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Archive for the ‘Treewhispers’ Category

Again beating the drum of gratitude for Artists Book House  sponsoring a papermaking event with the Evanston Arts Council Special Projects Grant initiated by community building activist Jamie Thome. Many thanks also to volunteers and papermaking enthusiasts, Laura Antolin and Cori Paulsrud who shared the an incredible autumn afternoon in the “Reading Garden” amongst the trees with all those who came to make paper and tell stories. It was a delight! Thank you, thank you!!!

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It was such a joy to share the creative papermaking process with adults and children alike last Sunday. Parent’s taught children. Children taught parents. Onlookers eased in to join the fun. Stories were shared and trees were celebrated.

Many thanks to Artists Book House for sponsoring the event with the Evanston Arts Council Special Projects Grant. Additional confetti to celebrate community building activist Jamie Thome ; amazing artist, fiber and pulp provider Melissa Jay Craig; Evanston Library and librarian (now papermaker) Laura Antolin; volunteers extraordinaires Michael Swierz, Katie Kucera and ABH Intern Kerrigan; and to all who shared in the papermaking/tree storytelling event. It was beautiful!

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Story and art by A. Kaunuda

Visiting the willow was my reason for joining my uncle and cousin on their spring/summer fishing trek to the Washington Park Lagoon.

Three blocks from our house was my grandmother’s flower garden where they dug up the worms for bait.

I packed a picnic lunch because they never ever caught any fish.

While they baited the hooks at the water’s edge I climbed into the welcoming embrace of the sturdy weeping willow branch that extend out over the surface of the lagoon. With my back against the trunk and my feet dangling over the branches just inches from the water’s surface, I sang and cloud surfed and danced my whispered dreams.  I skipped across the water with dragonflies, floated on the surface with willow leaves, inhaled spring and exhaled summer into the last autumn sunset.

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Families shared time at the Grange Audubon papermaking event last Saturday.

It’s always fun to hear the stories they tell. I particularly enjoyed hearing how impressed they were with their dad’s artistic skills!

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Artwork by Patty Pape

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Artist Book by Nita Padamsee

The Warli Painting traditions in Maharashtra are among the finest examples of the folk style paintings. The Warli tribe is one of the largest indigenous tribes of India, living in both mountainous and coastal areas along the MaharashtraGujarat border. It is believed that the Warli carry on a tradition stretching back to 2500 or 3000 BCE. The Warli culture is centered on the concept of Mother Nature and elements of wildlife are often focal points depicted in Warli folk art.

Having been brought up in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, I was exposed to this art since I was a kid. Unfortunately, I didn’t delve into this art form until I took a class last year with Sampada Kodagali Agarwal, who brought back the love I had always felt towards this art form done by the Warli people.

Warli painting is a simple, ancient and an eloquent way to express one’s thoughts and emotions. Only with some simple drawings and the use of two contrasting colors, a lot can be expressed. For this book, I used the brand “Khadi Papers” made in India from cotton, grown in the state of Karnataka. The word “Khadi” means hand-spun cloth, but unlike your average cloth, the word “Khadi” holds a very special place in India’s movement towards freedom and independence.

The flora and fauna of Warli art has always fascinated me, so when I read this paragraph from Katherine May’s book, ‘WINTERING’, I felt I was able to combine my love for calligraphy, lettering and Warli art into this accordion book to tell a story. Just as the author Rilke reverenced winter as the season for tending to the inner garden of the soul, Katherine May writes about “Resilience, the Wisdom of Sadness, and How the Science of Trees Illuminates the Art of Self-Renewal Through Difficult Times. May observes, with life-tested clarity, is the key to wintering — to emerge from the coldest seasons of the soul not only undiminished but revitalized.” 

The excerpt I chose for the accordion book was one in which May draws an analogy between the human experience and trees: “The tree is waiting. It has everything ready. Its fallen leaves are mulching the forest floor, and its roots are drawing up the extra winter moisture, providing a firm anchor against seasonal storms. Its ripe cones and nuts are providing essential food in this scarce time for mice and squirrels, and its bark is hosting hibernating insects and providing a source of nourishment for hungry deer. It is far from dead. It is in fact the life and soul of the wood. It’s just getting on with it quietly. It will not burst into life in the Spring. It will just put on a new coat and face the world again.”

by Nita Padamsee

Take a closer look!

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Handmade paper and artwork/calligraphy by Kaligrafos Guild member/Dallas /Fort Worth Metroplex

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Handmade paper and artwork by Kaligrafos Guild member/Dallas /Fort Worth Metroplex

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Story by Noah

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Story by Mariel Escalante, 2017

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Artwork and story by Mary Howe

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Calligraphy and story by Lily Yee-Sloan, 2019

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In the shadows

Photo by Pamela Paulsrud

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Hosted by Evanstonmade and sponsored by Artist Book House, Treewhispers along with a multitude of artists, creatives and visionaries illuminate the space at 921 Church St., Evanston, IL .

Lisa Degliantoni, Founder and Executive Director of Evanstonmade along with her Co-Directors Kathy Halper and Liz Cramer, launched the massive transformation of a former Urban Outfitters building into an energetic artist exchange and vibrant community outreach at seemingly a moment’s notice in early November. Now knowing the “trio of force” I understand their unparalleled dedication and drive, and the possibilities they employ.  


Thanks to the sponsorship and eager assist by ABH Board Member, Jamie Thome the “growing of the forest” took shape in a timely manner. Janice Kiska, Cori Paulsrud and Michael Sweirz also gratefully stepped in for the final touches.


Installing and seeing the work in a new venue never ceases to amaze and delight me. On the handmade paper rounds I see the stories and art of those who shared them 20 years ago reverberate with those bound together only a week prior. These all feel like friends to me—friends bound with a common interest, passion and love for trees.


Enjoy the Treewhispers installation and a multitude of happenings until December 19, 2021.

 

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img_2249Artwork by Eliz. Simmonds, Black Mountain, North Carolina

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IMG_2444.jpgArtwork by Jo Ann Bunosky Buzulencia, Handmade paper by Don Widmer

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