Jane Beatrice Wegscheider’s prize winning portable, multi-media, installation piece honoring individual and collective efforts at sustainability is built around this mosaic topped dining table that has lots of room for a convivial gathering. Currently it is on exhibit at the Northampton Town Hall, but it will be traveling throughout our region.
The prize was granted by the Pioneer Valley (Mass.) Sustainability Network, which is comprised of numerous private, municipal and non-profit organizations and networks devoted to bridging the gap between practitioners and researchers in the area of sustainable development, with an initial emphasis on sustainable land use and energy use.
A full description of Jane’s project is on the PVSN website.
As an organic gardener, and a person who is aware of the stresses on food production and distribution around the world I was particularly taken by Jane’s beautiful table, with its glass tile mosaic of intertwined vines, and bits of broken plates (chosen for their horticultural motifs) using the pique assiette technique. For Jane the table is a metaphor – a place; a community; the future; abundance and sharing.
An essential part of the whole piece was its involvement of many other people in its creation including mosaic artist Cindy Fisher, and by the construction of a scrapbook that collected the thoughts of others on what sustainability means to each individual, and what they are doing to live a more sustainable life.
The scrapbook will travel with the exhibit to collect more thoughts. It will invite others to add their own thoughts and experiences with sustainability.
In addition to the table, Jane used collage to create 6 panels that form the permeable ‘walls’ of the room containing the table. These panels are another way to solicit reactions by questioning and generating on-going conversations.
When Jane first talked to me about the project I was moved to review the changes we have made in the last year or so: using canvas bags for grocery shopping; bundling errands to save gas; increasing our compost by starting a worm farm; changing to compact fluorescent bulbs, and LED Christmas lights and more intense recycling efforts. These are all small efforts, but I like to think that if we all made small changes, that would make a big change. In that changed atmosphere we might then see new ways of becoming even more sustainable.