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NeoRio 2020: Home – coming to fruition!

October 6, 2020

What: NeoRio 2020: Home – Community art and story project
Where: Virtual Events: Exhibition at LEAPsite.org and Community Roundtables via Zoom
When: Online Exhibition begins October 8, Roundtable Art & Story Sharings October 9, 10 & 11
Price: Free and open to all
Contact: Claire Coté, emailforleap@gmail.com (575) 224-9066

Are you familiar with the Citizen Scientist Movement? Defined as “…members of the general public who collect and analyze data relating to the natural world, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.” (Source: Oxford Languages) We see NeoRio 2020: Home as a ‘citizen art and story’ project; people responding to the theme of home to reflect together during the global pandemic to deepen understanding of collective experiences at this time. 

This year’s NeoRio project affirms that we each have a unique experience of the world and something valuable to express. As we navigate the turbulent seas of the global pandemic together from our own boats, reflection helps us to make sense of it all.

With this in mind, everyone is invited to wear an artist’s cap and create and reflect on the theme of home, to be artists for NeoRio 2020!

For some of us, participating in this project may ask us to step outside our comfort zone. This is part of the invitation; to try something different and stretch ourselves! Organizers hope that these different ways of sharing parts of ourselves and connecting with others on the theme of home during the pandemic will open doors to conversation and exchange that might not otherwise take place.

There are three platforms for NeoRio 2020: Home and all are free to participants: 

  1. Online exhibition, “Home: Thinking Inside and Outside the Box”
  2. NeoRio Roundtable Art and Story Sharings via Zoom
  3. The “Home Digital Archive”

Online exhibition
Over the past couple of months we’ve been extending an open call for participation in the NeoRio online exhibition. Nearly thirty submissions have been received from adult practicing artists, but also from groups of kids, teens, parents, grandparents, teachers, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, coaches, outdoor enthusiasts, an herbalist, a medical practitioner, a salon owner and a librarian.

Participating artists in the online exhibition “Home: Thinking Inside and Outside the Box” include Amy Stroh, Anne-Marie Emanuelli, Ashton McKenney, Carol Schrader, Cathy Hope, Connie Long, Crystal and Ariessa Medina, Danielle Lacome, David Vargo, Diane de Fremery, Emelina Medina, FitTaos 2nd and 3rd Grade after school group, FitTaos Nature Art Group, Geneviève de Vellis, Gillian McCombs, Jaydyn Cintas, Jennifer Vialpando, Joshlyn Medina, Joy Purcell, Kaitlin Bryson, Lee Lee, Malia Reeves, Martha Shepp, Mary Hanrahan, Ruby Sofrae, Ricky Pass, Robbie Steinbach and Sarah Parker.

It’s wonderful to witness the diversity of people who have chosen to take part and fascinating to see and hear their unique creative approaches to home during this unprecedented time. We can’t wait for you all to see the exhibition!

All participants in the online exhibition were provided with a common starting point: a 7x7x7” wooden box with a removable lid, made specially for this project, as well as the prompts,What does home mean to you? Think inside and outside the box!” Each participant was also asked to submit a short audio reflection or story. Why audio? 

Sharing stories connects us with one another and is an opportunity to be vulnerable and courageous. Hearing a person’s story in his or her own voice deepens its significance and impact and linking unique cube artworks and audio stories is proving to be fascinating!

Explore, appreciate, and purchase works for sale at the online exhibition starting October 8, right here at LEAPsite.org. We’ll post an announcement on the homepage that will take you to the exhibition landing page, where you will find all the artists, images of their work and their audio stories.

Roundtable Art & Story Sharings, October 9, 10 & 11
All are invited to a dynamic series of community roundtables on Zoom, this year’s version of NeoRio “artist talks” in connection with the online exhibition. See participating artists share their cube artworks and hear their home reflections and stories on October 9, 10 and 11. Choose one, or come to all three! Zoom sessions are Friday, October 9, 7 pm, Saturday, October 10, 4 pm and October 11, Sunday 4 pm all MST. More info and sign-up link at LEAPsite.org. The online home story-sharing events and archive is a collaboration with Questa Stories ~ Community Memory Project at QuestaStories.org.

Contribute to the ongoing Home Digital Archive

The Home Digital Archive is a more open-ended digital collection point for artworks, creative expressions, writings, songs, videos, stories, poems, memories, reflections, conversations, images, and artifacts inspired by or connected to home. Contributions can be created or recorded especially for this project or can be something you’ve made in the past. Organizers are particularly interested in hearing your short home audio stories and reflections. By “story” we simply mean a short reflection on a time in your life, a person, place, food, experience, memory, idea or object that relates to or represents home to you. You can use a smartphone to record your story or we are happy to record it for you over the phone. Submissions of any form are welcome throughout the fall and beyond to be included in the NeoRio 2020: Home archive.

How to contribute to the Home Online Archive:

  1. Create a home artwork or other creative expression (see above)
  2. Make it able to be shared digitally: photos, video, scans, word document etc. (help provided with this if needed)
  3. And/or record a short audio reflection or story
  4. Email these with your name and contact info to emailforleap@gmail.com

NeoRio is a venue for innovative art, experimental thinking, education, and exchange. For the past eleven years it has been a public gathering and celebration; artists, participants, and collaborators have enjoyed thought-provoking art installations at Wild Rivers on the rim of the Rio Grande gorge, a farm-to-table feast, music, poetry, and artist talks. This year a pandemic-responsive, transformed NeoRio takes place through your creative participation at home and online. NeoRio is a project of LEAP in partnership with Questa Creative Council and Localogy.

NeoRio is free and open to all. The event is made possible by individual donations, local business and media sponsorships as well as grant support. This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, Taos Community Foundation and Drawing on Earth, with additional sponsorships from Questa Economic Development Fund, Questa del Rio News, Questa Visitor Center, Taos Public Library, Zia Event Design, North Star Toys, Questa Lumber and Hardware, Sage Automatic Systems, and generous individual donors and volunteers. 

Contact Claire: emailforleap@gmail.com (575) 224-9066 (call/text) More info at Leapsite.org.

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