Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why I do what I do

Thursday at Indian Hills Community College: This is how it should be. When I shot this photo at 8:10 am, there were two classes swarming the exhibit. One class was 29 high school students (look for the kids with the neat black backpacks) taking college classes. Their assignment this day was to read all of the stories, then write about their reactions. The other class was around a dozen students at the college--just one of two classes the same teacher (Marcia Seddon) was bringing to the exhibit that day.
There was a need for Kleenexes. It was quite amazing.
Click on the photo to see larger view.

31 Voices Tour 2009: "More from the teachers..."

Here are a few words from one of the teachers who brought students to the exhibit. It was fantastic!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

31 Voices Tour 2009: "Exhibit As Art"

Here's our show in Council Bluffs. Tonight there's a reception, and that should be very nice.

31 Voices Tour 2009: "It's Pancake Day in Keokuk... LOOK OUT!"

I'm getting hungry just posting the video...!

Today at the Art Center

Today I'm in Council Bluffs at the Art Center of the Iowa Western Community College. It's a lively place!

Let me get caught up on videos: I just posted one from today, and I've got a few from the last few days. Take a look!

More notes later.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

31 Voices Tour 2009: "On the Road"

Here are The Birds!

Hitchcock "The Birds" Day in the RV

Eeek, there are thousands of birds in the trees around my camper, and they're all talking. What's going on?

I'm not going outside, I'll tell you that. Instead, let me tell you a couple of scenes from the exhibits so far...

In Sioux City, we were set up at the Southern Hills Mall. It was a great setting, lots of random people wandering by, saying, "Oh, what's this?", and, by the second day, I heard people say, "Oh, I saw this on TV..."

One afternoon a pair of teenage boys stopped and were looking at one of the photos (Janice Wright). I moseyed on over, of course, to give them bookmarks and see if they wanted to chit chat. One of the boys pointed at Janice's photo and said, "That's my grandpa's sister."

We talked for a few minutes. He knows the family story. His grandpa (age 8 or 12) was there with his sister Jan (age 10) when their dad shot their mom, and then the rest of the story...

This teenager in Sioux City was a good kid. He thinks Jan is great; of course, I agree. I told him she's proof they have good genes. His buddy was standing by, listening, not making a peep. I'm sure when the boys walked away they had some kind of interesting conversation.

Later the same day, a woman was looking at the photos. I gave her a bookmark, but she didn't feel like chatting; I left her alone. She looked some more. A while later--I hadn't been watching; but I suppose she was still looking around--she walked up to me and said, very blunt, "I suppose you take donations." I pointed her to the local crisis center staffer, and she wrote them a check for $100 and walked off. Not a word.

There are many stories out there. Most of them are never told. Or heard.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Did I mention I'm driving an RV all month?

Today I'm parked at a lovely little campground in rural Iowa, hunkered down until I set up the exhibit Thursday afternoon at the mall in Keokuk. (The exhibit, and pancakes, are from 6 am to 7 pm Friday). I can see lots of trees outside my RV windows, and I had the screen door open all afternoon. I can hear lots of cicadas and wind... and I know there's a hard frost expected Friday nite. Brr.. Until then, it's like camping. But with a computer.

Actually, with two computers, an LCD projector, 65 feet of heavy duty extension cords, 43 five-foot easels, the 31 3x4 foot portraits (with a story board for each), three 3x4 foot sign boards, 5 rolls of duct tape, 3 pairs of work gloves, the first quilt, 1 pair of cotton gloves (for handling the quilt), a 5-foot garment rack (for displaying the quilt), 10 boxes of protein bars, bookmarks, book samples, a cart for the projector, briefcase, portable file cabinet, food and clothes for the month, plus a freeezer full of frozen homemade cappucinos. 31 of them. And my two knitting bags. You should see this place.

Of course, I did just realize I forgot to bring any towels. Tomorrow morning I'll be carrying shampoo and a 1 x 2 dishcloth (embroidered with kittens) to the showers here at Piney Nook campground. Man, I hope they have hot water.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Welcome to Creston!

It's the second stop of the nine-city tour across Iowa. What a blast!

I did a radio interview this morning for Keokuk (the next stop). Phone reception inside the building here is poor, so I went out and sat in the RV (aka the "DV RV").

The Creston paper did a story last night that is in today's paper.Click here to read it! I knew the reporter was good when he called me at 1030 pm to check the spelling of my mother's name! (Love those 7 am deadlines...brr...)

Also be sure to look at my Travel Diary. I'm going hog wild with my little video camera.

Yesterday I found out I get to take part of the exhibit into the women's prison in Mitchellville later this month. I think I'll be taking 10 of the stories, plus the quilt, and we'll have two hours.

Take care, all.