Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Crescendo: Homestake Opera House Benefit "Artument"

I was invited to be a part of
which is a fundraiser for the 
Historic Homestake Opera House
in Lead, South Dakota
on June 3rd.

I am honored to be one of four fine artists
creating "Art-uments"
which are artistically altered
musical instruments
each of which
will be auctioned at the Gala.

My piece is titled
Live Your Own Song
it is inspired by my friend Dawn Wink's novel Meadowlark.

Meadowlark is based on the life of Dawn's Grandma Grace
on the harsh early 1900's prairie of eastern Meade County
in South Dakota.
It is a raw and heartbreaking story,
yet one of deep resilience, strength, and friendship.

I chose a passage from the novel
featuring a conversation between Grace and her friend Daisy.

Daisy encourages Grace to live from Song,
like meadowlark...
and that all creatures and people have their own Song,
they just have to find it.

"Most people live their whole lives and never listen to the songs of life,
not their own or any around them.
Scares them too much.
It's easier to go through life living the way everybody else expects you to.
But when you're listening to your own song, Grace, you feel deep peace, right here."
She reached out and placed the flat of her palm on the center of Grace's chest. live life in song, Grace,
that's what the Great Spirit intended.

Meadowlarks inspire me as a birder.
They arrive with the announcement that spring is coming
and then in spring blizzard's harsh winds
they sing in defiance right in the face of adversity.
I love that.
Meadowlarks sing hope to all prairie dwellers.

The process of creating an "Artument"
began with a collage
of an old hymnal page, 
a postmarked meadowlark postage stamp,
dictionary definitions for
Dakota, meadowlark, grace, and daisy;
a poem entitled Meadowlark from a 1916 South Dakota Bird and Arbor Day book,
a daisy elementary school coloring page 
from the collection of local Enning librarian and historian Irma Maude,
a vintage book spine,
and other various papers.

The sides of the guitar feature tissue paper
designed by Melody Ross
and created and sold through
a job readiness program for female refugees from horrific, war-torn situations.

Layers of acrylic paints were added,
as well as alcohol inks.
I sketched a meadowlark in pencil and then painted with acrylic paint.

The Live Your Own Song Art-ument
authenticity to your self,
the South Dakota prairie.

Time lapse videos of the art in progress:

Part One

Part 2


  1. Congratulations on being selected as an Artument artist. Exciting!

    The guitar is gorgeous, Jodi. It's hard to go wrong with meadowlarks and daisies. I love how you tied several elements together to create a meaningful piece.


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