Prayers at Maple Tree Medows

Prayers at Maple Tree Medows
Three Rivers, MI

Monday, February 14, 2011

Drive-by Barning: Shipshewana and Middlebury, IN

Almost everywhere I drive I see barns, old and new, in all manner of forms and purposes. Here is a sampling of photos taken on my drive to Shipshewana, IN and back. I was thrilled when I saw "real" barns -- with piles of manure next to them! Most of these barns seem to speak for themselves.

BARN [bahrn] from

1. a building for storing hay, grain, etc., and often for housing livestock.
2. a very large garage for buses, trucks, etc.; carbarn.

before 950; Middle English bern, Old English berern ( bere ( see barley ) + ern, ǣrn house, cognate with Old Frisian fīaern cowhouse, Old High German erin, Gothic razn, Old Norse rann house; compare ransack, rest )


Some things with no "barn" function are in "barn form."
Do barns attract business?
If so, what are we really looking for?
And what do we find?



Monday, February 7, 2011

Art in the Barn -- Red Tail Farm

In the bleak of winter, weekly barn visits have slowed down. So I fondly remember my visit to the barn at Red Tail Farm, on the Millrace in Goshen, IN. Last October, for the second year in a row, this barn was the site for ART IN THE BARN. The first year I was thrilled to show for the first time some of my watercolors and photos. This year my daughter-in-law displayed lovely charcoal figure drawings.

The fabulous and simple re-invention of this barn space provided great viewing of all kinds of local artists, including otherly abled artists from ADEC (the Association for the Disabled of Elkhart County). And in the evenings there was even an aerial artists show (which I did not get to see.)

Open space.
Creative minds.
Art in the Barn.

Gardens have sprung up again on this old farm by the mill race.
The house community of twenty somethings sees the earthy ones
come and go.

Me? The barn?
Not needed too much for these veggie growers.
Young ones tend together the lambs,
and offer homegrown produce to share.
So old open space
(that would be me)
also sprouted, re-envisioned.
Refurbished, re-modeled?
No, too lofty.

I am the same old me, just altered:
a local harvest shelter
for Goshen’s own
homegrown paintings, prints, film, sculpture, jewelry, watercolors,
Gold Mine Pickers, hay rides,
mulled cider from Daily Grind,
bread and humus from Rachel’s Bread.
Even acrobats returned home to Goshen
to balance on ropes
hung from my ever strong beams.

The hay loft?
A gallery,
with the mow lined with old
wooden theater chairs.

Where the hay wagons rolled in?
Welcome. Walk on in.
Stand and visit.
Look again.

The new harvest is gathered in. Colors,
textures, impressions, beauty are stored in the soul
for a long winter,
a long winter.
And then another growing season.

Maybe in the bleak of winter
poets write, painters paint,
and musicians tune their tunes
for the next art harvest.

Jodi Magallanes of the Elkhart Truth (October 10, 2010) wrote:

Barns are drafty, dirty and definitely different
from most art show venues.
But last year, Goshen artist Leah Schroeder
saw potential
in the jarringly unaristocratic
of her friend's backyard storehouse.
co-organizer Vicki Kaplan,
and Adam Scharf,
the owner of Red Tail Farm,
the first "Art in the Barn" public event
in October 2009. They're doing it again…

They did it again.
And I hope, again and again.
Never in a barn’s dream did I think
I would be beautiful!

Scharf has been fully behind the idea
of altering his property
and bringing a few hundred
people to his home
once a year
for the show. His, Schroeder's
and Angie Garber's
friends are "musicians, farmers and artistic
types into
sustainable living
and creating beauty around them,"
said Schroeder.

I say:
Local genius.