Best of the recent past

April 5
Because we’re all “on hold” for the foreseeable future, rather than moving forward, this week’s site reflects artists featured in the recent past. Six new windows revisit the artists, and we see new work in different contexts. In windows one and five, the photography of Shanti Knight pays tribute to Brooklyn, NY, one of the epicenters of the Corona crisis. Many people there are drastically affected, and this knowledge reminds me that words mean less than actions; still we give what we can, and the Ideas window pays tribute to those who are doing.
Window four again features the photography of Martha Currie Fregia, and windows six and seven are dedicated to this site’s youngest featured artist, Katelyn Chen.

March 29
This week I am inspired by artists who are sharing their work on social media for no charge in this uncertain economic time. Since for many of us art is joy, a gift of art is a gift of hope. Our March 29 site features Martha Currie Fregia’s uplifting work: photography, painting, and textiles (including best-of-show quilting). Follow her work in each window…

 

 Two quilts by Muff Fregia; the second (below) announces Midland Quilters’ Guild 40th (ruby) anniversary in October.

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March 22

Last month I lost my dog/friend Brinkley to cancer. Every day after she died, I woke up with no Brinkley to share time at the window with coffee. Every day I walked alone in the park alongside others and their dogs. I had never loved a pet more than Brinkley, and her absence was accentuated by the quarantine: no friend by my side watching Rachel Maddow; no one begging for popcorn or peanut butter; no furry friend/person in the bend of my knee or the foot of my bed as I slept. 

I have to thank Richard Rohr’s latest book for giving me perspective to love a pet again, and I share a portion of that book in window two. Follow each window (in order) for inspiration.

Love and Light,

Julia

Photo credit window one: Vicki Snyder

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March 15

On the day of the spring equinox, the light and dark hours are equal.

The important part of the above observation is this: Beginning this week, the dark begins to diminish; the light and warmth increase daily for three months. 

In this news cycle filled with fear and uncertainty, we remember another cycle of unfailing seasons and the promise of sun.

The equinox occurs in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone on Thursday, March19, at 11:49 pm. The days then increase in length through the Summer Solstice, June 20, the longest day of the year. 

Below find plans for this year’s Summer Soulstice and enjoy the other windows of this week’s site that center on sunshine, hope and joy.

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About this year’s Summer Soultice and Contact Information:

A special affinity for the written word inspires me to continue to lead writing and creativity workshops, especially the annual Summer Soulstice in honor of J Zach Gregg.

Julia.Gregg3@gmail.com is the contact email for this year’s Soulstice retreat information and guidelines. Reserve one of the limited spots at this beautiful lake house retreat. Please use this same email to contact Julia with any communication for the site or offerings on it.

Located near Franklin, IN, this year’s three-day Summer Soulstice Writing Retreat is made possible through Karen and Niel Ellerbrook’s support of the arts as well as the J Zach Gregg fund. There is no charge for lodging or instruction, and there will be plenty of time to relax and create.

Once you contact Julia Gregg by email to sign up, you will receive more specific location and scheduling instructions. Dates for the Summer Soulstice Retreat are June 18, 19, and 20, and we have room for 15 participants.

We hope to see you there!

Soulstice Workshop Leaders:

Julia Hightower Gregg was a columnist for the Evansville Courier and Press for almost three decades, as well as a teacher, writer, and consultant. She is a founding member of Signature School, where she taught Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate English for 16 years. Wild Sweet Orange Ride was her first book, published by Vineyard Stories in 2014, and Threads, a children’s story, is her second book, published in 2016. She holds a BS from Auburn University, an MS from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and an MFA from Murray State University. She is currently a writer and educational consultant.

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THREADS, a children’s book, and WILD SWEET ORANGE RIDE, nonfiction, can be ordered for $19.95 plus $3.05 for postage. Indiana residents include $1.40 sales tax. Mail to 13486 E. 131st St., Fishers, IN 46037.

 

Judy Hood holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami where she is a Senior Lecturer and Faculty Learning Community Fellow. She presently teaches courses in Visual Rhetoric and leads Creative Writing Multi Genre Workshop at U of M.

Her students’ stories and collaborative poems, inspired by the documentary film One Water, are published on the Knight Center for International Media web site and their Dialogue with a Painting project on the Lowe Art Museum website. She received recognition for her poem “Thanking Joe” from The Robert Frost Heritage House Poetry Festival and for her Best Start Fiction from Glimmer Train. Two of her stories, “Strange Old Cookie Cutters in a Brave New World” and “Memories of the Garlic Sisters’ House” have appeared inTheMiami Herald, and her article on Zora Neale Hurston, “Born with a Skillet in Her Hands,” was published in The Southern Quarterly.

She is the winner of the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner-William Wisdom competition for her essay “Language Arts”; Ms. Hood was awarded the Andrew Mellon CREATE grant for “Attic Treasure: Flagler’s Dream Train.”

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