Since out last newsletter we've been busy with Water Rising events. The video installation was up at the New Bedford Art Museum from October through March as part of the group show SCAPES. In April we took Water Rising to the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and did a salon event in Oakland. Proceeds from book sales went to support the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, an inspiring group in the Bay Area. While out West, we spent some time learning about Regenerative Agriculture. To learn more, check out the interesting work of David Witzel and others at RASA.
We are looking for our next venue! If you would like Water Rising to come to your area and do an event -- either an artist talk, or to show the video installation, with proceeds from book sales going to a local environmental group, please let us know. We enjoy connecting with new art and environmental communities. Our mission is not over yet!
Please Help Get Water Rising into Libraries
Please consider asking your local library to purchase a copy of Water Rising for your library. This is a great way to support Water Rising with proceeds going to environmental stewardship. We've made it easy. Everything a library needs to order a book for their collection is right HERE.
Things in the works we look forward to sharing. Meanwhile, closer to home, we have exciting news. Beavers have come back to out local wetlands -- they've been sighted repairing the dam.
- Leila & Garth
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Can it really be November? We hope this finds everyone well.
The Water Rising video installation, "Environment, Memory & Things" opened at the New Bedford Art Museum this Friday as part of a group show called "SCAPES." The exhibition runs through March 11th (if you can visit, check out the Whaling Museum)
As the holiday season opens, we hope you will consider making Water Rising a gift to friends & family. Anyone who loves art and the natural world will love knowing that their gift helps support environmental causes.
We want to make another large donation to environmental groups in 2018 and we need your help! Please consider asking your local library to order Water Rising for their collection. This is a great way to keep our mission alive of using book sales to create funds for environmental stewardship while putting a great new book on their shelves.
To to this, google your local library's "purchase request form" or email your librarian with the link created for libraries. Be sure to let your librarian know that only by using this website link, will proceeds go to environmental causes (not Amazon).
We will be taking Water Rising to California College of the Arts April 18th - 20th, but we are looking for other venues in the coming spring. If you are interested in setting up a book event or video installation in your community, please reach out to us. Our mission is not over yet!
- Leila & Garth
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
New Bedford Art Museum:
Opening: 10/27, 6 - 8 pm
Address: 608 Pleasant St, New Bedford, MA 02740
Installation on view from 10/25 - 3/11
Water Rising will be shown at the New Bedford Art Museum in the show titled Scapes: Placemaking in the 21st Century. The exhibit will feature 13 artists whose work engages art and place. http://newbedfordart.org/upcoming-exhibitions/
"Paintings are to teach man to see the glory of human visual existence," said Henry Hensche, who was a Cape Cod painter and student of Charles Hawthorne, the founder of Cape Cod School of Art’s. Hensche and Hawthorne dominated the 20th century landscape painting of the South Coast region to Provincetown. Their reach, combined with the famed Hudson River School, has made America infamous for golden skies, pink waters, and purple mountain majesties. Is this only what Hensche meant when he called on New England artists to draw the “glory of human visual existence”?
This collection is inspired by the avant garde mid-twentieth century term psychogeography, which is described as “the study of the relationship between the places that [people] move through in [their] everyday life and the effects that those places have on [their] minds." These contemporary artists are reimagining landscape in the 21st century, with each work in SCAPES investigating the human experience with the environment to reveal rich, colorful, and highly emotional internal worlds that are both strange yet familiar.
SCAPES: Placemaking in the 21st Century is an exhibit of contemporary painters, photographers, digital media artists, and sculptors who are still seeking said glory. Artists today are flipping the Modernist focus on the sublime in nature to a postmodern exploration of internal landscapes. Housed in the individual and cultivated, by not only what is seen en plein air, but also experienced socially, culturally, and emotionally.
 “The Cape School.” Cape School of Art, capeschoolofart.org/history/.
 Ryan, Rosanna. “How Our Surroundings Affect the Way We Think and Feel.” Radio National, 10 Sept. 2015,www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/sundayextra/how-our-surroundings-affect-the-way-we-think-and-feel/6758818.
We hope this finds everyone well. Since our last newsletter we’ve been busy doing events with Water Rising from the East Coast to the West Coast and abroad. Happy to share the news that through the sale of books and broad sheets we raised and donated over $5,000 to environmental groups like 1000 Friends of Oregon, CT Audubon, and Scenic Hudson!
The highlight was taking Water Rising to Iceland. In early June, we showed the video installation at Nordic House, an inspiring culture and arts center in Reykjavik. Leila stayed on to give artist talks on the challenges of collaboration across media and ways to involve art in environmental activism. She also did an interview about Water Rising with Jorunn Sigurdardotti for Icelandic Public Radio.
Our other major trip this year was to Oregon with events in Portland, Eugene, Salem and more. The Oregon landscape has long been an inspiration for us. You can read an essay on Leila's travels in her Oregon Bio.
As we look forward, these trips and the work we have been able to accomplish have inspired us to take Water Rising to more places around the world where artists and environmental stewards are working together. We are looking for venues in the coming fall and spring. If you are interested in setting up a book event or video installation in your community, please reach out to us. Our mission is not over yet!
- Leila & Garth
Leila talks about Water Rising and writing with Jorunn Sigurdardottir for Icelandic Public Radio.
Water Rising was honored by a lovely excerpting and feature by the journal Terrain. The piece features three of the poems, three of the watercolors, and some information on the project, Garth Evans, and Leila Philip. Go and check it out here!
November 6, 3-5 PM
Installation on view from 10/31 - 11/6
The Water Rising Installation video will be on view October 31st until November 6th at the Kerri Gallery in Willmantic, Connecticut.There will be an Artist Talk and Reception from 3-5 PM on the 6th. The proceeds will go to The Joshua's Trust, NE Connecticut's largest land trust.
Michael Hveem, Executive Director of Joshua's Trust, poet/author Leila Philip, artist/sculptor Garth Evans and Jim Turner, Communications Director for Horizons & Kerri Gallery in Willimantic talk about a collaborative event with The Kerri Gallery and Joshua's Trust. Airdate: October 26, 2016.
Here is a direct link to the interview:
900 State Street, Salem, Oregon 97301
Proceeds from book sales will be directed to the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. This is an organization with the goal of protecting the Opal Creek watershed for the future to enjoy.
Eco Trust Building
Natural Capital Center, 721 NW 9th Ave Suite 200
Portland, OR 97209
Proceeds from book sales will be directed towards Salem Audubon Society. This is a chapter of the National Audubon Society working to connect people to nature by focusing on wildlife habitats and the restoration of natural ecosystems.
2110 State St., Ste 110
Salem, Oregon 97301
Proceeds from book sales will be directed to ELAW. This organization works to create a cleaner, healthier planet. Composed of international attorneys, scientists and other professions, the team works across the globe to create a sustainable future.
1412 Pearl St
Eugene, OR 97401
I discovered Oregon by chance, but once I found it, I was sure I’d never leave. I was 18, recently graduated from high school and I wanted to be a writer. In Oregon I worked on a sheep and cattle ranch near Coos Bay, as a tree planter in the Siskiyou Mountains with a tree-planting cooperative based out of Roseburg, then later, as a cheetah Ranger at the Wildlife Safari in Winston. I loved Oregon’s natural beauty and the scale of nature and the ethos of creativity and rugged individuality. As it would turn out, college, then studies in Japan, then my first job, then graduate school would draw me back east, then I met my husband, a visual artist based in New York City and I never moved back West. But Oregon influenced me greatly at a formative time in my life.
When my first book, The Road Through Miyama was published, Random House sent me on a West Coast book tour for the paperback edition. For me, the highlight of that trip was waking up in Portland to walk out and see my name on the Marquee of the amazing Powell’s Bookstore. I haven’t been to Oregon since that visit which is over twenty years! So, I am really looking forward to our upcoming trip this October to bring the book and art collaboration Water Rising to the Portland area; it feels like a kind of homecoming.
But back to how I arrived in Oregon in the first place. I had deferred going to college and for the first six months of that year I worked on a small newspaper near where my family lived and ran a farm. It was a great first job and fantastic experience for a fledgling writer. But I had this romantic idea that if I was going to write, I needed to travel and experience the world. For me, raised in New York City and on a farm in the Hudson Valley, heading west was a huge adventure. Go West young Woman.
So that February I bought a one-way plane ticket for San Francisco. I planned to visit a friend, but after that I did not know what I was going to do. In fact, having nothing set up in advance was part of the idea behind going west in the first place. The not knowing was a huge part of what seemed important. As it would turn out, fate would lead me to Oregon quite quickly The first week I was there I met a friend of my mother’s who was a writer to ask him some advice, and after talking to me for awhile, he suddenly asked if I wanted to go to Oregon. I remember saying, yes, without hesitation, although all I knew about Oregon was the name, which had an exotic ring. He had friends who owned a sheep and cattle ranch near Coos Bay and they might be able to use a hand once the lambing season started in a few weeks. It was arranged and two weeks later I was on a bus for Oregon.
I will never forget that long bus ride, then arriving in Roseburg in the early morning, passing logging trucks and a huge neon sign of a lumberjack at the diner where the bus stopped for food. I’d never seen trees so big or clear cutting, whole sides of mountains that looked as if they’d been shaved.
Working on the sheep and cattle ranch was heaven. Every morning we walked the hill pastures, checking on the sheep, hundreds of them, to count lambs born during the night and check for any problems. Usually it was pouring rain and cold. Often we came across newborn lambs soaked and half frozen. We’d tuck them inside our shirts and have the dog round up the anxious bleating mother. Back at the barn, we’d administer colostrum to the lambs, warming the tiny creatures until with a miraculous jolt they’d spring up like a wind up toys. Often we’d come across ewes in labor distress and the rancher and his wife, who were both as skilled as veterinarians, showed me how to turn lambs twisted the wrong way. Most of the time we were able to save both the lamb and the mother.
When the lambing season finished, I helped tend the growing lambs and round up cattle, then the summer season of ranch logging and fence repair set in and there wasn’t really much work for me. I needed money for college and a friend of the ranchers who visited one weekend, suggested that I might try tree planting. One of his roommates was a member of a tree-planting cooperative and he knew that his partner had space in his camp. I might be able to join when they took a break to come down from the mountains for supplies.
For the next 3 months I lived in a canvas tepee in the Siskiyou Mountains with a group of tree-planters. Every morning, we’d line up carrying hoe dads and rucksacks for trees, along with enough food and water for the long day, then board a blue school bus owned by the coop to drove to the mountain slopes we were contracted to plant by the U.S. Forest Service. It was hard work, but paid well. My nickname was “Dash” because I was quick and able to scramble over the boulders and fallen trees that usually littered the steep slopes we had to plant. By the time we finished the contracted work I had earned enough money to pay for my first semester at Princeton.
While staying in Roseburg with the cooperative during supply runs, I had visited the Wildlife Safari, a 600-acre Animal Park and conservation center in nearby Winston. The fact that there in an Oregon valley they were successfully breeding the highly endangered cheetah, amazed me, as did the range of educational and conservation programs. Back at college, I wrote to the head of the park’s cheetah breeding program and applied for a summer job. Next May I was headed back to Oregon to work at the Wildlife Safari as a cheetah ranger, a job I held for two wonderful summers.
From mid May through August I sat in a wooden tower from 8Am to 7PM four days a week and observed the animals, making notes about the groups of cheetahs in the compound. The park is one of the top breeding centers for cheetahs in the United States and the larger western hemisphere so there was a lot going on. I also manned the two large gates that allowed cars to drive in and out of this area reserved for the big cats. The huge gates were open so that cars could drive through, while outside the perimeter of the cheetah compound, emu and gazelle and other animals wandered throughout the larger acreage of the park. The cheetahs gazed at these animals intently and sometimes they tried to dash through the open gates to get to them, which is when I had to pull the lever that released them with a powerful slam. Then I’d call for a ranger because the gates would have to be re-opened manually.
In the mornings or on breaks I’d help in the infirmary feeding animals or playing with the baby bears or watching the crazy capuchin monkeys. Sometimes the cheetah trainer would bring in the hand-raised orphaned cheetah that lived at the park for educational programs. I’d scratch his short chin and listen to his enormous purr. More than once, the elephant keeper who gave elephant rides throughout the day to generate income for the park, let me ride back with him when he took the elephant back to the elephant compound for the night. We’d saunter across the park through the herds of gazelle and other grazing animals and for 30 minutes I’d feel as if I were on an African veldt. Before leaving, we’d give the elephants watermelons which they’d pick up as if they were lifting grapes, then smash them with great gusto before picking up the busted, dripping pieces of melon to stuff them greedily in their smiley-shaped mouths. Then they’d lift those same trunks, which could just as easily have smashed our heads with one thwack and gently fondle our hands as if in thanks.
The incredible beauty of Oregon was not all that I took with me when I left. I’d grown up in the East coast in an old world family which had pictures of ancestors on the walls of our family house; history and etiquette, manners and rules were hugely important in my childhood. Our farm looked over the Catskill Mountains, a blue line of shapes worn smooth by geologic time. In contrast the mountains of Oregon, geologically much newer, were comparatively unweathered, with toothy, often snow-capped peaks. Oregon sparked my imagination and nurtured my desire to be creative.
Garth and Leila will be presenting Water Rising and discussing the collaboration at the Truro Library in North Truro, Massachusetts. They are looking forward to bring Water Rising to the Cape!
Proceeds from book sales will be directed to Sustainable CAPE and their mission to demonstrate the direct link between local food, sustainable health and wellness. Water Rising supports Sustainable CAPE's goal to educate, empowering individuals to become agents of change – thereby creating a decidedly more delicious, healthy and sustainable world.
The Truro Public Library serves the intellectual, social and cultural needs of both permanent and temporary residents of Truro.