Missouri GOURDen, a community arts and garden project on Troost Avenue, is the focus of our experience. We'll study the structure we built, the GOURDzebo as it's sometimes called, with its flowering vines including bottle gourds - the project's focus. You'll learn about the microcosm of this cucurbit garden and organic strategies that enable it to flourish. Following along with the gist of the project: "grow a music maker," you'll have the chance to fashion a small shekere by weaving a net of string and beads over the body of a dry gourd - then shake your beat ! We'll stretch our legs through exploring a young community orchard and talk about topics such as change surrounding Troost Avenue which has separated socio-economic groups in the city historically or Kansas City's community garden and urban farm movement. Finally, I'll show you the way to the nearby nature center with its enchanting trails highlighting Missouri flora or the formal Kauffman Memorial Garden where you can continue to enjoy the day on your own.
I'll bring water.
everything you'll need to make your small shekere will be prepared and provided
As an artist, I work across a variety of disciplines to develop projects that yield beauty, peace, and a quality of the uncanny. My approach often echoes West African ways, coaxing the audience to consider alternate perspectives. My art projects have been awarded grants and prizes, and exhibits of my work have taken place on three continents. I have taught, lectured, and served as an artist-in-residence in school, community, museum, & university settings. I traveled to Africa to learn from artists and artisans there three times, and I earned my MFA from Yale University.
The Missouri GOURDen bower, or GOURDzebo, will be the focus of our experience. In summer and well into fall, the 15' structure is covered in flowering, fruiting vines that create a shady refuge within - a kind of secret garden. The bower has 3 doorways to welcome to people coming from all directions ~ We'll also see the Kauffman Community Gardens orchard, and I’ll show you the way to the Discovery Center and the formal Kauffman Memorial Garden.
If it's rainy, hot & sunny, or to sit at a tables, we'll make shekeres at the picnic shelter. For general purposes to do with Missouri GOURDen, we have permission to use the Discovery Center restrooms and parking lot (please be courteous). There's no admission charge to enter the Discovery Center.