Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Five Genetically Modified Seeds from Monsanto

Here is an idea for an outdoor sculpture I was working on yesterday.  The materials I would use would be  recycled wood, metal, glass jars, and clay sculptures of corn, wheat, soybeans, canola, and possibly sugar beets.  These are 5 out of the 8 GMO seeds Monsanto produces on an incredibly large scale.  I am paying more attention to these 5 plants because they are foods we consume on a regular basis.  The glass mason jar is used to preserve foods.  Having the plants in the jars is a reminder to save and preserve their natural make-up.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Painting Carrots!

I have been painting carrots for the past few days.  I would like to make more work with vegetables and fruits and their months they are harvested in the midwest.

When I am finished painting the carrots, I will cut them out.

After harvesting carrots at Green Institute last summer and receiving organic carrots from my CSA share, I was surprised by the crazy shapes carrots can grow.  Each one comes out differently from the ground. 

Last week I cooked a lot!  I made Tofu Cutlet Marsala twice since it was so good.  I followed two recipes.  One for the cutlets and one for the sauce.

Ingredients for Cutlets (I also did this with eggplant instead of tofu since my sister doesn't like tofu, but first sprinkle salt on sliced eggplant to remove bitterness and let sit for 20 minutes, then pat away moisture with paper towel and follow same steps below):

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup soy milk
1 14-ounce extra firm block of tofu, drained and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Whisk cornstarch, flour, salt, and pepper into a bowl.  Pour milk into a separate bowl.  And pour panko bread crumbs into another separate bowl.

3. Pat tofu with paper towel to remove excess moisture.  Dip a piece of tofu into the flour mixture and cover the tofu completely.  Then completely dip tofu into soymilk quickly and let some of the soymilk drip off the tofu, then transfer tofu into panko bread crumb bowl.

4. Fry the breaded tofu and as you finish, place the tofu on a baking sheet in the oven.

Ingredients for Sauce (I tripled this recipe because it was not enough sauce first time around!)

2 Tbs oil
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 lb cremini button mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 cups Dry Marsala wine
small amount of lemon juice to taste
1/8 cup parsley, minced
2 Tbs earth balance butter

Saute mushrooms and onions in oil until mushrooms have given up most of their moisture.  Stir in garlic and tomato paste, cook until fragrant.  Add Marsala wine and cook until sauce thickens up quite a bit.  Remove from heat.  Stir in butter.  Add lemon juice and parsley and stir again. 

Serve sauce over tofu or eggplant cutlets!  It is my new favorite meal.

And for dessert...Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups!  My Grammy made these for me two years ago and I hadn't made them until now.  They are amazing.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last Nights Opening Reception for Chicago's Twelve: 12 Artists Mobilizing the Earth

Last night was the opening reception at the Zhou B Art Center for Chicago's Twelve: 12 Artists Mobilizing the Earth.  It was an incredible turnout and nothing like anything I have ever been a part of before.  I had a wonderful time!  

Harvesting the Blue Potato is a calendar displaying when the blue potato is grown and harvested in the Midwest.  It is rare for producers and consumers to consider availability of fruits and vegetables.  To make vegetables and fruits available year round we transport them from hundreds to thousands of miles away; wasting energy, using excessive packaging and reducing the quality of the product.  This piece is a reminder that there is an appropriate time and place for the produce we consume.

I am talking to the amazing artist Cathi Schwalbe!  She is big inspiration and the reason I found out about the Wormfarm Institute residency I will be starting in May!  And I am standing in front of another piece of mine titled Farmer Joel's Duck Eggs.

Chicago's Twelve will be up till June 9th at the Zhou B Art Center!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Opening Receptions! tonight in Chicago and Minneapolis in celebration of Earth Day!

Tonight! At the Zhou B Art Center, my work will
be on display for Chicago's Twelve: 12 Artists
Mobilizing the Earth
.  The Opening Reception is
from 7pm to 10pm tonight! I hope to see you there!

And if you happen to be in Minnesota tonight, check out the opening for Our Earth at Flow Art Space.  80 Becomes 40 will be on display there.  Opening Reception is tonight from 6pm to 9pm!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Installing at the Zhou B Art Center!

I installed Harvesting the Blue Potato
at the Zhou B Art Center today for 
the opening of Chicago's Twelve: 12 
Artists Mobilizing the Earth, opening 
this Friday, April 20th, 7-10pm!  It is
going to be an amazing show!

I pressed about 600 maptacks into the wall.  My 
thumb can't feel anything!

My man, Jacob did these two drawings of me.  He was kind enough to sit around for 5 hours while I installed.  I made it up to him by buying him a lot of food at Yummy Yummy.  Check out his blog here!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Beach in Clutch Gallery!

Clutch Gallery!

My piece, Beach, will be inside (and out) of the
Clutch Gallery till May 1, 2012.

 is a collection of earthy hues that are found
in the rocks of Lake Michigan.  Beach celebrates
the complexity of organic colors and the subtle
differences in tones from stone to stone.  
At first
glance it appears to be one color, but when
we take a closer view the rock is made up of a
wide spectrum of colors. The shapes in Beach
are single colors that have been dissected from
a small number of rocks. The viewer is invited to
search through the hard shapes in Clutch and
choose one to take from the cluster of hues.

These are examples of taking many colors from
one rock.  The rock is the top left one. 

Check out Clutch Gallery on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This is rhubarb from Montalbano Farms that I
bought from Glenwood Sunday Market.  I had 
never tried it before but my Grammy told me she
use to cook it with strawberries.  So I found a 
Strawberry and Rhubarb Sauce recipe.

Here is the rhubarb cut up and covered in
cinnamon and sugar!  I placed this in the oven for
30 minutes.

After the rhubarb baked for 30 minutes, I added 
the halved strawberries. 

The Strawberry and Rhubarb Sauce tasted 
AMAZING and we served it cold over vanilla ice

But of course, before we had dessert we had real 
food.  :0 ) I made Mashed Sweet Potato with 
Coconut Milk.  Super yummy!  A lovely day of 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Farming at Iron Street Farm in Bridgeport!

Iron Street Farm is in Chicago!  I am happy to have a found a farm nearby me to work on.  It is a 7 acre, urban farm located in Bridgeport.  My friend, Matt and I transplanted fennel into the ground and moved a mixture of beer mash and wood chips.  The beer mash and wood chips had been surrounding the hoop houses from the outside to keep them insulated but now that the weather is getting warmer they no longer need the extra heat. 


We shoveled beer mash and wood chips into the wheel barrow, then brought them over to a huge pile and dumped them out.  Compost bins are in the background!

It was a great day!  I got my first sunburn of the year.  I always make that mistake once and then I learn to have sunscreen on at all times.

If you ever want to volunteer with me on a farm this summer let me know!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Clutch Gallery!

I have the amazing opportunity to install my work in Clutch Gallery for the month of April.  Clutch Gallery is a clutch purse with four white walls inside of it.  Emma Robbins, the current curator of the gallery, carries the purse with her and shares whats inside with others as she goes about her day in Chicago.

I have had a while to think of what I want to do with Clutch.  This is a chance to do something very different from what I usually do.  I was excited that I would be making artwork strictly for Clutch and that it would be displayed for a month.  This meant my piece could be touched without worry of it being ruined or gooey by the time I get it back.

I love going to the beach and sifting through the sand for the perfect rock and collecting every color Lake Michigan has to offer.  For Clutch I wanted to place all those colors inside of it for an aesthetically pleasing view of earthy hues, just as I have done in the painting above.  But I wanted to mimic my ritual of choosing the perfect one.  So the viewer will be able to look through these hard shapes, touch every single one if they choose, pour the contents out onto a table or floor if they choose, and take the one they choose.

I am sculpting them out of paper-mache so that Clutch doesn't weigh Emma down too much!  Once they dry I am painting them with watercolor.  I have many more to make!

Follow Clutch on Facebook.