‘Home – Thinking Inside and Outside the Box’
Take a moment this season to step into appreciation and away from the commonplace of physical distancing.
Stepping outside the pandemic box can go both ways, according to NeoRio Project Director Claire Coté, who references “the citizen scientist movement” to define NeoRio 2020 as a “citizen art and story” project – where people ponder the theme of “Home” during this pandemic time.
“This year’s NeoRio project affirms that we each have a unique experience of the world and something valuable to express,” Coté said in an exhibit announcement. “As we navigate the turbulent seas of the global pandemic together from our own boats, reflection helps us to make sense of it all.”
Citizen artists were asked to step outside a comfort zone, to try something different, sharing parts of themselves and connecting with others on the theme of “home” during the pandemic, to open doors to conversations that might not otherwise take place.
Nearly 30 submissions were received from adult artists, kids, teens, parents, grandparents, teachers, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, coaches, outdoor enthusiasts, an herbalist, a medical practitioner, a salon owner and a librarian.
“It’s wonderful to witness the diversity of people who have chosen to take part and fascinating to see and hear their different creative approaches to home during this unprecedented time,” said Coté.
Participants in the online exhibition were provided a 7-inch-square wooden box with a removable lid, with the prompts: “What does home mean to you? Think inside and outside the box!” Each participant was also asked to submit a short audio reflection or story.
“Sharing stories connects us with one another and is an opportunity to be vulnerable and courageous,” Coté said. “Hearing a person’s story in his or her own voice deepens its significance and impact and linking unique cube artworks and audio stories is proving to be fascinating!” Coté said.
Explore, appreciate and purchase works for sale at the online exhibition at LEAPsite.org.
Contribute to the ongoing ‘Home’ Digital Archive
A quick-moving series of community Zoom roundtables took place Oct. 9-11, 2020, in connection with the online exhibition, where participating artists shared their cube artworks of their “home” reflections and stories. The online story-sharing events and archive is a collaboration with Questa Stories ~ Community Memory Project at QuestaStories.org.
The “Home” Digital Archive is a more open-ended digital collection point for artworks, creative expressions, writings, songs, videos, stories, poems, memories, reflections, conversations, images and artifacts inspired by or connected to “home.” Contributions can be created or recorded especially for this project or can be something you’ve made in the past.
“By ‘story’ we simply mean a short reflection on a time in your life, a person, place, food, experience, memory, idea or object that relates to or represents home to you,” said Gaea McGahee, NeoRio collaborator and co-founder of Questa Stories. “You can use a smartphone to record your story or we are happy to record it for you over the phone.”
Submissions in any form are welcome throughout the fall and beyond to be included in the “NeoRio 2020: Home” archive.
NeoRio has been a public celebration for 11 years, where participants have enjoyed thought-provoking art installations at Wild Rivers on the Río Grande gorge rim; a farm-to-table feast; music, poetry and artist talks. NeoRio is a project of LEAP in partnership with Questa Creative Council and Localogy.
NeoRio is free and open to all. The event is made possible by individual donations, local business and media sponsorships as well as grant support. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, Taos Community Foundation and Drawing on Earth, with additional sponsorships from Questa Economic Development Fund, Questa del Rio News, Questa Visitor Center, Taos Public Library, Zia Event Design, North Star Toys, Questa Lumber and Hardware, Sage Automatic Systems and generous individual donors and volunteers.
Questions? See Leapsite.org, or contact Coté at email@example.com or call/text (575) 224-9066.
Contribute to the Home Online Archive:
Create “home” artwork or other creative expression;
Make it able to be shared digitally by photo, video, scans, word document, etc. (help provided with this if needed);
And/or record a short audio reflection or story;
Email these with your name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.