SNOW, SEEDS AND STREAMS:
COLLAGES AND QUILTS
As our spring days are making their rock-n-roll transition, cold-to-mild and back again to freezing-to-warm, Josie Mai’s EAT ART: Hand-Rubbed Collage exhibition holds steady on the walls of artCentral’s Hyde House. Weekend gallery hours continue through May 20th: Friday and Saturdays, noon to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays, 1:00-5:00 p.m., or by appointment at (417) 358-4404.
There are still openings for Josie’s Cooking Class and Meal prepared in artCentral’s vintage kitchen: $40, Saturday, May 12 at 12 noon. Spaces are limited. Phone or email your reservation soon to firstname.lastname@example.org.
David calls back up, “I guess we’re going. Where’s Chiquita’s poncho?” I call back down, “In Ding’s cat food cabinet. I’ll be ready in five minutes.”
Twenty minutes later with puppies, treats, toys and tethers gathered, vibing on pumped up resolve and determined to not miss our weekly walk-about-outing, we shut the door behind us. Stepping out into April’s shivering twenty-nine degrees of an unpredicted blowing spring snow, we find the patio, gardens and Lasyrenn’s agility course are serenely blanketed in white.
We’ve made plans with our friends Kerry and Bev to meet up for a pancake breakfast at our much loved Hwy 59 Café in Diamond, Missouri, and we’ve decided not to disappoint them or us or the puppies. Loading into Van (Gogh) we go south.
Our meet up is predictably happy and fun. Bev and Kerry catch us up on their recent projects. She’s helped successfully launch the Master Gardeners’ 2018 seed library. He’s been out with the Missouri Stream Team testing water quality in Center Creek. We agree we want to paddle our kayaks there together. Since they’re enthusiastic artCentral members, we give them all our arty news. Over extra cups of coffee, we sing them a wee duet from those we’re working up for our Annual Membership exhibition and picnic.
Parting with hugs and handshakes, Kerry and Bev head home as David and I carry on to George Washington Carver National Monument. On our walk this morning we see new wild flowers emerging in spite of the chill. David regrets not bringing his sketchbook. The weather’s become totally inconsequential.
I grew up with a weather maxim handed down by my Arkansas hillbilly ancestors: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a day or two. Change is sure to come.” Seems quick change is the theme of Missouri weather, too, especially in this fickle spring. One day the hastas are emerging and unfurling while guys walk into the Post Office in flip-flops and shorts. The next we’re dealing with the prospect of another freeze that has us frantically covering up all our tender plants we want to save.
Perhaps, now we’ve reached a week when spring’s ready to hold steady and the only dramatic change we’re facing is swapping the contents of our closets from our winter to our summer wardrobes. Today I’m wondering what’s weather-appropriate to wear for my lunch time meeting with my book club. Will the temps be up or down? Shall I dress in layers? Throw on a coat?
My wardrobe concerns are truly petty compared to those faced by the characters dealing with deprivation and harsh weather in “Enemy Women” by Paulette Jiles, the book I’m preparing to review for my book club discussion in May. Knowing I was looking for a provocative read, David pitched the possibility of this historical novel set in southeastern Missouri during the Civil War. Since he loves to read as much as I do and our literary tastes, like our artistic tastes, are complimentary, I followed his advice. I’m glad.
Only a third of the way through “Enemy Women”, already I’ve decided this is a book to be added to our artCentral library in the section dedicated to local and Missouri writers. Author Paulette Jiles knows well where we live. She was born in the heart of the Ozarks in Salem, Missouri, population 4,950 in 2010, the county seat of Dent County in the midst of the Mark Twain National Forest. Raised in small towns in both south and central Missouri, she graduated from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
In “Enemy Women” the author introduces a quilt motif that’s capturing my attention, for these days quilts are frequently on my mind: in the colorful paper scraps used by Josie Mai as she pieces together her hand-rubbed collages, in the family heirlooms David and I use to wrap and transport art from venue to venue and in the call for entries going out for THE ART OF QUILTING, the juried exhibition to be shown at artCentral this coming October and November.
Unmistakably spring’s snow, seeds, streams and collages are steadily carrying and flowing us forward toward the exquisite quilts of artCentral’s autumn.