Common Core Standards

Monday, January 24, 2011

Capturing Moments & Doing the Peace

Wow! This past weekend I attended another conference. But this particular conference spoke to my heart as it was the Stewardship Network's Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems 2011, held in East Lansing. Talk about sketching and notetaking. I had to act fast to capture quotes, moments and story as speakers took the podium.

In the past, I doodled out of boredom as scientist spoke to scientist, something that scientist Rachel Carson warned her scientific communtiy against. To paraphrase Rachel, "Do not speak to the scientists...but speak to the homemakers, the grocery clerks, and the hairdressers of our environmental message."


This year the conference theme, Sense of Place, had a different focus. It seemed to be on the artistic and spiritual aspect of land ethics and restoration. Connecting people--age and cultural diversity. Speakers and conference attendees alike, often made their case in an emotional manner.

As an artist, I have lived with being being moved by landscape, subject and human connection and story. But here were scientists sharing their intensely personal and emotional stories. Bear Track Studios, Marie and I, were there for the conference poster presentation. As a collaborative business of wildlife and nature artists we were attempting to show the science community the importance of art in conservation and to recognize our efforts and how we can assist them with our contributions. As artists, we connect nature and the science world to the public--who are the ones who need to hear this environmental message that Rachel spoke of.

"Fireside Chat" of Elders 1-22-11

That night after many sessions, I relaxed with a pencil sketch that captured a moment in history as different ethnic and age groups met for the sake of not just our planet, but for us, the humans who live here and call Earth home. This Fireside Chat brought together nations discussing how we as stewards can connect with more folks spreading our message of land ethics, conservation and restoration.
Seated in Council Circle are:

Henry Lickers (Haudenosaunee and representative of the Dept. of Envirorment for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne), Guy Williams (advocate for environmental justice), Frank Ettwageshik (Odawa pottery artist and elder of the United Tribes of Michigan), Steve Apfelbaum (conservation developer) and James Crowfoot (UofM's School of Natural Resources and Environment). And I apologize that I did not include Peg Kohring of the Conservaton Fund (I did not have enough paper space to add her where she sat next to Jim).

 The next day I sketched Henry's hand gestures and relaxed attitude during his storytelling.
Conferences are exhausitng and there is so much to absorb and digest. So after returning home, I worked up a "memory sketch" of Henry's message the memorable highlights of his talk. I was particularly struck with the Haudenosaunee concept that "PEACE" is a verb and to "DO THE PEACE" is an action of keeping and maintaining peace--peace is not something that you acquire and store away.
Go sketch, "Pass the Joy Forward" (giving freely to the other) and "DO THE PEACE"!

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