Meadow Mandala

Broadening perceptions of HOME to include outdoor spaces helps cultivate an understanding of the interrelationships between humans and wildlife. As for humans, good homes for wildlife include plenty of food, safe access to water and shelter, and enough space to raise the next generation. In this outdoor workshop, participants will be invited to create an on-site, mandala inspired sculpture woven through the meadow landscape that will provide winter habitat for seed dispersers.

In the process, we will learn how to work with natural materials in our own gardens to augment habitat for wildlife through winter months.

This is the final installment of the 2019 Open Air Arts Initiative Field Works, a collaboration between the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, Cynthia Winings Gallery & the SEED Barn. The culmination exhibition will take place at Parker Point the weekend of September 27-29.

The SEED Barn is located at 53 Falls Bridge Road in Blue Hill Falls


Saturday, January 27th
1 to 3pm

53 Falls Bridge Road, Blue Hill Maine


Native SEED dispersal

Demonstrating how to sow native plant seeds to grow pollinator pathways.
Take home sown seeds for your own garden and help plant a few to establish a native plant nursery for the Blue Hill Heritage Trust. These gardens, along with a network of regional school gardens, will be used to restore wildland ecology across the Peninsula.

SEED matters :: Heirloom seed EXCHANGE

With seeds granted by the Seed Savers Exchange as part of the Seed Matters heirloom preservation program, we are building a foundation for a community seed library. Bring regional heirloom seeds you have been saving to contribute to the library as we gather varietals specifically of this area. Browse from a variety of crops to grow out over the next growing season. Get tips on saving vegetable and fruit seeds. Learn how we may use our land to augment pollinator habitats while sharing ideas on how we invite into our spheres the pollinators essential for growing food.

Seed Matters: “Seed is the first link in the food and fiber chain. And the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The Clif Bar Family Foundation created Seed Matters to improve the viability and availability of organic seed to ensure healthy, nutritious and productive crops. Together with our partners and folks just like you, we’re making a noticeable difference – from seed to farm to table. Simply put, our three main goals are:

  • Conserve crop genetic diversity.
  • Promote farmers’ roles and rights as seed innovators and stewards.
  • Reinvigorate public seed research and education.”

Seed Savers Exchange: “We conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.”



Drawing from the strong handworks movement maintained on the Blue Hill peninsula, makers are invited to participate in the creation of an open sourced set of educational tools. The SEED Sensorium is a multi-sensorial exploration of seeds. Bridging art and science, this series of activities engage the senses in learning about the remarkable world of seeds and their utmost importance in our lives. The activities draw inspiration from the Emilia Reggio philosophy of immersive education which promotes student led, experiential programs as the most engaging way to cultivate understanding of the world around us. Participants are encouraged to look through the lens of the seed to explore connections between art and science and their personal connections to the natural world. We would like for the material to be regionally specific, so invite creatives of all ages to contribute to the making of the works.


The SEED barn is open in winter by appointment: 207.374.2947
More information: Contact Lee Lee

TJ Mabrey

TJ Mabrey - Seed CarrierTitle: Seed Carrier (detail)
Medium: Italian Marble
Size: 7.5 x 30 x 5 inches

Artist Statement

Seeds are dispersed in so many unique ways. The seeds themselves have built in mechanisms for moving about: jumping-jack bounces, sticky bits to attach to clothing, fur, shoes of passers-by etc…But my intent in submitting the sculpture Seed Carrier is to show another way – by boat/ship.  The sculpture represents an empty wisteria pod which is floating on water, like a boat on the ocean.

The marble bed for the seed is empty of the wisteria seed, but I filled it with other (real) seeds to indicate how seeds for food are transported, country to country and continent to continent. Sometimes those seeds meant for food (rice, wheat, and the occasional wild flower) become embedded in the earth where they land and are able to reproduce……that is, if they haven’t come in contact with the New and Improved Monsanto Monster – RoundUp Ready-Xtend!

Seed Carrier by TJ Mabrey
TJ Mabrey, Seed Carrier, Italian Marble

Stephanie Lerma

Stephanie Lerma - Seed CloudIn the Air,  A Seed Cloud (detail)
handmade cotton paper, watercolor, thread, sunflower seeds

As a gardener, I often look to the sky.  I wonder – and always hope – that water will come on its own;  I wonder and hope that little seeds might be drifting  in the air and landing in my yard.  Air, water and seeds: a unique relationship.  I built In the Air thinking about this relationship.

Seed Cloud by Stephanie Lerma
Shadows capture the ephemeral quality of Stephanie Lerma’s intention behind Seed Cloud

Viviane Le Courtois

Exploring the idea of a shared table, Viviane Le Courtois contributed a series of drawings that were produced during her Saturday morning coffee gatherings at Processus, a community art space she co-founded in Denver. Each week she provided stone fruit to share with participants and asked them to place the pits on a piece of paper after they had eaten the flesh from around the seeds. By the end of the session, the paper was stained with the remnants of the particular fruit. Once dry, she drew the seeds of that fruit amidst the stains to create a sort of collaborative work that was literally produced around a shared table.

Extending the concept beyond the human table, Viviane also looked at the way we share with urban wildlife. Collecting found seeds (and a few plastic cups) from the compost pile in Rian Kerrane’s backyard, she noticed they had been gnawed and nibbled by squirrels and mice and other creatures who frequent our yards. She has started to assemble them with the intention of transforming them into small sculptures that reflect how our ‘shared table’ may reach beyond the ones we frequent within our domestic spaces.

Viviane Le Courtois objects d'art
Viviane Le Courtois exhibits a series of seeds nibbled by wildlife found in Rian Kerrane’s compost.


Rian Kerrane

Rian Kerrane, 'House Home' installation view
Rian Kerrane, ‘House Home’ installation view

Artist Statement: House Home

House Home: Digital video, 3min.  2016
House Home (solo burn): Digital photograph on metal, 20” H x 16” W, 2016
House Home (Remnant from Performance on the Prairie, Hays, Kansas, 2012): Wood, corn, glue, string, mirror, 2016
The Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, Colorado

I believe that art and education are uniquely associated and recognize the engagement of visual and verbal communication as integral to the art making process entailing the social practice of sculpture. Sculpture and in particular foundry practice thrills me.  Foundry (fire and molten metal) reaches all audiences in its primal and self-explanatory way. Iron casting is a shared instinctive practice and a blooming “sub-culture” that has generated the founding of the Western Cast Iron Art Alliance, an eclectic group of iron artists from across the western regions of the United States. The WCIAA, of which I am a founding member, hosted iron conferences in Denver, Colorado; Missoula, Montana; Hays, Kansas, Laramie, Wyoming, and the upcoming fifth biennial conference is scheduled in November 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The video footage documents a performance occurring at the Hays, Kansas conference. Molten iron is poured into each hollow house structure and fire allowed to consume the form. The houses are constructed from wood and corn. This work is a critique on many things but primarily uses the symbolic image of a house to examine word play between “House” and “Home.” In doing so I am critiquing personal relationships and our cultural landscape.  Fire represents a spiritual cleansing as I endeavored to let go of past history along with weighty accrued detritus from twenty years of creating three-dimensional works and large-scale installations. The corn and wood panels were utilized in several prior exhibition formats before becoming house structures. One structure interestingly survived the Performance on the Prairie burn.

Rian Kerrane, 'Seed Wallpaper' installation view
Rian Kerrane, ‘Seed Wallpaper’ (left) installation view. Photo courtesy of the Dairy ARTS Center

Artist Statement: Seed Wallpaper

Installation dimensions: 17’ H x 6’ W
The Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, Colorado
Materials: Various seeds, honey, spices.
Date: 2016

In a politically charged society where traditions continue to metamorphose I investigate the female position in domestic and social situations. I consider how my reality is affected by environment and experience. Art making externalizes my personal experience. My perspective changes when immersion in planning and creation is transfigured and idea becomes image removed from my person. Fused together within a work are new questions of memory, identity and fact that contribute to my research.

This work, Seed Wallpaper, stems from my respect and fascination for wallpaper. William Morris hand-printed wallpapers to peeling remnants preserved in homes from the 1800’s are all stimulus for my imagery. Pattern is orderly and obsessive, decorative and subject to fashion. Often insanely dominant in a room I believe the role of décor in the home to be symbolic witness to the human condition. On one hand we have our instincts, on the other the social constructs we apply to control. Nature, the act of being natural, the fertility, fecundity of the earth is symbolized in the way we decorate our homes with motifs and images of the exterior, the outdoors. It is one of the ways in which we impose our own dictums on our surrounds, a subject that intrigues me. I believe in the importance of critiquing the verisimilitude and aesthetic we incorporate in our homes, our domestic reconstructions and artificial simulations of nature.

Seed Wallpaper is a reiteration of an installation at RedLine that occurred in 2010 in conjunction with the Biennial of The Americas. The exhibition, Artists Footprints, curated by Viviane Le Courtois, entrusted each participant with the responsibility of generating an artwork with a sustainable footprint. I enjoy these wallpapers (Seed & Yellow) for their direct association to the kitchen and domestic chores such as cleaning and cooking. Also the versatile use of non-traditional materials such as spices, seeds, and honey speaks to the varied use of media in my work which ranges from cast iron to found objects and is decidedly non-discriminatory. Wallpaper encapsulates memories and nuances of the home, and as in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s authorship of The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), is also indicative of cerebral mayhem and domestic imbalances that are hidden behind the closed doors of the home.

Rian Kerrane – Irish Sculptor

Work in progress: Rian Kerrane stencils seeds while Linda Michael Cassidy tacks up cut paper houses for the two site specific installations at the Dairy ARTS Center
Work in progress: Rian Kerrane stencils seeds while Linda Michel Cassidy tacks up cut paper houses for the two site specific installations at the Dairy ARTS Center

Stephanie Hilvitz

Stephanie Hilvitz, 'Vessel', plaster body cast with milkweed pods
Stephanie Hilvitz, ‘Vessel’, plaster body cast with milkweed pods. Photo courtesy of the Dairy ARTS Center.

Artist Statement: SEED :: disperse

Thru the image of the monarch butterfly, fragments of text stitched into the surface, milkweed pods as Goddess and specimen, I am exploring the conversation between life and death, spirit and soul, survival of species and the vessel of the seed to disperse these ideas.

The beautiful ancient Mexican belief that the monarchs return each year after a 3000 mile migration as the souls of loved ones who have died expresses how we as people use myth and imagination to transcend loss and accept what cannot be truly known.

What is known is the very existence of this magical migration is in danger because of contemporary agricultural practices. The use of glyphosates is wiping out our milkweed populations, the sole food source of the Monarch caterpillars.

In reciprocity I take inspiration for my art from the mythology, lore and science of the Monarch and give back by inspiring others to take up the cause.

Stephanie Hilvitz

Work in Progress: part of the 'Reciprocity' as seen in the studio. The gallery installation expressed hope as participants were invited to take a packet of milkweed seeds to scatter and grow, integrating the idea of 'dispersal' as an action as part of the exhibition.
Work in Progress: part of the ‘Reciprocity’ installation being developed in the studio. The gallery installation expressed hope as participants were invited to take a packet of milkweed seeds to scatter and grow, integrating the idea of ‘dispersal’ as an action beyond the gallery confines of the exhibition. Image courtesy of Stephanie Hilvitz


Stephanie Hilvitz collage painting of Monarchs integrates sewn reflections of migration
Stephanie Hilvitz collage painting of Monarchs integrates sewn reflections of migration

Linda Melvin-Graham

Linda Melvin Graham, seed head monoprint created at Processus Art Life
Linda Melvin Graham, seed head monoprint created at Processus Art Life

Artist Statement: SEED :: disperse

After years of exploring ways of expressing my ideas of biology and geometry within concepts and patterns in clay, I have begun to use acrylic sheet as a vehicle for exploring some of the mysteries of the celestial spaces. The way this material absorbs, reflects, emits, and transforms light has become a source of endless wonder for me. I am amazed when I see the unexpected, unanticipated brilliant light pouring out of the edges of fluorexcent acrylic, the depth of the void within the black opaque surfaces, and the way that images sometimes seem to floatwithin the black opaque surfaces, and the way that images sometimes seem to float in empty space in front of curved pieces of acrylic.

A chance adventure with Lee Lee at the Processus Art Making place has reminded me that a very basic unit of transporting genetic information, the seed, has a beauty and wonder of its own.

Linda Melvin Graham joined the SEED printmaking workshop with Viviane Le Courtois and Lee Lee at Processus Art Life as part of Denver’s 2016 Month of Printmaking

Gretchen Ewert

Germination by Gretchen Ewert
‘Germination’ by Gretchen Ewert

Artist Statement: SEED :: disperse

I began the ceramic miniatures in 1982 as sketches for larger sculptures dealing withe botanical forms and animals. I called them “ceramic pollen” because they were small, but still referred to the process of genesis and growth. They were/are meant to be hand-held. This show is aptly called “dispersal” – at some point the forms took on a life of their own as I kept producing and people took them home to far locations.

The drawings are the same concepts on paper. The images are composed pen and ink stipple applied individually with technical pens/rapidographs by hand on digital scan of indigo textiles. I took pains to alter the textile images so the sources are not obvious and merged with the drawing, pencil-applied layers. The feel is intended to be lighter than air.

Ceramic pollen grains by Gretchen Ewert
Ceramic pollen grains by Gretchen Ewert

Greg Cradick

Installation view: Sybille Palmer, Susanne Mitchell & Lee Lee, Sienna Sanderson, Gretchen Ewert & Greg Cradick
Installation view: Evan Anderman, Sybille Palmer, Susanne Mitchell & Lee Lee, Sienna Sanderson, Gretchen Ewert & Greg Cradick

Greg Cradick contributed a set of three quiet portraits of weeds collected within a small perimeter of his home in the dead of winter. Within the SEED :: disperse installation at the Dairy ARTS Center, the trio became a nexus point for the transition from the impacts of industrial agriculture to the ‘garden’ area of the gallery, where artists expressed the potential of seeds. To the far left of the above installation view, Evan Anderman’s view of monoculture crop production in Eastern Colorado is flanked by a column of monoprints created as a collaboration between Susanna Mitchell and Lee Lee which depict ashen monarchs to suggest the decimation of pollinators because of industrialized practices. Cast under the shadow of Sybille Palmer’s scroll which presents a long list of southwestern plants on the verge of extinction, Sienna Sanderson’s ‘Seeds searching for a safe place to land’ are presented next to Greg’s portraits of the resilience expressed by the commonly overlooked weeds that surround us.

Greg Cradick Photography