Saturday, May 14, 2011

Catherine Shapiro at Rhizome

Notes from my introduction last night:

The other day I was walking by Catherine's garden. The sun was shining and her two camelia trees were in full bloom. I couldn't help but smile at the beauty of the scene. I passed a man coming the other way and he caught my smile and returned it. Thus Catherine's garden infuses the neighborhood with its special magic. The birds love it, the bees love it and it is also appreciated by the local children and all the rest of us.

Catherine is a VIP in our local garden club. She generously shares her wisdom and knowledge and she gets us all excited about growing our own food. She makes it seem easy. Her plants seem to grow bigger and healthier than ours. What is her secret? Passion, years of experience and meticulous research. Catherine the artist and gardener is also Catherine the reader. And she doesn't just skim the surface--her research goes deep into the history of gardening and the genesis of agriculture.

As an artist Catherine's studio practice is disciplined and rigorous. She is committed to the process, and once she settles on a project, she disappears into her studio for days, or even years until she gets it done. Tonight I am so pleased to be able to show Catherine's prolific work outside the context of her studio. We need to get it out of the laboratory and into the world so it can be appreciated like her garden and her work can perform its magic on us. I have the very good fortune of living close to Catherine and her lovely garden. Her stories are like good soul food--tasty, chewy, and deeply satisfying.

Catherine is an inspiration to us all! Thanks to everyone who came out to Catherine's talk and thanks to our co-sponsors The Herstory Café and to the venue, the fabulous Rhizome Café.

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