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NeoRio 2016: Cross-Pollination, Community + Gratitude!

October 1, 2016

dscn9864What a beautiful day it was on September 17th at Wild Rivers in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument; a perfect day to enjoy our 8th annual NeoRio!

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NeoRio this year was “abuzz” with a diversity of art installations and cross-pollination between our three featured artists, community members and visitors from near and far. The setting and majesty of the landscape also afforded moments of solitude and contemplation.
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dscn9870Visitors followed the NeoRio map to discover Lee Lee’s colorful and poignant paintings and interactive, educational installations; Viviane Le Courtois’ five site-specific, sculptural installations attracted both pollinators and people with their hand-crafted, beauty and natural elements; and Jenny Lynn McNutt’s pop-up gallery  displayed her “cabinet of curiosities” on the honey bee.

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ADRIFT – MIGRATION – HOME
, by Lee Lee

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Reconciliation: Sculptures for Humans and Pollinators, by Viviane Le Courtois

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Precise Breathing or Why I Call My Baby Honey, by Jenny Lynn McNutt

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Members of the Northern NM Growers and Makers Exchange and other volunteer cooks made an incredible fall feast enjoyed by all, accompanied by music from Justin Dean and Mark Dudrow (High Desert Acoustic Duo). The menu consisted of a mostly local, organic and homemade assortment of dishes: torta de juevos (spanish quiche), calabacitas (summer squash, corn and green chiles), frijoles (beans), two kinds of homemade salsa, local green salad and two kinds of homemade dressing, homemade tortillas, dinner rolls, butter and homemade/local jams, and a special chutney made by Lee Lee from her family’s apple orchard.

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Sipping hot cider and crunching Falvio’s “melt-in your mouth” biscochitos, audience members were given a tour of our three featured artists’ works and practice. The breadth and depth of their work, international scope and professionalism wowed and educated us. Music around the campfire concluded the evening.

(All photos used in this post are courtesy of Carrie Leven)

A deep thank you to the many dedicated individuals for their time and labor given to make the event a success!

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Huge thanks go specifically to:

  • Lee Lee, Viviane Le Courtois and Jenny Lynn McNutt, our featured artists, for sharing their work at the event and for offering their artist talks. Although we offer NeoRio artists a stipend to help cover supplies and travel, their time and expertise are donated. With out this generosity the past eight NeoRio events would not have been possible.
  • Chris Coté for endless moral and logistical support, providing fire wood for the campfire and shlepping equipment to and from Wild Rivers.
  • Gaea McGahee, NeoRio Food Maven, for graceful and delicious food coordination and preparation.
  • Martha Shepp and Dawn Provencher for their invaluable help with set-up and site beautification.
  • Growers & Makers Exchange cooks, Kathy Morsell and Chris, Wendy and Alex Medina as well as food volunteers, Jeannie Masters, Kate Cisneros and Flavio Cisneros for their delicious food!
  • Timothy and Connie Long for providing the tents for the event, childcare and helping with set-up and clean-up, down to the last details.
  • Joan Long for helping with lunch for our NeoRio volunteers as well as hours spent on set-up.
  • Bill an Joan McDonald for great help at the event.
  • Alberta Bouyer, for parking coordination and help with PR.
  • Kathy and Chris, Kostecki-Shaw Family, Dawn, Cerro Vista Farm and Lee Lee for providing beautiful flowers and foliage to decorate the event!
  • All BLM staff and volunteers – most especially to Wild Rivers Manager, Teddy Lucero, and Rangers, Tim Long and Jamie for many onsite details; John Bailey for coordination and administration and all the helpful BLM volunteers for on-the-ground support.
  • PPC Solar for generously providing solar electricity to power the event.
  • Siena Sanderson and Mark Goldman for hosting featured artist Jenny Lynn McNutt and her husband for the duration of their stay in NM for NeoRio.
  • Carrie Leven for photographing the event.
  • Musicians, Justin Dean, Mark Dudrow and Jonathan Hutchison for providing wonderful tunes for the evening.
  • Morning after clean-up crew  including Barrie Andrews, Mark White and others.

Our sincere thanks also go to the Questa Economic Development Fund (QEDF), Questa Mine Community Fund, Taos County, Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area Fund and the many individual donors as well as local businesses and collaborators (especially OCHO and our parent organization, Localogy) for supporting the event. With out the support of grants and donations this annual event would not be possible.

And last, but certainly not least, thank you to everyone who came to experience and participate in the the event! Your presence and participation provided the alchemy that made it a success. Let’s do it again next year!

We would love to hear what you thought of the event and we are always interested in suggestions and feedback: emailforleap@gmail.com or call Claire 575-224-9066.

Every NeoRio event is a unique collaboration of artists, area nonprofits, organizations, businesses and our host, the Bureau of Land Management Taos Field Office. This growing circle of collaboration, connections and relationships are an important part of NeoRio and LEAP’s work and we hope to continue to enrich and strengthen these relationships through each project and event! Thank you to all who came to the event or contributed in some way!

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