It takes a village or, in this case, a team of five talented and enthusiastic interns to help make a large-scale residency project like Fritz Haeg: At Home in the City work. Over the next few months Bridget Mendel, Will Gobeli, Katherine Lee, Brett Baldauf, and Björn Sparrman will bring their passions and knowledge for activities like bee-keeping, bread-making, composting, textile design, and gardening into the mix of programs they’re helping to shape. They’ll also be posting updates to the Walker blog throughout the summer. Stop by the Foraging Circle in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden during a Target Free Thursday Night to meet the team and talk about the art that abounds in the garden, in the wild, and in the home.
My name is Will Gobeli and I am an Artist-in-Residence intern with Fritz Haeg’s projects. I will be working mostly with Domestic Integrities, but I will be hanging around the Foraging Circle and helped plant the Edible Estate. I am a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Bachelor of Fine Art program in studio arts, focusing on ceramics and sculpture. My current interests lie in where art resides, and working on this project is an exciting investigation into the art of everyday life and the value of domestic literacy.
I am originally from Milwaukee, Wis. I grew up in the city in a neighborhood full of tall trees, not far from the beaches, rock piles, and endless horizons of Lake Michigan. Crafts have always been a big part of my life; both my mother and father were very DIY. I remember watching my dad make a tree swing out of rope and a 2×6 by throwing a rock tied to a piece of twine over a branch twenty feet in the air. My family also rented a small garden plot when I was very young. I remember weeding and watering and sitting in the shade of the conical trellis that we used to grow bird’s nest gourds.
These early experiences provoked me to explore other domestic skills later in life. When I was about 16, my family and I went to dinner at my mother’s friend’s house. They served rolls with dinner that were so delicious they changed my perspective on life. At the time they were, without a doubt, the best things I had ever tasted. They were simple and warm, with a delicate crust and wonderful texture. The moment I tasted those rolls, I knew I wanted to make bread.
My first try was disastrous. I scalded the yeast, killing it and crushing any hope of making fluffy rolls. The product of this attempt was something like a bland, half-baked scone with a chewy center.
I got better. I learned from cookbooks, friends, and family. By the time I was twenty, I was making beautiful loaves whose crispy crusts sang as they came out of the oven. My love of bread created a desire to know more about making it. I experimented, making a sourdough starter that was strong enough to make beautiful, airy sourdough loaves without any additional yeast.
Bread is fascinating to me. It is, in various forms, part of every culture on earth. As nomadic peoples settled down they began to use cultured grains as forms of sustenance, resulting in everything from dense, flavorful fasting breads to flaky phyllo dough. I’ve always been interested in what a bread says about a culture; do cultures that value bread differ from those that mass-produce it?
All of these questions and experiences provoked my interest in Fritz’s projects. My old interests of baking and gardening complemented and newer interests of art theory fell in line with the aims of Fritz Haeg: At Home in the City. I am looking forward to learning, foraging, crocheting, and getting to know the communities that this project brings together. Keep an eye out for what’s going on with the projects! There are many ways to interact with the project.
Hope to see you around the gardens!
Katherine Lee is a fiction writer and textile artist from Chicago. Edible Estates and Domestic Integrities combine her enduring passions: creating and inhabiting the home space both indoors and out. In 2010, she started a handmade home textiles company, featuring designs including pigs, pennants, and shouting hippos. Her work has been sold across the US and in Korea. She is also an avid gardener, and is especially interested in sustainable urban farming. She moved to Minneapolis in 2012 and is an MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota.
In deed and word
we make ourselves,
and by choice deeds
and by choice words
we are as we are wont to be.
From minute to minute
and day to day
we choose to be;
and, thus, by being
are we thus perceived.
We choose as we believe
‘cause we believe ‘tis our beliefs
that choose our choice;
and thus it is that
we choose not, but just believe.
So it comes that I believe
the earth is ever holding me
and so I, as I am wont to do,
do choose to hold it too.
Plants in hand, and trowel too,
I thank the earth that gives all
and calling out I hear the call
that calls to give my all to you.
Coffee with the sunrise, eyes to new skies,
‘tis there we see what sight would hide:
belief becoming, all that we could make,
a community on earth that cannot break.