During a busy time of preparing and surveying our planting spaces and seeing our plans take shape, we had a memorable event on Saturday evening out here at Oregon Country Farm. An art reception and community potluck was held to honor the conclusion of a three month artist residency completed by Zoe Minikes, a friend, artist, and colleague from the California Bay Area. This program grew from the philosophies and passion of my partner Serah and I, farmers interested in untapping the creative potential that emerges from working the land and working with your hands.
The residency experience provides a productive environment that combines agricultural practice with creative expression so that participants come away with a clarified perspective on their own process and work. We regularly undertake projects which involve building, designing, problem solving, cooking, fermenting, rigorous physical activity and reflection on the meaning and impact of our actions. We find that this opens up territory for expression that is uniquely soulful and empowering.
Zoe’s show led off with a heartfelt yarn delivered by Brownsville’s own Oregon Bill. What followed was a display of imaginative illustrations and curated objects derived from her experience of being on the farm and in Oregon. After being immersed in activity, from pruning trees and working ground to sowing seed and harvesting food, Zoe shared with us creative representations of her adventures. The observation and interaction of life, work, and community during her stay produced this exciting, charming and beautiful collection.
Working with the land is an act both radical and inspiring. Most any farm setting is rich with a diversity of hands on experience that provides a break from the often diluted modern lifestyle. Those of you reading may find your own home garden a respite from the busy day, a place to clear your head, work up a sweat, and gain a feeling of completion. It is these moments that serve as springboards for genuine expression, easily captured in a place like the studio space that we provided to Zoe. We look forward to our next artists-in-residence, the first slated for a visit July through August and another for a Fall stay to write the first draft of his book.
For more information about our program please visit our farm site at oregoncountryfarm.com and our residency application page at itsallalright.com. We thank the community for their support and all the creatives and farmers who’ve contributed, especially the owners of our farm, Rod and Sara Fielder, for graciously providing an amazing space for this to occur.
The Brownsville Farmers’ Market season is upon us! Head downtown, support our local farmers and enjoy an expanded array of produce options every Saturday from 9-1!