Harmony, New Harmony
Sweet thoughts occur after a recent trip to America’s prettiest art town to pick up artwork from New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art. It marked the end of an era, and got me reminiscing about that period and how much the town has meant to me as an artist.
As I again walked the Labyrinth, I gained insight in the center, “Lessons from your journey will come in the writing, it’s wisdom in the sharing.” Walking out, I had a sense of openness about the next era. Something about seeing the millions of fireflies near the Wabash again. Capers. Old friends lost long ago, new friends sought and found.
From there to here, what can I share…travel, rooting, longing…use your words…green growing going forward.
On our move from Colorado to Kentucky in 1999 we needed a car break. Greg wanted me to experience New Harmony, Indiana, a perfect rest, to walk on the Cathedral Labyrinth. That’s where I met Jane Owen, and she gave me a lovely smooth black stone from the Sacred Garden surrounding it. Only, I didn’t know who or how grand a person she was until later.
She was a bonafide benefactor of the arts community and to the artists she supported. It’s a tiny town, everywhere one walks, nature is cherished through tending and additions of commissioned sculptures, fountains, trails, gardens, museums, a church, conference center, hotel and restaurant.
A few years later on our next trip there we met the lovely Lena Feiner, who just opened her life’s dream, Women’s Institute and Gallery. She hosted exhibits by women and weekly book meetings until her death last year. How I miss her gentle and supportive presence in my life. It’s rare for an artist’s work to be truly understood, cherished and collected. In 2005 she hosted the first in the traveling exhibit 4 Seasons – 4 Directions.
I was honored and thrilled when Mrs. Owen asked if I would help her hang “Fig Leaf” (in one of her guest homes) which she had just purchased from Women’s Institute and Gallery.
So this journey was nostalgic, yet a rejuvenation of the soul. Experiencing the artifacts and spirit of the land validated the healing power of art, and the intentions and actions of art and nature lovers.
Once again we stayed at down-home Old Rooming House. In an overcast, very cool afternoon we strolled through parks and gardens.
The next morning was brillliant and very cool. We started on our walkabout right away.
Harmony now and then
Guidance says to find the calm centering experience of New Harmony at any time within myself. It sure helps to be able to gaze at stunning green, fountain sound, crisp cool air bracing me awake to the possibility of creating a peaceful (not utopian) destination in the middle of middle America. Just the still calmness of a vortex center.
New Harmony influenced me to consecrate our land with vision, intent and commitment. Build it up with respect and in concert with nature. Accentuate it with art. Expand the artistic facets of the land – sculpture (super collider conductor, gargoyles for example), music. Of course, Greg is the master landscape designer and mason creating benches, walls and standing stones.
Then encourage people to experience it. This is what we’ve been doing ever since!