Impromptu Knit-In

An impromptu knit-in happened this morning at the Artisan Market adjacent to our Farmers Market. The fluffy burgundy shawl around the expressive green crouching dog sculpture really adds something 'je ne sais quoi'. As I expected Don Kennel, the artist, was delighted to hear of these interactions from the public with his newest art installation Shelter With Sky.  My favorite green sculpture because it is so expressive and deeply felt, I learned was modeled after Don's very own dog.

Until this morning I had never heard of a knit in, but it reminded me of wearing my own hand crafted bright orange/red cap to  and from work (never during work) in my late teens. I was an apprentice in a law firm in Zurich, Switzerland. My boss heard that I no longer lived with my parents (new secretary snitched on me as she must have overheard my phone conversations.) I was called in to the old, conservative man's office and I was grilled. 19 years old, I had been running the office for a while on my own until a new secretary was hired from a what she must have thought more prestigious school. I had been typing long letters by dictaphone, taking stenographic notes and doing a rather good job I thought while my co-worker was on leave of absence. The office was hard at work at a proposal of a major change on a federal level that would eventually effect every Swiss citizen. But in the old man's office this lawyer, Dr. Matti, had the nerve to suggest that my wearing a colorful red cap may be a sign I might be spying for the Russians! It was the early seventies, I was a hippie chick, not a spy for god-dess sake. My not living with my parents at the age of 19 must have really unnerved this old fashioned, high powered Swiss lawyer. I lost that job. Not a minor cause of my leaving Switzerland and eventually immigrating to the United States, for better or worse!

Shelter With Sky - Don Kennell

Shelter With Sky is Don Kennell's most recent art project on exhibit currently in the Santa Fe Railyard for the benefit of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

"Sculptor Don Kennell created this piece to remind us that homeless animals have a special place in our community." 

"Pieces of metal have been shaped, banged and welded into dogs and cats vying for your attention, including details of tiny welds of "hair." Viewers were encouraged to grab sticks of chalk and "sign" the pavement around the installation with the names of their beloved pets, past and present. This piece showcases dogs and cats of various shapes and sizes, representing the many pets waiting for a forever home at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter." Railyard Park Conservancy

You can make a donation to support the Santa Fe Animal Shelter as well! More then $34,000 have been raised so far.

I like to add that I adopted my Isabella-girl from our animal shelter on October 23. 2006. We will soon be celebrating 10 years together. I can only rave of the quality of shelter that our community can now boast of. The aim is to be a no-kill shelter. The place is clean, spacious and welcoming with individual cubicles for each dog, lots of volunteers and plenty of outdoor space for walks including 3 publicly available big and enclosed dog parks.

The adjacent clinic has done wonders over the last 3 years for Isabella as they discovered her thyroid imbalance and offered her excellent care on an affordable sliding scale. I am so grateful to this institution, our Santa Fe Animal Shelter for which I have nothing but praise and appreciation.

Gratitude to the amazing artist and human being Don Kennell who charmed our community earlier with his Yard Dog, later his Blue Gorilla commissioned by a zoo to shed light on the plight of those magnificent animals, then his most charming, gigantic Coyote which found a permanent home sadly on the other side of town to our chagrin,  but everyone else's delight. Don lends his tremendous talent to so many worthy causes, while I delight in observing the reactions of the public to his gigantic works of art. A statement on the powerful effects of good works of art in public places!

Shelter - Martin Vansteenkiste

Published on Dec 29, 2013, Copyright music & lyrics: © Martin Vansteenkiste, SABAM - Belgium
Recorded in Kampala (Uganda) on the 10th December 2013

This moving piece of music by Martin, which appeared on my facebook feed, then mysteriously disappeared, speaks strongly to how I feel reluctantly viewing the image of a seemingly stunned, sitting and bleeding Syrian boy, heartbreaking. It also echoes my sadness and disbelief, then outrage about hearing of recent attacks on a hospital in Yemen that killed kids and doctors working for Doctors Without Borders. Kids world wide deserve better. What are we going to do about it? Stop the sales of arms to Saudis, to Israel, but preferably demolish all weapons of destruction as too barbaric to tolerate any longer? One can and one has to dream!

Meanwhile big hugs to Martin and those that manage to touch and uplift us amidst all the inhumane atrocities humanity still has to endure.