond an exchanged smile and pleasantry. Maybe because there just isn't time, but possibly because your paths weren't meant to cross any more than that at this time. There are "cliques" in the sense of old-timers who know each other very, very well and will SEEM to be a closed society, but ask anyone of them questions and they eagerly and willingly focus on you. Look at it this way - you're broadening THEIR circle of friends by breaking through YOUR sense of awkwardness.


The stone vendors had more variety and bigger sizes than I was used to (witnessed by a forklift for moving and positioning some of them). This allowed you to see more types of stone worked at one time. The (to me) heretofore "lowly" limestone was present in quantity and worked in ways that were so inspiring I purchased my first piece. The check -in, scheduling and notices for classes, meetings, and even impromptu functions were organized, clear and hard to miss if you ate breakfast and dinner at the lodge. The lodge is an all-purpose building that truly sits "up the hill". The first time I wheezed up the hill, I thought I wouldn't survive ten days. Not so. By the end of the week, it was easy to go up and down several times a day and I still miss the exercise. I slept in a tent along the edge of the field instead of in the lodge for two reasons: 1) I NEVER pass up the chance to sleep outside, and 2) watching the sunrise slowly creep into the forest behind me each a.m. was too beautiful to pass up. I could also easily crash anytime of the day when I needed to, and did Because it's the middle of summer, it is hot and there are mosquitoes, but the days are so long, it's a tradeoff.


There were people who worked on work-in-progress and didn't finish; people who finished more than one piece; people who finished one large piece, etc. There were no rules and no pressure. When I asked Vic Picou what "Symposium" meant, he said " ... an exchange of ideas." I would say that it's an exchange of ideas AND energy. When I tried to explain to co-workers why I went to symposiums, I paraphrased a quote from Nancy Ackerman's The Natural History of the Senses, "It is the province of art to throw buckets of light into the dark and make life new again." I told them I was going to get "buckets of light." Everyone should try Camp Brotherhood or any of the other symposiums at least once. You can't possibly come away with less than you started. And if you're "afraid," then you have to try one. These places are the safest in the world to be afraid because of the love, support and energy from people who not only let you be yourself, but encourage you to do so.


Some of my highlights: little Ward Lynch moving huge stones with a come-along in his class (I promptly bought one - the hardest working tool you'll find for $30); the Montoya video watched one hot afternoon. I learned more, technically speaking, in one hour than I have in the last year. The stealthy, exciting growth of the outdoor "Gallery" as pieces were quietly added; an especially tender moment when a fellow sculptor attending for the first time admitted that just before he arrived, he was really :afraid:; Tracy Powell's gentle graciousness played off Meredith Earl's stream of comedianquality, self.<Jeprecating sarcasm; Amy Brier's "Ball Series" that had to be seen; the shocking. awesome evolution of Kathy Ellis's sculpture started at Silver Falls in May, quiet Dennis Joram's astounding portfolio; Gary Cox's progressious from hand tools three years ago when I first met him. to electric, to pnewnatic and hack to the peace and meditative quality of hand tools; Vic Picou's constant gentle admonishing to live the moment, look where you are, BE HERE; Michael Jacobsen's characterization of Shameless McArt and his ringing battle cry to "Sculpt Proud!" that still makes me laugh; and dancing off peot- up energy until 2 a.m. at the party during which Ken Barnes showed me the moves to the Village People's YMCA (Yes. that was me that finally turned off the stereo.)


Postscript: Typically when I drive home from these sort of things, my mind doesn't want to focus on reality and gives me a bit of trouble starting out This trip was no different First, I headed the wrong way, that is, north instead of south. When I realized something was wrong, I stopped two women on bicycles and found they didn't know where they were either. I fInally found the freeway and at Kent broke my rule of not pulling off for gas unless I could SEE the station from the highway. At the off-ramp stop sign, I was bumped hard by the kid behind me when I stopped for a fast truck. I didn't care that much about the car because the huge cup of tea between my legs slopped (you guessed it) into my crotch aud seat I pulled off aud sat there thinking there was NO WAY I was going to get out of the car when the kid who hit me drove offi Now you have to understand this sort of reintroduction to the so-called REAL WORLD after the bliss of symposiums is so normal to me. I expected it and just took down the license number.

At the gas station, the restroom was in front and required a key from inside (of course!), so I drove around back and wedged the car into a corner of the lot with my door against a building and slid out of the sopping seat aud nonchalantly (the only way to handle situations like this) pulled off my wet pauts/underpants, d"ed with the paut-Iegs and pulled on dry clothes. After carefully checking the car over. I decided to go in and get a cold drink aud let this all sort out aud did so. promptly locking my keys in the car in the process! Mind you, rm laughing because I've come to believe this is the way I pay for these times off to myself. Sitting on the curb in my dry pants. drinking my cold drink, wondering who to call fIrst (AAA to get the car keys OR the police for hit-run) I wondered if just maybe my husband had replaced my hide-a-key in the bmnper Sure enough. there it was. When my augel said, "Carole, just go home," I did.