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GSBN:Mud - Art and Wash DC

Sometimes life takes you funny places, sometimes really funny places doing things you never imagined. But hey, I guess that's what makes it interesting. First of all I don't really like to leave the place I live especially when it involves hot humid muggy places and even more so when it's a city. But sometimes there's no choice and the universe teams up with one's wife and yanks you by the collar to do the unexpected. So this late May and June finds Athena and I parked outside the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian on Independence Ave right across from the Capitol building supervising 5 sculptures out of clay, stone, wood, bamboo, reed, what have you. Below I've pasted a brief description of the project. It's a big deal with webcams, public events, podcasts and such. Anyhow, either come see us in person or check out the museum's website for the webcam.

For now you can also see a description on our website along with two short film clips. The first is the film Athena's aunt submitted to the Smithsonian competition that in turn got her awarded the project. The second is filmed during a workshop here when we constructed several small prototypes mostly to get Athena's aunt familiar with the materials and techniques. Concept was hers but she has never worked with these materials on that scale. Here's the link.

<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.caneloproject.com/pages/currrent%20projects/smithsonian.html";>http://www.caneloproject.com/pages/currrent%20projects/smithsonian.html</a>

As usual, best to all of you and this great ongoing dialogue that is creating better ways to build,
B....(&amp; Athena)

The Canelo Project will be overseeing the construction of 5 outdoor clay sculptures in Washington DC in front of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall. The project will be carried out in conjunction with Athena Steen&#xD5;s aunt, Santa Clara Pueblo artist, Nora Naranjo-Morse from Espanola, New Mexico who won a design competition for outdoor sculptures that will be placed at one of the museum entrances. Naranjo-Morse's sculptures entitled, "Always Becoming," were selected unanimously by a selection committee, from more than 55 entries submitted by Native artists from throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Nora Naranjo-Morse is a sculptor who works primarily in clay and bronze. Her work can be found in the collections of museums throughout the United States and has been featured in group and solo exhibitions at the White House, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M. She is also known for her book Mud Woman &#xD0; Poems from the Clay.

Construction and installation will begin late May of 2007 and continue through the month of June with a public dedication scheduled for September 2007. The commissioned work will be located at the museum's south entrance on Maryland Avenue S.W. near 4th Street and Independence Avenue S.W.

Each of the five tower-like forms will stand anywhere from six to 15 feet tall and will be created out of organic, nontoxic materials&#xD1; clay soil, straw, sand, stone, wood poles, bamboo, reeds and plants. Pueblo pottery carving designs and low-fired shards will also be incorporated into the structures. The artist selected organic materials to enable the forms to take on a life of their own, which allow the natural elements to affect the forms through time. The forms are in essence, "Always Becoming."

"Native culture and the environment served as the inspiration for the sculpture design. 'Always Becoming' will reflect themes of growth and adaptation and represent indigenous peoples' unique relationship to the environment," said Naranjo-Morse. "The sculpture's metaphor of home and family not only conveys a universal theme to all peoples, but also enhances the visitors' experience that they have entered a Native place when they step foot on the museum grounds."

Athena and Bill Steen
The Canelo Project
HC1 Box 324
Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611