Green Map works with over 55 different countries around the world and has helped create over 700 maps!
Last week marked my first week at Green Map System in New York City. This organization works with 55 countries around the world and has helped create over 700 maps, which document economic, ecological, and communally sustainable locations.

I am working under Wendy Brawer, the founding director of Green Map Systems (GMS) , for my month long internship. Over the course of last week I was able to go on a community walk about in order to see the sustainable activities happening throughout the Lower East Side community; communicated with an individual working on the Barcelona, Spain Green Map; designed button templates in Illustrator for a reusable name tag project;  and learned of a plethora of online websites and communities that I can reference for sustainable happenings and news. Talk about an exhilarating week!
A community garden with a lot of character!
One of dozens of community gardens found in the neighborhood around Green Map's office.

On Thursday I had the honor of attending a gathering of Women in Sustainability; professional women working towards sustainability in education, food, art, and design gather at least once a year to discuss current topics, the projects they are involved in, and industry related topics. This potluck meeting took place in a fantastic loft in Soho with a delicious spread of food; even more impressive is the amount of insight into the sustainability industry that I gained from listening to these women for a mere two hours.

Having a day off to honor the president’s birthday, Today marks the start to my second week. I continued work on Living Labs and Global Giving projects in order to provide updated proposals for the Green Map System board which met today.
When the first two days in New York City concluded with no access to an internet signal, I reverted to the good,old fashioned sketchbook. Here is an update on the past few days:

Day 2

Myself, and the other Finlandia students traveling with me, checked into the Eastgate Tower Hotel on 39th street and began our first walking adventure through the city. This was the first time some of ladies had been in NYC, so we walked to Times Square and spent time taking pictures at the usual tourist spots. Based on my sketches, you might notice that it was not the tourist spots that I was looking at, but it was the architectural details that caught my attention.

The favorite parts of my day were the dozens of buildings that I passed with gorgeous masonry details, seeing the Chrysler building lit up at night, and the fountain at Bryant Park. The fountain was especially breathtaking because the running water had frozen into transparent columns, icicles, and organic forms that reflected the light like diamonds through the still flowing streams of water. 

Day 3

The first day of the Women's Caucus for Art conference began today with our first performance, "A Penny for your Thoughts." at 10am the Young Women's Caucus ladies went in with pink ribbon bows on our shirts and pennies in our pockets. As you might read in my sketchbook page, my favorite response was a women in the lobby of the Hilton who said "My current thought is, 'Why are there no chairs in the lobby?'." There were also thoughts about things as silly as wanting a coffee, serious thoughts about hopes for getting a job they were about to interview for, and as profound as phylisophical quotes. This performance was a great success and we (The YWC) received so much wonderful feedback. 

Next I went to the Feminist Tea Party panel discussion. It was intriguing to hear what active third wave feminists are doing now.

After Lunch the WCA Live Space Panel "Women + Art + Activism" opened up a dialog between Carolee Schneemann, Paula Rendino Zaentz, Elizabeth Streb, and the audience. Each artist gave an overview of their work and then the audience was free to ask questions.

After, myself and the other Finandia YWC members ran around the city to prepare for our performance which started at 7pm at the Raandesk Gallery in Chealsea. I have posted the video for the Finandia Young Women's Caucus performance "On Our Own Volition" for your enjoyment! The performance was a success and dispite being in New York, we had two people come to the performance just to support the Finlandia YWC. 

Day 4

Made a colorful splash in the Big Apple today! In an effort to the keep "the Live Space" going at the WCA conference, my fellow YWC members and I dressed up in solid colors to bring a little color to a city with an overly black wardrobe. 

After the photo adventures in the morning, we proceeded to the Hilton Hotel to catch the bus for the conference bus tour. Our first stop was the Brooklyn Museum where The Dinner Table is housed. I absolutely loved the three dimensionality of some of the plates and the color incorporated into the embroidered table runners. 

The rest of the bus tour incorporated stops at two other galleries in Chelsea. One was the opening for the New York WCA chapter's exhibition. The second was the national WCA exhibition "Hidden Cities." Both shows had some excellent work in them, and my good friend Jaimianne had a ceramic piece in the NY exhibition, which made for an excellent evening.

On the walk back to the hotel from the second gallery, we passed a scene from Law and Order SVU being filmed. How great to be experiencing so many facets of NYC!

Day 5

Started the morning at the College Art Association book fair by volunteering at the Women's Caucus for Art table.

The afternoon brought the first national Young Women's Caucus meeting. We met at the American Folk Art Museum with members from Michigan, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

Every year the WCA has a Lifetime Achievement Award to honor women in the arts and their contributions to the art world. This year the WCA honored Beverly Buchanan, Diane Burko, Ofelia Garcia, Joan Marter, Carolee Schneemann, and Sylvia Sleigh. After the award ceremony there was a beautiful Gala at the American Folk Art museum. With the museum closed to the public for the night, we had two floors of the museum all to ourselves. Small tables lined the walls, leaving plenty of room for mingling. This was a great setup because it forced to you to talk to different people as you waited in line for food and as you walked around. The food included two buffets, one filled with Mediterranean and one with Asian finger foods. Delightful company, delicious food, and amazing atmosphere made this gala an truly elegant evening.

Day 6

The final day of the WCA conference I went to Hell's Kitchen Flea Market with Susanne (a WCA member who is fantastic), Jaimianne, Susie, Juice, and Amanda Mears. According to Susanne it was smaller than usual because it was cooler outside. Despite a smaller turn out, there was still tons of fantastic items to discover. I purchased a locket with a photo of an elegant woman in it, a fleur-de-lis pin, and the internal mechanism of a watch. It was a successful flea market visit.

In the afternoon we left Susanne and went to the MoMA, Museum of Modern Art since the CAA passes allowed us free entry. Despite only having two hours before closing I was able to experience the design wing, an entire room of Rothko's paintings, Starry Night, Andy Warhol's moving pictures, and a plethora of major contributors to modern art. The biggest surprise for me was how small Dali's Persistence of Memory painting is. I had the same experience when I saw the Mona Lisa for the first time.

Tomorrow starts the first day of my internship with Green Map, stay tunned

Today is the first official day of the conference and I have already been to three sessions and completed the "Penny for your Thoughts" performance with the Finlandia Young Women's Caucus, which went fantastic! My favorite response was a women in the lobby of the Hilton who said "My thought is why is there no chairs in the lobby?

I have so many great stories to tell, but internet service has been hard to find so I will fill in all of the stories as soon as I can. Right now I am sitting inside a bakery next to the Raandesk Gallery where our main performance will take place.  The performance starts in an hour and a half, so if you are anywhere near 16 W. 23rd St in New York, New York, then please come at 7pm for our performance!

There is nothing better than waking up before the crack of dawn in order to climb on an airplane. The morning started out at 440am when Susie, Juice, Amanda Mears, Dawn, Stephanie and I left Finlandia University to go to the Houghton Airport for a 6am flight.

Jumping from Houghton to Chicago and Chicago to New York, we arrived at the LGA airport by 1110am. A hitch in our accommodations led to an adventure to Jaimianne's House that made today a great success. Dawn, Susie and myself have successfully maneuvered the NYC bus , subway, and train systems without getting lost!
Dawn next to me on the train to Jaimianne.
Recently Jaimianne has been instructing clay classes at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, NY, so after she picked us up around 330pm from the train station, she took us there for her grand tour. I was impressed by the sheer variety of impressive ceramic platters exhibited in their "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" exhibition and the endless maze of class and artist studios. If I were a ceramic artist in New York, this would be a fantastic atmosphere for an artist's studio!
Click to visit the Clay Art Center website.
I can only imagine the adventures that this month will bring!

Tomorrow: Check in for the Women's Caucus for Art conference.

    New York '11

    Follow along on my journey through New York city as I intern with the Green Map organization and am immersed in  the art world within New York.


    February 2011