The Nautilus Project – Jackson, Mississippi (2012)

Now that the 2013/2014 Portland Nautilus Project has been getting underway, it seemed a good time to post some information about the first project in the multi-year series. The 2012 Jackson project featured a live music concert and a show of visual art created by Jackson artists. The artwork was chosen by the artists in relationship to three songs for the “Nautilus” CD  – “Jackson,” “Gold,” and the title track, “Nautilus.”

Many of the guest musicians featured on “Nautilus” performed live, including Rhonda Richmond, Jamie Weems, Wes Hughes and Loye Ashton. There were also improvisations by two members of the local Front Porch dance company, Krista Bower and Valerie Nicholson.

The event took place at the Commons at Eudora Welty’s Birthplace, a relatively new spot in Jackson’s downtown scene. The Commons has been a place where creative types can gather, put on concerts, shows and other events like yoga classes. The atmosphere is casual and homey there.

The visual artists featured at the show ranged from professionals such as Tony Davenport, BeBe Wolfe and David Rae Morris, to beginners exhibiting in their first formal show, such as Akiko Sekihata and Dimitrus Williams. The show also featured a wonderful hand-made modern porch swing by Andy Hilton.  His swings are now featured at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

The evening that the show opened the space was filled with all kinds of folks, professional types, artists, students and professors, scientists and musicians. The way the Jackson community thrives on such events creates opportunities for collaboration, dialog and hope. This event was a huge success!

When there’s more time I plan to share more about the artists and dancers, and also include some photos from the art opening & music and dance performances.  Next week I meet with the Portland Nautilus project participants and I’m thrilled about that!

The Nautilus Project – PDX

“The Nautilus Project – PDX” is the second collaborative arts project in a series of four over several years (2012 – present) called “The Nautilus Project.” In 2012, I released a CD of original music titled “Nautilus,” that I recorded and mixed myself. The concept for the CD was inspired by haiku poetry (the song titles make a haiku), and also haiga, a blended art fusion of haiku poetry with brush painting, or in some more modern cases, digital imaging. Inspired by interdisciplinary artists who merge visual art with poetry, and having been a student of many forms of art myself, I challenged the standard CD release party by releasing “Nautilus” as a collaborative, interdisciplinary dialog between artists. Thus, the four-year “The Nautilus Project” series was conceived.

“The Nautilus Project – PDX”  is the second in the series, focusing on the art of the written word, taking form in a curated Tumblr blog, and featuring a variety of writing genres. My Portland project co-creators are Brandi Katherine Herrera and Lisa Kislingbury Anderson.

Three songs from my CD  (“Jackson,” “Mississippi,” and “Nautilus”) are featured on a Sound Cloud playlist here:

The writers are asked to choose works from their portfolios and/or create new works that relate to the themes in the song tracks, the “Jacks Ex-Pats” experience, or both. The submission period is open now, and we expect to publish work to the Tumblr blog in July Posts will be added over the next year as they are received and accepted, and we invite you to share the blog with friends, family, and the networks you are a part of.

On Wed, July 24, 2013 we will hold an informal meet-and-greet social hour in Portland at the Oregon Public House (6 – 8:30 pm) to allow the people involved a chance to get together. In 2014 the Tumblr will be launched and celebrated with events in Jackson, MS and Portland, OR.

There are two main purposes of The Nautilus Project. First, to intentionally push the boundaries of genre and expectations about CD releases to create something new, meaningful, and enjoyable. Second, to encourage mutual support amongst artists who share common experiences, and to help strengthen artistic communities.

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Keep The Faith

Keep The Faith

This picture is from a place I lived in about five years ago. I got the sign to remind myself of what matters, especially when life confuses or confounds me. It’s also a reminder of what’s to come. Something that might now be only an idea could in time become something real.