I came with the perfect sign to help Clutier celebrate its special day: "52217Czechs"
I was honored to be part of their 52217 zip code celebration on 5.22.17 ))) I love this community - cutest Czech dialect! For me, it has been an interesting experience to hear the differences in the spoken Czech across Iowa. That evening was the most memorable one for my Stezky / Pathways project...
I'm back in Clutier for a presentation at the ZCBJ Hall on June 14th....see you soon!
I'm working on a book for Stezky / Pathways )) this was given to me by the person who's helping me bring it all together: Molly Cook. The book will cover the project's journey along with my own; from the creation of the folk identity "(319)Czech" to connecting back to the Homeland. It will be in Czech & English :) I hope to continue with other books as my project builds further pathways between the two countries....
Sunday, May 7th: The community of Ely gave me a dedication ceremony for their objects. I was given a root from the oldest tree in the original settlement of the Moravian Brethren in Ely. Moments like these bring me to tears...I'm proudly a keeper of tradition & heirloom caretaker )) Dĕkuji vám to the people of Ely & the First Presbyterian Church - special thank you to Joanne Chadima for this root.
Material culture ;) I'm starting to build the (object)pathways to Czech settlements across Iowa. I modified this tool - it's used as an attachment to the table acting as the 'third hand' for embroiders.
Stezky/Pathways exhibition opens on June 24th at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (ncsml.org) along with a book release about my journey through the settlements.
I'm ready to roll....Czech folk motifs across iowa ;) the rollers are from CZ (my fav junk shop in Brno)...i couldn't find the right holder for it, so i made my own: Czech-American folk roller (česko americký lidový váleček). These rollers are iconic in the Czech Republic, companies still make them. They are used in place of wallpaper. I will be using them on sidewalks, homes, and other surfaces...
I've been excavating culture in spaces I refer to as "fallen heritage sites". I've composed many memorials to these fallen sites since the 2008 flood. One of these sites is a neighborhood called "The Flats". It was home to the first wave of immigrants from Bohemia, 1852...sadly, we are loosing this era of history in Cedar Rapids, but heritage can lie in other spaces that define our cultural landscape.
One of the last remaining homes in "The Flats" will hopefully be saved from demolition. I will be creating a storyline with this heritage space before it leaves its location...
For me, it can be emotionally difficult to deal with these fallen heritage spaces. The name of this project came from these difficult experiences, most of which occured during/after the 2008 floods. The name "Stezky" means pathways /// Czechs created pathways to each settlement both cognitively and physically, but somewhere along the way they became broken - the span of time from the original settlers grew further away, so we are at a cross-roads with our cultural heritage. It is a goal of this project to reconnect these pathways through different forms of engagement and understanding about our current state of heritage.
Last week, I documented Marj Nejdl's egg decorating class at the National Czech & Slovak Museum - Marj is one of my mentors and folk art heroes ))) Getting a hug from Marj is like getting one from Czech culture itself ;)
Marj gave me rags from her workshops to use for my project ))
I'm working on a collaborative piece along with recording a conversation between two makers/cultural practitioners: Marj + myself.
Guess what?!? I'm the Grand Marshal of the Houby Days parade!!! )))
if you're interested in taking part in the parade, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commercial entries: $15
Non-Profit entries: No Entry Fee
I would like to involve all the Czech communities across Iowa to take part in celebrating our cultural heritage...
artist-teacher/heirloom caretaker/community organizer