9 March

The Art Of Rural Life: Bedlam Farm Open House, June 25-26

by Jon Katz
The Art Of Rural Life
The Art Of Rural Life

We have zeroed in a theme we love for the Spring Open House at Bedlam Farm, June 25-26. It’s “The Art Of Rural Life,” and we are focusing on art, creativity and especially the art of the country.

Joshua Rockwood will be on hand to talk about his dramatic year, and his farm, West Wind Acres, Lisa Carrino, a wondrous baker and graduate of the Rhode Island School Of Design, will talk about the art of baking and bring some of her amazing cookies and cakes, Maria has five gifted artists showing and selling their art, Jim McRae, our shearer, is coming to shear the sheep, Ken Norman, our farrier will be trimming the hooves of the donkeys and the pony Chloe.

Jen Baker-Porazinski, a much loved local family practitioner, will come to talk about her life as a rural physician, and about she is working about her journey as a doctor. Three poets – Mary Kellogg, Tom Atkins and Jackie Thorne – will be reading from their work.

In rural America, which has been largely abandoned by government bureaucrats and economists, all kinds of art flourishes in all kinds of ways. That is our theme. We want to show it.

Carol Law Conklin will talk about the art of batik, and her wonderful fantasy landscapes, and Rachel Barlow will bring her popular and beautiful water colors, and perhaps paint some while she is here. The famed photographer George Forss will be here to take portraits, and Deb Foster will help co-ordinate events and conduct tours for people who want to see the donkeys and the pony. Chloe, Lulu and Fanny love people and carrots. We expect to have some baby purple Guinea Hens on hand as well by June.

We are committed to the idea of presenting affordable art, of sharing our lives with animals, and of honoring the art of rural life, often overlooked by the urban snoots of the art world. Maria created the art open houses to show her work, but also to focus on especially gifted artists in our area.

Ed Gulley is bringing one of  his dairy cows to milk, and also some of his remarkable farm art sculptures. You can read about his work and life on his wonderful blog. I will talk about my work and blog, and our lives here. Creativity is important to us.

We are committed to our open houses, they are gentle and meaningful to us, and to others. We are even looking into ordering some “Bedlam Farm” caps to sell, and perhaps having some local musicians come by. We are calling it a “gentle” open house, returning to its focus and roots. We are both very excited about it and hope to see some of you there.

There will also be some music, some talks, some sheep-herding, some donkey tours. And the wonderful art for sale in Maria’s School Studio. Red will demonstrate his amazing herding skills, Fate will show us the joyous side of running around with sheep.

The Open Houses are free, but this year, we are asking for voluntary $5 donations to help us defray the costs of hosting them. We will have portable toilets on hand, no dogs please. Saturday and Sunday, 11-4 p.m. Details will be posted and updated on Maria’s website.

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