Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Out with a Bang!

I'm long overdue in writing about the End of Season Bonfire event at Fruitlands. We had a marvelous time and the bonfire exceeded all of our expectations. There's a complete album of the event here and here.

It was a true collaborative event beginning with the generous assistance of the Fruitlands Facilities crew and Mike Volmar the chief curator. I also had help from Marketing Director Mary Delaney, her son Lawrence and Wayne, on day of, with the addition of many more layers of wrapping. Lots of giggling by all of us as we maneuvered large balls of fiber around an approximately 12x14 foot bundle that was  sitting on a hill... get the picture? It just goes to prove that anything is possible when we all work together.

More collaborating that evening – The audience was asked to write down offerings, or things they wanted to let go of, onto slips of paper that they tucked into the bundle before the lighting. Everyone totally embraced this idea and you could see a lot of thought invested into each and every offering. All ages could identify with the transformation of the fire and of the ritual.

The S'mores were a big hit with well organized bags of ingredients available for anyone who wanted to toast their own. And the sun offered us up another beautiful setting as well.

The Drummers des Lookie Lookie ushered us into the night with their magical percussion. The rhythms grounded the event, creating a audible center for everyone to gather while waiting for the big moment of lighting the fire.

And then the moment arrived for Mike to strategically light the bundle from a point within the base. The fire spread slowly and powerfully at first before it shot up to heights of about 50 feet or more. Many camera phones were present to document it.

The fire department is close by to contain and extinguish at the end of the evening.

I too made my offerings to the fire by saying my farewell to a meaningful and productive year as the 2013 Artist-in-Residence at Fruitlands Museum. It's been an amazing time of learning, working and making new friends. I look forward to many more connections with the museum staff and public in the future.

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