Field Notes

We were scheduled to be recollecting in tranquility about now, after the DTour dust settled and we had caught up on our sleep. It was an exhilarating 10 day live culture convergence that used every bit of time, energy and cunning our crew had – but which gave back ten-fold in inspiration and a clearer path forward. Sleep, laundry, bills and other banalities still begged for attention – but nope – the NEA had other plans. Chairman Rocco Landesman came to visit Reedsburg the day this blog was due. My homework is late – there were no dogs involved.

By the time the Chairman got here our pilot DTour was packed up, the signs were removed and the hay fields – cleared of sculpture and musical echoes, went back to being hay fields. The 7 ephemeral art installations were disassembled. The 6 Roadside Culture Stands will await redeployment in the spring and the Field Notes went into the barn for the winter.

Field Notes are interpretive signs explaining hay, corn, dairy and land. The frames were built by a local artist, wood carver Homer Daehn. This element of the tour was surprisingly well received by urban and rural folks alike. Interspersed among the art installations they served as teachable moments that enriched the DTour experience for those who didn’t really know what hay was. Curiously the farmers who know hay intimately not only found our widespread ignorance amusing but also enjoyed the position of ‘expert’. The frames Homer made honored their subject and added an ineffable quality to the message as only art can do.

We put together a DTour slide show and assembled speakers for Chairman Landesman and despite our fatigue it was wonderful timing to gather people together while the event was all still fresh in our minds – wheels spinning about next year. Our already fertile soil was in danger of sprouting magic beans.

There were indeed some magic moments. Now our job is to form straight rows, increase yields and cultivate a new crop of art lovers.

 

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