“keep on rockin’ in the free world”
– neil young
(the spectrum’s final farewell…10/31/09)
these days more and more artists are coming up with new media and materials to create art that is unique and unexpected, so it was only a matter of time before artists started working with mud. but jesse graves, an artist based in milwaukee wisconsin, has taken it a step further by using mud to create stencil artwork that puts environmentally conscious messages in public spaces…so in his own way, he’s using earth in order to protect the earth…which is a very cool concept, i think.
msr = mud stencils rule.
according to jesse, “i use mud or earth because it is a fundamental life-giving substance, logical for my messages. mud stencils are an evolving medium, intended for art and social justice, not corporate advertisement. i see preserving and improving the environment we live in as all encompassing. the world is composed of interconnected systems or cycles. everything is connected, and every choice we make matters.”
here’s a look at some of jesse’s stencils and the meanings behind them.
“to me, industrial farming means agriculture on a massive scale that typically includes the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified foods, erosion, and soil degradation. industrial farming is happening worldwide, it is reducing crop variety, eradicating traditional farming methods, and harming the health of animals (including humans). this mud stencil is a call to action. beat back industrial farming by supporting small sustainable farms and gardens.”
“my original idea for this piece was to relate it to growing your own food. i enjoy gardening, and i want to share the joy i find in the sustainability of growing my own food. i considered writing “garden” with the plant letters, but eventually decided on “grow”. i wanted this piece’s meaning to be more ambiguous and personal to the viewer, instead of a bold statement like some of my other pieces.”
“wild food is plants and animals that are not farmed, grown, or raised for human consumption. wild food is nutritious, and finding it makes you more aware of your environment. wild food is all around us, even in urban environments, most just overlook it and disregard it as weeds and nuisances.”
“to deal with the infections cows are fed antibiotics which end up in the milk and meat produced by industrially raised cattle. this is just one of the many problems with industrial farming. corporations do not care about the health and well-being of the animals they imprison or and people that eat those animals.”
“why do people drink bottled water when perfectly potable, perfectly healthy tap water is readily available? in places without clean drinking water, bottled water makes sense; everywhere else, it does not. it takes oil to make the plastic and packaging for bottled water, and even more oil to transport them. more oil is used to recycle the plastic, unless the used bottles are filling up landfills instead.”
“free can mean a lot of things. hopefully this stencil means something to you. to me this piece is about how great it is to ride a bike. for myself commuting via bicycle means i am free from oil and free from the confinements of an auto. sadly while biking in a city i am not free from rude motorists, and the exhaust autos spew.”
i like this last one…obviously, the notion of freedom is something that we feel strongly about here at free people :)
to learn more about jesse and his mud stencils, visit his website: mudstencils.com
in need of halloween plans for the weekend? here are a few suggestions going on this weekend…
…in new york:
the 36th annual village halloween parade takes place on saturday from 7 to 11 pm on the avenue of the americas between spring and 21st streets. the annual parade is open to any costumed member of the public and features live bands, enormous puppets, dancers, visual artists and revelers from all walks of new york city life.
tonight check out a very halloween-ish lineup of bands, including a place to bury strangers, dead confederate and all the saints, playing at the middle east upstairs (472 mass ave in cambridge). show starts at 8pm, tickets $12.
the monsters of folk are playing tonight at the auditorium theater (50 e. congress), at 7:30pm. or catch a screening of the rocky horror picture show, tonight and tomorrow night at midnight at the music box. the screening includes a pre-show dance party and costume contest.
…in los angeles:
on saturday night lacma will hold their popular annual halloween party, with this year’s theme inspired by the current exhibit heroes and and villains: the battle for good in india’s comics. the event includes extended hours, live music, djs spinning, complimentary cocktails and, of course, a costume contest (previous winners included an ostrich and centaur).
…and last but not least, in philly (in case you aren’t attending pearl jam or the world series…)
a bowling costume party! the 5th annual vampire and vixens halloween party at lucky strike (1338 chestnut st, center city). $10 in advance or $15 at the door and includes one free drink and entry in the costume contest. vip tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door, and get you open bar from 9-12pm and exclusive access to the vip floor.
or, just head over to the infamous eastern state penitentiary on friday and saturday night with terror behind the walls, when the prison becomes a massive haunted house. the tour starts at 7pm and costs $30.
i’ve lived in philly my whole life and have never done this because i’ve heard it’s that scary.
photos from the village halloween parade, taken by joe marquez.
the other day i posted some ideas for decorating pumpkins that don’t involve carving, and one of our readers sent these photos of some awesome painted pumpkins that i just had to share…read jennifer’s comment and check out the pumpkins below!
for the past 5 years I’ve been painting pumpkins for andy’s pumpkin express. myself and about 20 other artists from the state paint the pumpkins and they get sold at the event in brick NJ. 100% of the proceeds go to the diabetes fund. pumpkins are done in acrylic paint. every artist there has a specialty pretty much; theres landscape painters, portrait painters ect. i’m more of the animals/movie poster painter, and every year i do another led zeppelin pumpkin.
thanks for sharing jennifer, your pumpkins rock! especially the led zeppelin one :)
check out the website, www.pumpkinexpress.org.
i just posted yesterday about the very admirable work our reader rachel is doing to help shelter animals, so it seems fitting to post about this event taking place tomorrow in philly…
PAWS will hold their 3rd annual mutt strut tomorrow at FDR park, which is a 1.5 mile walk through the park to raise funds and awareness for PAWS and their efforts to save shelter animals. it’s just $25 to register, and you can bring your dog but you don’t have to have one. they had the option to sign up to walk with a PAWS dog but the response was so overwhelming that all the dogs are taken!
the best part is, dozens of PAWS dogs will be at the event…meaning you could meet your new best friend and give it the loving home it needs.
3rd annual PAWS mutt strut – saturday october 31, FDR park (1900 pattison avenue, across from the sports complex)
check-in/registration begins at 10am; start strutting at 11am!
for more info on PAWS, philadelphia’s ONLY no-kill animal rescue organization, visit their website.
photos of last year’s mutt strut from monster minders.
earlier this week we introduced you to dana of the blog summer teeth, who we asked to do a guest post for our blog. she came back to us with a beautiful batch of photos that she feels are free people inspired and infused. there are quite a few of them so we’ve decided to break them into groups, but keep in mind that they were carefully selected with a narrative in mind, so that the sequence of images tells a story. what’s the story? whatever you interpret it to be :)
so without further ado, here is part one of dana’s guest post!
you might remember back in our august catalog, we featured animals from the philadelphia animal welfare society (P.A.W.S.) in several of the photos. well, one of our facebook fans, rachel, saw this and told us about a really amazing project that she was working on as her bfa thesis.
read on to hear more about rachel’s project and see some of her beautiful photos of the absolutely adorable animals…and tell me it doesn’t make you want to go adopt one!
what inspired you to do start the 4 to 5 million project?
from an early age i grew up aware that there was a serious problem pertaining to the overpopulation of pets in the US. this project stemmed from a passionate desire to communicate my concerns and love for these animals and while doing so, use photography to help inform the public about this heartbreaking and serious problem.
what does 4 to 5 million mean?
every year approximately four to five million companion animals are euthanized. that amounts to 64% of all shelter animals around the country. the fact of the matter is, there are just too many pets and not enough homes.
rosie & sparky
how successful has the project been so far?
the project was extremely successful. it gained a lot of press for the shelters as well as for the specific dogs i featured in my photographs. the majority of which i have since been informed have found happy and loving homes. it also has provided people with new knowledge on this issue and with a variety of simple things that they can do to help.
who are your heroes?
the heroes who have had the greatest influence on who i am today are my parents. my father, a veterinarian and my mother, an artist, have too obviously, played a part on what i see through my lens.
do you have a pet?
i have many pets, always have, always will, all of which were rescues! my house currently is home to two rescue chihuahua mixes and a terrier mix named mickey, as well as two cats, a tuxedo named tux and a calico, feather.
what is your first memory of free people?
i first heard of free people when a model who participated in my project, saw your post about philly P.A.W.S. your plan to photograph the shelter animals with models was so similar to what i was doing that she passed on the video post to me. i admire that there are other people out there who are trying to do their part in helping spread the word about this problem. thank you free people!
Check out rachel’s website and blog to find out more about the project and see which animals have found happy homes thanks to rachel’s work!
thanks so much for sharing, rachel :)
last week was all about the layering tops, and the most votes went to the studded cuff thermal! good choice…nice and warm.
this week it’s about layering jewelry… we love the layered jewelry look, including piling up the fingers with rings….so i want to know, which ring do you want on your finger?
the emerald wings ring
that’s right…it’s girls on film on music, halloween edition! here are some creepy cuts selected by bunny and monkey (a.k.a. the girls of girls on film on music).
the rolling stones – some girls
easy dress up option for men – be a girl. problem being that even men as pretty as mick make seriously unattractive women…
bananarama – the greatest hits collection
blonde, brunette and redhead – a pick n’ mix for three ladies in need of a group costume pronto. and then you get to walk around and tell everyone you’re being “banaaaah-nah-raaaah-mah”.
kate bush – never forever
this album is kate at her best, both in terms of her songs (“babooshka”, “army dreamer”) and cover art…one musician on this album is credited with playing the harmonica, mandolin, balalaika, sitar, koto, banshee, saw, mando and delius. i have the feeling the “banshee” is the official instrument of hallowe’en…
steve martin – a wild and crazy guy
A SUIT AND BUNNY EARS. a man on the same page as me when it comes to his sartorial approach. and i do mean just every day.
bobby “boris” pickett – monster mash
thriller may be the current “grave yard smash” but i’ve always has a certain affinity for this one. and don’t be surprised if at the holidays i’m suggesting you pick up “monsters’ holiday”…
misfits – walk amoung us*
anything by the misfits on halloween is prime, but i think danzig really knocked it out of the park on this one, zombies, martians, checking with your mom if it’s ok to kill tonight, perfect!
various artists – luxury condos coming to your neighborhood soon
though it never received the attention of athens or seattle, hoboken was one of major players in the ’80s indie scene, and the evanescent coyote records helped document this scene with this 1986 compilation. how is this halloween you ask? “elvis, what happened? what happened was you died” lyrics from the mr. bonus song “elvis, what happened?” proving that if you look, anything can me spooky.
the rocky horror picture show soundtrack
i’ll be magenta, and you can be columbia (in the confetti sequin tunic, perhaps?)
*i would have picked “halloween” but for all intensive purposes, it’s only a single