Hawthorne Valley Staff Virtual Mixed Media Exhibition
As we reflect on what the past year of living through a pandemic has been like, staff members across Hawthorne Valley’s initiatives have turned towards art for solace. Our initiatives are so diverse that many of us have had different experiences of the pandemic–some are office workers who have spent months working from their living rooms, some continued to work on the frontlines of retail and food production, and others learned completely new skills to continue teaching remotely and with an outdoor learning model.
But one thing that continues to bring us together is the creative process. This collection of artwork is meant to help us collectively reflect on the way our worlds have changed in the last year, the silver linings we’ve seen, what’s given us hope, what we’re looking forward to. We hope you find these works meaningful.
This exhibition will be updated on a rolling basis, so look out next month for more. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates, sales, and more to your inbox.
Seaglass Quilt Series, Part 1
Lauren Wolff, interim COO
Cotton fabric, fusible web, wool batting, cotton, rayon and metallic threads
During the pandemic, I honestly didn’t do so much more quilting. I felt drawn to mending, both clothes and even an old quilt. For my quilt work, I focused on using “my scrap stash,” the fabric left over from other quilts. I have been working on this for a while now, so the scraps keep getting smaller as I work through my stash. When I came across this quilt technique from Allie McCathren, it was perfect for those smaller pieces of fabric.
Handmade Decorative Items & More
Megan Gambacorta, Farm Store Bakery Buyer & Amanda Kraft, Farm Store Cashier
Various handprinted materials
It’s been a long-time dream for us to have a small handmade store to sell decorations, mugs, jewelry and more. We’re excited to share our work. You can find more at Mandi & Meg’s on Instagram and Facebook.
Patrick Stolfo, Alkion Center Core Faculty Member & Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School High School Art Teacher
Terra cotta relief sculpture & charcoal drawing
Metamorphic processes in nature and art go beyond the representation of a single object or moment in time. Through the window of metamorphosis, we can experience (either as the artist or as an observer) transformational time sequences, spatial relationships, polarities (opposites), and gradation between parts within the whole organism. When looking at these examples, try to move from one form to the next and live into the changes that each has to go through as they ascend or descend. See more of my work here.
Herring Gull & Humming Bird and Bee Friend
Helen Enright, Farm Store Curbside Assistant
During the pandemic I had time to watch the birds that visited my bird feeders. Then during a quick stay in Newport, RI, I was able to capture this seagull on a cloudy day. I would like to invite everyone to visit the Spencertown Academy to view their Members Show. One of my photos, “The Floating Heart,” is displayed in the show. The hours are Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5 pm until August 8th. There are many amazing works of art included in this show.
Various Naturally-Dyed Items
Marla Tolz, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School Main Office Administrator
Romper: materials Include: 100% Organic Cotton Romper, Coreopsis, Calendula, Osage Orange, Madder Root
Bandana: materials Include: 100% Organic Cotton Bandana, Logwood, Cochineal, Osage Orange, Madder Root
T-Shirt: materials Include: 100% Cotton T-Shirt, Logwood, Cochineal, Osage Orange, Coreopsis, Sweet Pea
My interest in natural dyeing stemmed from my love of flowers and plants, gardening, and crafting, all of which I do a lot of. When I realized that I could marry my creative interests to make beautiful, functional items I was instantly hooked. I also really like that it is a sustainable and earth friendly way of creating brightly colored clothing and home goods. The items that I have included here were all made using a process called bundle dyeing. I treated my fabrics to prepare them to take color using a process called mordanting. Then, I collected my plant materials and placed them on the fiber, rolled them up tightly, steamed them for a bit to extract the color from the plants, and voila – beautifully vibrant colors were born!
Though none are pictured here, I am sewing with the fabrics that I dye as well. I work with both cellulose fibers (plant based – cotton, hemp, linen) and protein fibers (animal based – silk & wool). I am in the process now of setting up my online shop to sell the items I make. Items that will be available to purchase soon will include, t-shirts, tanks, bags, pillow cases, silk scarves, bandanas, and fat quarters (for quilters and makers!). If you are interested in following what I am up to please find me on Instagram – @goodgoodhandmade, or stop me if you see me around campus. I love talking about all things plants, flowers, natural dye, and handwork, and will gladly geek out about it with you if you have an interest as well!
Faith Novella, Farmscape Ecology Program Entomology Intern
This finger painting of a pine elfin butterfly was inspired by one seen on a wild strawberry flower in North Field.
Kevin Kilb, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School class teacher
Tissue Paper, Glue, Pastel on Cardboard
Elias Martel, Farm Store Grocery Team Member
Ink, Watercolor, and Gouache on Paper
Irene Davis, Accounts Receivable, Payroll
Knitting – mix of Merino wool and Eco + Wool yarns from local yarn shops
Odin Esty, former Trillium Kindergarten Assistant
Alas, poor Yorick!
This is the first of what I hope to be many. I made this intending to fire it before layering on the musculature and skin to make it into a proper head, but it ended up too big and I am sure it is riddled with air pockets anyway. That is for the next one! This one is destined for the shelf after I finish it with a layer or two of shellac.
by Thomas Murphy, Creamery Production Assistant
From 2011 to 2014, I started working for Pampered Cow Creamery at Twin Maple Farm with head cheese maker Tim Merante. Before, I worked for Milk Thistle Organic Dairy Farm with Tim. After years of processing and bottling milk, I started learning how to make and age the cheese. After a couple of years of learning, I was honored to be the Whole Foods poster child for Twin Maple. I was displayed in all Whole Foods on the east coast.
After Pampered Cow closed in June 2014, I started a different job painting and lining tennis, basketball, and pickle courts.
Now working in the creamery, I’m learning more with all the different products we make, and also meeting new people in all departments. My goal is to help make the creamery stronger than ever.
by Jess Brobst, Dairy Herd Manager
Clay and chamomile
“Make a figure that represents freedom.”
This was my instruction as I faced a block of clay in an Alkion Center make up class last summer. Like every other student in the world, my rhythms were disrupted by COVID. Unlike many students however, my “school” found ways to bring us safely together as time went on.
“Make a figure that represents freedom…And try not to think too much.”
Patrick Stolfo’s favorite phrase I think.
I took the clay in my hands,
Felt something rise up inside me,
And began to dissassemble the block til the image I felt inside was captured, to the best of my ability, in the smooth red earth under my fingers
A figure of freedom.
Inspired by the esoteric understanding of Mother Mary, I could feel that the truest expression I could bring to the word “Freedom” was a representation of the divine miracle it is to be human.
The divine miracle we live in every day and the choice we have to say yes to spirit, yes to love,
To bring it into ourselves and let it transform us and in turn, transform the world.
Dinosaurs at the Farm Store
Last year, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), one of our main suppliers, asked us to send them a promotional message of support. We couldn’t let the opportunity to have some fun with the assignment. We’re happy to present “Dinosaurs at the Farm Store.”
Middle School Photography Elective – Spring 2021
In Introduction to Photography, a group of middle school students learned about a number of influential photographers and techniques, and drew inspiration from our weekly lesson to create their own photographs. The work they made each week was discussed in the form of a critique. Through these thoughtful critiques, they supported each other by providing constructive criticism about their work. Some topics often discussed were the composition, lighting, color, concept, and content of their work. Each student finished this session with a beautiful portfolio of work and a greater knowledge of the principles of photography. It was a true pleasure to witness their incredible talent! Below is a sampling of their work.
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by Zahari F.
by Kestral D.
by Thandiwe R.
The Old Axe
by Michael Pewtherer, Practical Arts Teacher
Roasted oak, steel, paint.
Restored and electro-chemically etched double bitted axe.
Home is Where the Heart Is
by Jess Brobst, Dairy Herd Manager
Colored pencil, sharpie, acrylic paint on paper
I made this piece in March of this year as a birthday present for my friend Geniveive. In a time when covid is instigating sweeping changes in our home lives, how we view home, what it means to be home, and how important home is when covid instability and insecurity threatens it, it is important to remember where our true homes lie. A home is just a house when love is not present. And when Love is present, home is everywhere.
by James Mannix, Farm Store Deli Cook
Love & Labor
by John Gagnon, Whole Farm Apprentice
Wrapped in each other and
swathed in naught but
gentle silken moonlight
we sail on the currents
of a universe eternal
The internal and the external
fade beyond the pale
lip of perception
All is one and
one is all
Until the dark of eyelids’ fall
ushers on the call of day.
For we are creatures diurnal
Though our hearts rue the calling
the rising sun reclaims
the rule of flesh and bone
honed on the hardness
of the rhythm
of soot and soil,
work and toil,
heads downbent and labor spent
in the worship of the ground
It is love in the evening
and labor at noonday
Love and labor-
Turn the cycle
Until love is labor
Labor, a love
Until the soil
is the night sky
Until the present
and the individual
but one spark
of the universal
Turn the cycle-
Labor and love
Love and labor
turn the cycle
by Helen Enright, Farm Store Curbside Assistant
Artist’s Statement from Helen
Due to the pandemic, I was only able to work part time. This gave me the opportunity to take more photos which is one of my passions. Cloud formations have been very dramatic over the past year. Very powerful animal images like dragons, bears, large birds have been etched in the sky by forces beyond our control. I have captured many Angel images also. I view these creations as a reminder that we are being protected by heavenly influences that will strengthen us during this time.
I use my camera to capture a moment in time then transform it into a visual, tangible form that conveys my vision of the world. Nature is an endless inspiration of form, balance, color, emotion, movement and continually smiles at me through my camera lens. Taking pictures allows me to completely surrender myself to the moment. Not breathing, not aware of my stance, just focusing, framing, waiting for that second of clarity when nature whispers “It’s time,” then click. I hope my images “speak” to the viewer in soft whispers to create a heartfelt moment.
The water of life for the children of the future and present
by Jess Brobst, Dairy Herd Manager
Colored pencils, sharpie & water color on paper
Artist’s Statement from Jess
When Patrick Stolfo, co-director of the Alkion Center for Adult Education, reached out to me about drawing a picture for a fundraising effort to replace the William Ward memorial flow form fountain in front of the school, I immediately knew the picture needed to involve more than just the proposed fountain itself. It needed to capture the essence of Waldorf education, this “water of life.” As a current Alkion student and a witness to Waldorf happenings as I see them unfold on the campus I share with the school, I know Waldorf education is all about trying to connect the human to life. Just as biodynamic agriculture attempts to connect our farming practices to life. We are certainly not perfect. I’m sure we fall flat in our attempts to reach this ideal everyday, but this picture is less about failed attempts and more about homage to that shining ideal. We want to be united. We want to be diversified. We want to learn, to grow, to create, to be beautiful, and to have fun doing it! I hope this image, and this future fountain, can provide a place to pause in our daily striving, a place to cast our wearied gaze, and to remember where our true nourishment comes from.
by Thomas Murphy, Creamery Production Assistant
Red House Fog
by Zach Neven, Farm Store Grocery Team
Color pencil on sanded print (photo by Zach)
Artist’s Statement from Zach
Creativity has always been a huge part of my life. Like most photographers and artists, I see things that others don’t see. Lights and shadows are everywhere. I was fortunate enough to be able to study under my father, who was a professional photographer in his twenties and thirties. It wasn’t long before I had my own camera and my own photography dreams. I started taking photography more seriously while in high school photographing sporting events.
Currently, my inspirations are Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Ansel Adams. I love the way they see the world as moments in time and tell the story of their subjects. I try to emulate this in all my work. I especially love black and white because it forces me and the viewer to notice light and details not apparent in a color photograph. I use color in my photography when it is part of the story, and I’m especially drawn to reds. My choice of subject is organic—not planned. I like to stumble on a scene wherever I am, capturing images that most people walk by without noticing—so you will rarely see me without my camera.
by Elias Martel, Farm Store Grocery Team
Artist’s Statement from Elias
Elias Martel uses painting and drawing to illustrate transcendent qualities of his quotidian life, and to reconcile these two aspects. He has been painting and drawing since he was about five and recently graduated from Bennington College where he focuses in painting.
Clockwise from top: Epiphanic? 3 – Charcoal, graphite, ink on paper; Epiphanic? 2 – Guache, Watercolor, Graphite, on Paper; Epiphanic? – Acrylic on Canvas; Epiphanic? 3 – Guache, Watercolor, Graphite, on Paper