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6 posts from May 2011


FLESH TONES: Hottest art show with a heart opens this Sunday

Suellen Hozman's hot new art show Flesh Tones will open this Sunday, June 5th at Absolute Gallery in Old Town, coinciding with the First Sunday Gallery Walk from noon-5p.m.

Flesh Tones is a photographic and narrative celebration of flesh colors and flesh decorations.  According to a description of the show Hozman provided, "The art and educational show Flesh Tones will not differentiate between someone with freckles and someone with alopecia or someone with tattoos and someone with Ichthyosis. Everyone will be next to everyone else.  A variety of flesh colors are in the show.  Flesh decorations include freckles, tattoos, eczema, birth marks, Neurofibromatosis, Ichthyosis, decorations of time of old age, Nevi and Giant Nevi, Lichen planopilaris, Alopecia, moles, extreme facial hair, extreme body hair, burn and surgical scars, wrinkles, Vitiligo, acne and piercings."

New Picture

Hozman is a Lansing-based artist with a sensitivity for direct human connection.  Flesh Tones uses traditional black-and-white, non-digital photography to celebrate and educate about the diversity of flesh colors and flesh decorations.  The artist uses silver gelatin prints and the individual stories of the twenty-nine people in the show to bare our superficial differences and ultimate commonality.  (I say 'our' because, yes, I am included as a subject).  Most of the people photographed are from the Greater Lansing area.  Next to each photograph will be a personal story.  Hozman notes that "knowledge has the potential to liberate," and a key goal of the show is to help us be free of fear or stigma associated with differences of the skin.

Sh Another key goal is for a broader, ongoing dialogue to be catalyzed by taking the show 'on the road.'  So, if you know of a venue that would like to host a dramatically beautiful art show with an agenda for social humanity, drop a line to Suellen Hozman, suellenyh at yahoo.com.




Local artist Suellen Hozman is

excited for her new show.


Homegrown Popcorn and Potato Chips: How-To

Growing your own popcorn or potatoes is actually pretty easy.  Popcorn grows just like regular corn, although the stalks are sometimes shorter and sturdier.  Choose a variety specifically for popping from a seed catalog or your favorite local seed spot.  You can plant corn anytime now--frost danger should be past, and the next week should heat up enough to help dry soil a bit.  One of the big benefits of NOT planting with a huge machine is that you can plant when the soil would still be too wet to host a tractor.  You can guess how much sympathy the 'conventional' farmers get from me... especially those who use mono-crop techniques supported by petro-fertilizers.  Yucksters.

Potatoes take a bit more care throughout the season than corn, but they are quite easy to grow.  Start with seed potatoes or organic potatoes.  They should be plentiful with 'eyes,' the sprouting bits.


On a dry day (windy is even better, but not necessary) cut the 'taters into smaller sections, making sure to leave at least on eye on each section.  Opinion on this varies:  some people leave 2-3 eyes per chunk, some just one.  Either way, don't just bury a whole potato covered in eyes--the plant will be too crowded and won't produce nearly as much as if you section it out.  Once you've cut your chunks, leave them cut-side-up in a shady, well ventilated spot until they dry on the surface.  This will avoid risk of rotting when you plant.

Once the cut surfaces are dry, place each chunk about 8 inches apart in the bottom of a trench and cover with soil.  As sprouts appear, continually mound soil up around the growing stalks--this increases the depth at which the plant will produce potatoes, and keeps mature 'taters dark so they won't turn green (toxic).  So when you see six inches of sprout, cover five and let an inch peek out until the next time.  You'll probably end up repeating this process between six and a dozen times over the season, depending on the growth habit of the potato (and your own habits).  (For info on harvesting, check back in a few weeks!)

Continue reading "Homegrown Popcorn and Potato Chips: How-To" »


Eyesores Get a Lift from Graffiti

There are so many vacant buildings these days, kudos to the Ingham County Land Bank for suporting local graffiti artist by not only allowing them to put pieces on high-profile facades but even providing paint.

These pieces went up at the defunct gas station kitty-corner from Cooley Stadium (nee Oldsmobile Park).


The above piece by Sam "SAMSKEE" de Bourbon is one of many.



Is it safe to plant tomatoes..YET!?!

The prevailing wisdom on when "safe-to-plant" dates are for sensitive garden veggies like tomatoes falls into two camps:  One tends to be based on relative factors:  Sure, plant your tomatoes now, if you don't mind coddling them through any last cold blasts, potentially losing them to a frost, or seeing later plantings in warmer soil shoot past the fruits of your spring-fever labors.  The other school of thought is summed up well by many life-long Michigan gardeners:  It's not safe until memorial day--sometimes not till June.  The full story is a little more nuanced.  Basically, the probability of temperatures reaching a given low on any date are measured by percentage.  


Continue reading "Is it safe to plant tomatoes..YET!?!" »


Street Art, Kickball and a Real Phoenix Rising

From the dead space formerly known as the CIty Pulse offices has sprung Capital City Creative Productions (2001 E. Michigan Ave.). This nifty outfit has spruced up the corner of Michigan Ave. and Clemens by sporting some fresh new street art.  In addition to sponsoring an upcoming kickball tournament and offering a variety of creative services, CCCP (no relation to Communist mother Russia, I think) has enlivened the corner left as a gaping maw of darkened storefront after the skedaddling of City Pulse to the defunct Virg-for-Governor headquarters down the block.

One cool upcoming event at the location is a casting call for the film REIGN OF THE KINGPIN at 1:00pm on Saturday, May 21st.  

Stop by and scope the art along Clemens (across from the gas station), or drop in to sign up for some kickball.


It starts with a conversation...

Talk and listen When you have an idea for a community project, don't keep it to yourself.  A big idea that seems daunting as you turn it over in your head can be less imposing when its brought out into the light.  And not every neighborhood improvement plan or community garden proposal need be funneled through the official channels of some bureaucracy.  The beauty of asset-based development is that the very differences that define us can strengthen our most important commonalities as humans and living things.  The key is inviting people to share their visions, strengths, and interests.  Where those personal assets intersect with the groups' shared goal is where the rubber meets the road: the traction that makes everyone feel like a crucial part of the project, not just a servant to someone else's brainstorm.

Tonight I was invited over to a neighbor's house for a meeting.  Her idea?  To transform the vacant lot behind a pretty down-trodden local party store into a shared space for neighbors to grow food and recreate together.  Just having the chance to sit down over some coffee with other interested neighbors gave everyone an opportunity to contribute to the planning and take a share of leadership.  Questions like "What do you think?" kept even the most deferential contributing to the shared vision.  Such meetings are not a stopping point, but rather a means to an end: a springboard for not just the issue in question but also for the discoursive and discursive interactions that strengthen community. The feeling of helping to shape and be a part of something larger than oneself is as near at hand as a conversation with a neighbor.


Gabriel Biber

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