Thursday, January 30, 2014

Filmmakers at GEEE

Most events at the Archive House are held on the first floor.  The Exchange Book is full of neighbors, especially curious youth who find their way up to the second floor.  We're aware of Greater Chicagolanders, visitors from other states, and international guests to Dorchester Projects, but few document their visit.

I believe part of it is they don't know to bring something to trade, others might be wary of interacting with the art and some people don't believe that if they left a note as we request it would be a meaningful.

That's why I'm so pleased Ife left a sweet note and a business card.  We wish them well on THEIR documentation of the world through their mission!

Autumn Yet Again Arrives at GEEE

The basil, pepper plants, help-yourself parsley and Mexican daisies are just about all that is left at the exterior GEEE site behind the Archive House.  It's still gorgeous in the yard, be it nippy at times, leaves dusting the ground. People still venture out during Open House hours, more reading the notes and poems than trading.


Succulents Are the Theme for Indoor Gardening at GEEE

As the light begins to dim this Autumn, the herbs, coleus and scented geranium are having a harder time in the Archive House.

Succulents seem to be doing much better, so we've restocked the shelves with terrarium-like displays of succulents.

We've also restocked the jams with the summer's bounty: Red Haven Peach Spiced Jam, Apple Preserves
Concord Grape Jam, Honey Crisp Apple Butter and Roasted Red Onion Jam.

Amira and Ahmad

It must have been July because I was tending to the 5 tomato plants we were growing in modified 5-gallon buckets behind the Archive House. A voice called from maybe 30 feet away, "What are you doing?" I could see half a head, nose on up, peering over a fence a yard away. She introduced herself as Amira and her brother Ahmad. We chatted for a bit. I explained GEEE ever so basically, until Marlease stepped out the back door, "Hello, Ameera. How are you? Now please don't bother Mr. Patrick while he's working." I was taken back to Mississippi where I grew up for a moment.

"Oh, she's not bothering me. I'm about done, anyway," I said.

"Can I come over?" Amira chimed in quickly.

"No, we're not open, but you can come over Sunday for the Open House."

I packed up and left with good-byes.

I saw Amira regularly over the summer and into the Fall in the backyards and at Open Houses with Ahmad and the other neighbor girl, Indigo. Indigo informed me which tomato plants was hers, and later that summer I noticed it tagged with sparkly stickers. I even helped Ahmad's friend put his chain back on his bike once.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Some Poems Collected on Trade at the Dorchester Project

Having GEEE at the Dorchester Project has been so different from other locations.

The Archive House serves the immediate Grand Crossing community, a Hyde Park/ Southside Chicago community, a Chicago community curious about art and humanities and a national/ international community through Theaster's and the Rebuild Foundation's notoriety.

The Archive House is not open to the public daily, but often hosts special events and offers tours on request.

What I'm trying to say, is the there has been diverse, sporatic foot traffic, from the neighborhood kids to European gallerists.

The idea to trade for poems happened quickly, but has turned out to be a great way of engaging with this local/ global community just to document the moment.

I have been hording these, but look forward to doling them out amidst other posts.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Plant Installation for Theaster Gates' Black Artists Retreat

Guests at the Black Artists' Retreat admiring Cream Co.'s installation.

 We, of course, had to offer black cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine.

 The completed installation was composed of red hibiscus bushes, firecracker vine, Swedish ivy, passion flower vine, wandering jew, Mexican daisy, scented geranium, and basil.

The plant wall feature's a wood slab bench and a peeking window. 

Toward the center, the wall becomes more transparent, revealing a vine curtain that can be passed through.