Hello! I'm Lane, one of the residents here at Elsewhere Studios. I've been here for a month and have been working on some fiber based sculpture, drawing, sewing, and weaving.
One of the projects I'm working on is in collaboration with the North Fork Valley Heart and Soul Project (http://www.northforkheartsoul.com/index.html). The project has received a grant to research what makes the NFV unique, what people like about it, and where they want to see change. All of this research will help inform future decisions about the towns and will serve as a guide for better communication and community planning.
It just so happens that before arriving I had planned on doing a multi-media project inviting community members to tell personal stories about Paonia. So I've joined forced with the Heart and Soul project and am now in the process of experimenting with ways to print writing onto the the warp (vertical threads) on my loom. I will invite community members to write their stories, which I will print onto the threads. Participants will be invited to weave up the fabric with their stories embedded in the fibers. No previous weaving experience necessary! The "woven stories" will then be displayed in public spaces around town, as close to the location of the original stories as possible. I will guide walking tours to these locations and provide maps for independent exploration.
This is what the words look like after they're silkscreened onto the warp and before they're woven. I'm still in the process of figuring out the best way to make the words clear.
The fabric after it's been woven.
I've also been doing a lot of brainstorming about specific questions that I can ask community members about their memories of Paonia. I originally wanted to collect previously unshared memories, but realized that it's really hard to think of a specific memory or story that you've never shared. Above is a chart of a bunch of questions that I thought might help people access specific memories of Paonia.
I decided that I'd better test these questions out for myself to see if I could answer them and to see which ones most inspired me. My most recent home is Portland, OR, so this is the location of my most recent "home" memories.
Hopefully I'll find just the right printing technique pretty soon here and then I'll be ready to start talking to people around town and inviting them to weave up their memories. If you live in Paonia and are interested in telling a story, let me know!