Monday, January 21, 2013

Meet New People Monday: Artist Grow

I'm starting a new feature on Mondays: Meet New People Mondays! One thing I LOVED about Indiana Master Naturalists was meeting other people with similar interests. They are all fascinating. As I've met more people through this blog, I thought I'd let you in on getting to know others, too!

I first heard of guerilla warart in books by Keri Smith. I purchased the original edition of this book, Wreck This Journal , for my siblings one year, thinking we could all compare notes. The book itself has plenty of blank space for writing, but also has many "ideas" for USING the journal to create art and interact with one's environment.

Later, I took an online class based on this book, How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum. The book is filled with great examples of how to observe and explore the world around us. While neither of these are "nature" books, I think they're quite fun and interactive.

After getting used to her style, I saw The Guerilla Art Kit and gave this to my sister. It looked like fun! I've even seen ideas for Random Acts of Guerilla Art Kindness on Pinterest!

On Facebook, I met a "page" called Artist Grow. I was immediately drawn to the pictures of nature meeting human interaction. Ever since I took an art class in college and we went out and created our own "Environmental Art" pieces, I have been intrigued by this concept. I especially like Andy Goldsworthy's work; however, there are many newer artists, including Artist Grow, in this field. I have this book Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature. It truly is eye candy for me! I will need to do a separate post on Environmental Art soon, as I have more to say on the topic, yet wanted to give a brief view to introduce Artist Grow.

I had several questions for Artist Grow. Since I've been following this movement on Facebook, I've seen some of the art and wanted you to be able to see it too!

Photo: all together now

InsideOutsideMichiana: Tell us a little about yourself and your Artist Grow project(s).  
Artist Grow: I am a south bend resident ( born and raised) who has enjoyed playing in the dirt from a young age,  I do this because I care about my home, it’s a way to celebrate my roots and add a bit of subversive culture, I am opening artist grow up as a guerrilla garden collective and also will be looking for a new admin of the FB page come spring!

InsideOutsideMichiana: Where can people see your work? Do you have a favorite? 
Artist Grow: I am at most local Pop-Up Art shows,  as for my guerrilla work well that varies from season to season, I do some install spots in private beaches and secret woodland spots though out the area that have evolved through the years but these are exclusive and private and I am not at privilege to reveal such locations J, last year I had large success with the planters at Edward Jones investment in downtown south bend with several large multi bloom sunflowers.

InsideOutsideMichiana: Are you an artist, a gardener, or a naturalist? 
Artist Grow: titles are so limiting, as in the fact you must go by only one title, I would consider my self all of the above and more, a renaissance man for I like to dabble in many areas of art and nature my main focus is in creating new perspectives to encourage people to stop and enjoy the little things in live to unplug and reconnect with a natural rhythm

InsideOutsideMichiana: What is your favorite "nature" spot in the Michiana area? 
Artist Grow: the surrounding area of trail 4 at potato creek, the artesian well before they reconstructed the dairy house (the best drinking water in the entire area!) I grew up stomping around these woods chasing animal trails before there was ever a marked trail in the region, exploring the old barn that used to be in the area and following the creek through the woods

InsideOutsideMichiana: What do you carry in your nature/art bag while you are out in the field? (want to share a picture?)
Artist Grow: i carry a modified hydration pack ( modified in that I removed the bladder) usually with a small shovel hand rake and various seeds ( mostly sunflower) or what ever I have extra and handy and is good for the local region, I also like to incorporate found objects ( see my beach install series on my FB page) usually I will carry a large onion sack that can be strapped to the outside of my pack if I need extra storage for moving things around

InsideOutsideMichiana: What do you hope to accomplish with your work?  
Artist Grow: Growing up I always had a mantra of supporting rural deurbanization. You walk though most any city and you see huge abandoned areas / warehouses boarded up unused land everywhere you look, and then we are being told that there are food shortages and not enough land to grow the food needed for everyone’s nutritional needs to be met, these two ideas do not meet up right in my mind, we need to go back to our roots and utilize what we have, my art and my guerrilla gardening work are part social commentary part tongue in cheek and wholly self expression at its finest

InsideOutsideMichiana: What tips do you have for enjoying nature in the area?
Artist Grow: Pack out what you carry in, leave no waste behind (nothing more I hate than having to take up space in my pack to carry out some one else’s trash), know your surroundings know what poisonous plants/animals look like know what animals and plants call the areas you are enjoying home , and then do not disturb their habitat

*****(((((special announcement artist grow will be limiting his connectivity with FB(see search for new admin for FB presence!)  come spring for all contact needs and to join in the guerrilla gardening army look for artist grow on the community forum or email him/me directly at )))

I encourage you to LIKE Artist Grow on Facebook and see more of the art! I love seeing this connection of art and nature and hope you will, too! Artist Grow also shares many links on gardening, sustainability, and other art/nature/city images and bits of information. Thanks for what you do!