There is much to say when thinking of social work and its integration into art. There is even more to say when thinking of the individual and the practice he or she brings to share with a community they know not much about. Yet what can one say without sounding pessimistic or overdetermined that they are correct in their observations. Guess all one can do is speak from experience and hope that their words will shine a light on an ongoing question.
Most recently, Springmavera approached Immigrant Movement Intenational with a proposition: we will come here, build a garden, everyone will want to join, we will harvest from out planters, make food, then move to the Hall of Science and start Biomodd. Of course, our tone was more leveled, but my reflections takes me to such a place. Wow, were we wrong.
In art school, listening is not a course. However, i would argue it should take hold. As a whole, we as a people, might think of becoming participants more than teachers when working socially and out in the open air.
So far Springmavera has learned: we cannot have workshops on Sunday, no one is around; therefore, participation is low. The point is to interact with the community around IMI. As a response, we now gather Tuesday mornings.
When visiting several weeks back, I met a vibrant and most pleasant women from Mexico. Her name is Veronica. She's as fresh as a sprout and as energetic as the sun. She mentioned plants, food preparation, nutrition, healthy eating and so on. I took her lead and went with it. As of now, Springmavera is moving its gatherings to include vegetable prep, plant knowledge and gardening. As a crew of food loving people, we have spoke about vegetables seen, yet not so sure how to cook, made a salad of kale, talked about kale varieties, community supported agriculture and sub-irrigated planters. Next week, everyone is bringing a kind of fruit, we are making a fruit salad, i'm giving a lesson on making homemade granola and Marco will help plant the seeds and plants brought from everyone's home.
So this is it for now. Such work is never easy, yet the journey is ever so rewarding. Even more rewarding when one realizes, those whom we think we are "helping" are actually helping us. Pictures to come soon.