The Receiving Jar Art Collection by Vicki Milewski

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The Receiving Jar Exhibition Catalog

Galaudet Gallery


Galaudet Gallery Published by Galaudet Gallery 2223 West Hubbard Chicago, Illinois 60612 & 618 South Farwell Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701 @ http://galaudetgallery.wix.com/ggllc Galaudet Gallery copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved Organized and Designed by Vicki Milewski & Michael Milewski

Cover: Detail of Glenn’s Corn 6 Sun Shining Through painting by Vicki Milewski Title Page: Emergent Corn Field on Milewski Farm Photo by Vicki Milewski


Published for the Exhibit The Receiving Jar Where Our Food Comes From Part 1: Dairy Farming in the 21st Century


The Receiving Jar An Art Collection by Vicki Milewski


Presented by Galaudet Gallery


Table of Contents For

The Receiving Jar Where Our Food Comes From Part 1: Dairy Farming in the 21st Century An Art Collection By Vicki Milewski Introduction: Exhibition Parameters and Exhibition Logistics

The Receiving Jar: The Art Works Glenn’s Corn 6 Sun Shining Through Oil on Canvas 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 1 Do You Know Who We Are To You? Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 7 Another Dawn Brings the Same Glow Oil on Canvas 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 2 We’re Dancing Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 10 Seeing the Other Side Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 3 The Lines Have It Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 9 The Fire Within Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 5 The Inspiration Fiber Art on Canvas, 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Glenn’s Corn 11 The Memory Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36” In Antique Barn Wood Frame Popcorn 5 We’re Having Fun Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper, 5 ½” X 7 ¾” Popcorn 7 Should We? Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper, 6” X 8” My Father’s Barn Photo on archival paper Various Sizes Limited editions Emergent Corn Field on Milewski Farm 6:25 am Photo on archival paper Various Sizes Limited editions Emergent Corn Field on Milewski Farm 6:27 am Photo on archival paper Various Sizes Limited editions New Corn With Dew Photo on Archival Paper Various Sizes Limited editions In the Thick of It Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Leaf Dance Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Furled Stalks Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions On my Side Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions In the Headland Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions The Tassel Begins Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions We’re Ready Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions A Fall Dawn Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Ready Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Husked Goal Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Farm Zig Zag Trail 1 Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Farm Zig Zag Trail 2 Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Headed to the Barn Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions Crossroads 1 Photo on Archival Paper Various Sizes Limited editions Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Barn Crossroads 1 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Barn Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15”


A Road in the Crossroads 1 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” A Road in the Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” The Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” The Receiving Jar 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Receiving Jar Window Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Milk House Door Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” Door Keeps Opening Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” Where the Red Road Begins Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” The Red Road Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Red Road Inside the Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” Bulk Tank with Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” What God Said Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” What God Said 5 Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” What God Said 2 Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” What God said in a San Antonio Church Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” Receiving Jar Reflections Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” Milking Time Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Many Sides to It: What God Said Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8” X 10” Many Sides to It: Milk House Door Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8” X 10” Many Sides to It Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8” X 10” Brazilian Psalm ((To Jean Berger) Altered Art Total Dimensions 5” X 7” Receiving Jar Philosophy Receiving Jar Thoughts Receiving Jar as a Confluence or Isthmus A sample visit to the Receiving Jar 8/21/2012 Receiving Jar as the Holy Grail The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are The red road inside the Receiving Jar: The Door Keeps Opening Looking at a few of the Artworks Receiving Jar Science Receiving Jar Process One: Breaking the vacuum environment with the receiving jar The Vacuum Environment The Milking Pipeline Receiving Jar Process Two: Process Two: Creating the milk we know by mixing its proteins and water A Milk based paint called Casein The Receiving Jar and Vilem Flusser Conclusion The Emergent Corn Feeding the Receiving Jar Never Doubt The Receiving Jar The Art Works At A Glance


The Receiving Jar: An Exhibition Introduction Where Our Food Comes From Collection Part One: The Receiving Jar Dairy Farming in the 21st Century explores food production sustainability through artworks focused on the relationship between us and the food system we have created. Family dairy farming is the center of Part One and its heart is seen in the corn field and in the milk house receiving jar--since all corn grown is fed to the cows and all milk flows into the jar after milking to be re- oxygenated in preparation for transporting it to market. The agricultural pursuits toward the business of milking cows, which at times seems contradictory—unsustainable and then the land seems to be there for such use is explored. The journey of this collection moves from the corn fields at dawn to the barn and milk house and then into research to uncover the history of modern dairy farming to see if its future lies there as well. There is also a metaphysical journey I continue to make to better understand where my food comes from. As an artist I seek to understand our world, life and love through my artwork with freedom, truth, family and community as my foundation. Exhibition Parameters over 100 pieces of art including: 24 Oil and casein paint on canvas ranging from 16” X 20” to 24” X 36” 44 Drawings in pencil and watercolor on archival paper 21 Photographs 6 Pieces of altered art 5 fiber art pieces 1 Receiving Jar with decommissioned money flowing through them (East Coast Spaces only) Film about the Receiving Jar with music composed by Vicki Milewski Brochure and Book Exhibition Logistics The Receiving Jar will be exhibited in approximately 12 locations throughout the United States in various configurations. The exhibit has been designed and curated by me and my brother Mike Milewski to work with each exhibition space’s logistics and still create the desired aesthetic experience originally intended by the collection. This aesthetic experience is a journey from an initial inspirational moment with emergent corn shining its yellow spine in a dawning sun to a neighbor’s milk house and barn during milking time with the sun pouring in every window and door. Getting to know my dairy farmer’s work continued the inspiration as the fields of corn grew to maturity. Over the course of several years, I began to connect the seemingly disparate pieces of inspiration and creation to harmonize the Receiving Jar Collection and invite each observer to activate the collection through viewing and thinking about where their food comes from. The Receiving Jar is a part of modernized milking systems that has been used for almost 100 years (since 1918). The Receiving Jar takes in all milk from the cows being milked and depressurizes it for bulk tank sequestration. I have viewed many receiving jars since being inspired by the first one I saw on a casual visit to a neighboring Old Order Mennonite farm—it is the first jar that still inspires me. Inspiration is a strange thing in that I recognize the connection between this farmer and his receiving jar that has inspired me, and yet when others see that connection in my sketches I am surprised. The Receiving Jar I am inspired by has the right positioning, angling and natural light that sometimes floods the milk house. When I have visited at dawn I simply step in and step out, leaving before I interrupt the farmer’s work. This farmer has graciously allowed me to come and watch or study his receiving jar during milking time. Seeing the milk, all his labor, all his belief, rushing into


the jar and then exiting to be held in the bulk tank before being taken away to the world by a large, loud milk truck is revelatory. Actual Receiving Jars will be used with shredded money from the Federal Reserve decommissioning money protocol; this shredded money will be put inside empty Receiving Jars and pushed through them in a continuous loop. The symbolic meaning of this sculpture is of course an analogy between the milk and the money are the same, that the money is shredded suggests a deeper symbolism of sustainability concerns when future oriented projections are placed upon the dairy industry. The small, family farms which surround Vicki’s main studio I central Wisconsin increasingly have to defend their livelihood against corporate machinations like massive milking parlors of between 250-500 cows and even larger industrialized corporate structures that milk 1000’s of cows each day. That Southern Wisconsin has opted for the larger milking parlors over the small family farm concept is disconcerting, that there are at least 2 larger corporate structures in Wisconsin is troubling. The small family farms, of which this collection and exhibition supports, are a more sustainable way to approach dairy farming; this is the reason that the emergent corn artworks show just a few individual corn plants and not the field of 1000’s the artist encounters each planting season; this is why the receiving jar shape is in an hourglass and not its traditional egg shape—because time is running out just as the milk flows through the jar from the barn and into the bulk tank. There is a 2 minute video of the Receiving Jar in action as well as footage of the surrounding acres and other ideas that are a part of this exhibit timed to a piano composition I have written based upon Charles Ives’ Alcotts’ harmonic structures. This video called The Receiving Jar: A Film can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/VickiMilewski.

Looking In Photo on archival paper, 4” X 6”


It is when the work at hand becomes the life lived


The Receiving Jar Art Works


Glenn’s Corn 6 Sun Shining Through Oil on Canvas 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 1 Do You Know Who We Are To You? To You?Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 7 Another Dawn Brings the Same Glow Oil on Canvas 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 2 We’re Dancing Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 10 Seeing the Other Side Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 3 The Lines Have It Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 9 The Fire Within Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 5 The Inspiration Fiber Art on Canvas, 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame


Glenn’s Corn 11 The Memory


Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36” In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Popcorn 5 We’re Having Fun Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper, 5 ½” X 7 ¾”


Popcorn 7 Should We? Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper, 6” X 8”


My Father’s Barn Photos on archival paper Various Sizes Limited editions


Emergent Corn Field on Milewski Farm 6:25 am Photo on archival paper Various Sizes Limited editions


Emergent Corn Field on Milewski Farm 6:27 am Photo on archival paper Various Sizes Limited editions


New Corn With Dew Photo on Archival Paper Various Sizes Limited editions


In the Headland Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


In the Thick of It Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions

Leaf Dance Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


Furled Stalks Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions

On my Side Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


The Tassel Begins Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


We’re Ready Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions

A Fall Dawn Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


Ready Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


Husked Goal Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


Farm Zig Zag Trail 1 Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


Farm Zig Zag Trail 2 Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


Headed to the Barn Photo on archival paper, Various Sizes Limited editions


Crossroads 1 Photo on Archival Paper Various Sizes Limited editions


Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


Barn Crossroads 1 Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


Barn Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


A Road in the Crossroads 1 Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


A Road in the Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


The Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


The Receiving Jar 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


Receiving Jar Window Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


Milk House Door Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”


Door Keeps Opening Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”


Where the Red Road Begins Pencil on archival paper, 8� X 11�


The Red Road Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15”


Red Road Inside the Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 8� X 11�


Bulk Tank with Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 8� X 11�


What God Said Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”


What God Said 5 Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”


What God Said 2 Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”


What God said in a San Antonio Church Pencil on archival paper, 8� X 11�


Receiving Jar Reflections Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”


Milking Time Pencil on archival paper, 11� X 15�


Many Sides to It: What God Said Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8� X 10�


Many Sides to It: Milk House Door Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8� X 10�


Many Sides to It Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8� X 10�


Brazilian Psalm ((To Jean Berger) Altered Art Total Dimensions 5” X 7”


Receiving Jar Philosophy

Receiving Jar Alchemy Sketchbook 8” X 10”

As Above, So Below What Goes In, Must Come Out


Receiving Jar Philosophy Receiving Jar Thoughts “The difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.” 1 To do this without losing sight of the past’s inherent powers, complex resolutions and dreams of the future; we must attempt to embrace our new ideas not as slaves to our old ideas, nor futuristic banter that will never reach fruition, but as our present—to see new ideas taking hold now. Even as we walk away from this idea, we recognize how every new idea becomes an old idea only remembered if it is acted upon, only remembered when brought to life in the present. 11/18/12 1 Crops flow in, Crops flow out Milk flows in, Milk flows out Where our food comes from: Field, seed, crop, harvest, storage, feeding, milking The receiving jar captures all this work by sheltering, confining, cooling, commercializing 2 The wind blowing across the late July corn catches me by surprise. The ripples of color and light movement and it’s rootedness is beautiful. Could this sound, this sight become as dear to me as the wind rushing through Black Hills’ pine needles or the winds uplift of red dust at Arches?

3 Once we sent a ship to the moon we went the same distance within our own spirits. Released from gravity, if only for moments, meant a new chance for us to experience a new kind of flight. No longer does our spirit have to take flight alone, now our physical bodies can accompany it to Mars and beyond. 4 Watching the corn grow taller the small leaves start where the cob will form. Each kernel is waiting in the stalk to be born onto the cob just as we wait, patiently, in our stalks to have love grow in our hearts

1

John Maynard Keynes, Cambridge 1902


Receiving Jar as a Confluence or Isthmus The Receiving Jar is like a confluence in that 3 milking pipelines enter the jar at once. The place where two or more streams flow into one is a confluence, but confluence also means a “coming together” as my inspiration comes together with the physicalities of the Receiving Jar and its meaning to where our food comes from. Or is the Receiving Jar like an isthmus—a narrow strip of land having water on each side, which connects two larger bodies of land? The water on each side is the water transformed in the cows being milked on one side and the bulk tank contents on the other. How like any isthmus, the Receiving Jar connects and allows for communication to flourish and connects a farmer’s world to the outside world that buys his milk. But also like an isthmus, the Receiving Jar is a symbol of a harsh world disconnected from the potential that contiguous land inherently holds. There are many questions I can use to help form this collection: How can I use the physical idea of the isthmus as a tool to access my hidden powers, to see how we all contain these powers sometimes even hidden from ourselves; once found we can use them to discover the hidden life in all the world, to find the Divine in our one world; although it seems we live in different worlds love unites us?2 How can I use the Receiving Jar as a bridge, an isthmus between two rivers, to see and show how we all inhabit one world; to allow understanding, cooperation and love to flourish in my art? How can I explain where our food comes from and to take the incompleteness of our experience together and make it whole through understanding, cooperation and love—all shining the light of insight into the true fullness of all life, all life with love?

A sample visit to the Receiving Jar 8/21/2012 Once inside the milk house I see the milk house windows reflected in the Receiving Jar. One window shows the blue sky outside, another window shows a blue jacket hanging on a hook in the milk house, the east facing window shows a coral colored shed outside with a red gas pump shaped like the bulk tank in its reflection. In the Receiving Jar the coral shed looks like a rock formation at Arches National Park until I turn to see it is a shed. I think the blue jacket to be a part of the sky until I see in my turning it is a jacket. I see how the whole farm is reflected in this jar.3 The milk surging through it, steals the farm’s occupants’ energy in exchange for a livelihood, a way of life. The milk house door is usually wide open, but today it is almost completely closed. The blue sky, the blue jacket make me want to cry in their concordance so I check the clock and see I’ve overstayed my welcome, 30 minutes. 4 I leave. I see how my main perspective of the Receiving Jar is from the milk house door which has thick planks of wood painted white—wide planks with dark lines. Having the door closed today helps me to see one of the perspectives I’ve been drawing from since I could not stand in the doorway today and look at the jar as I usually do after watching the cows in the barn being milked. I also see how the Receiving Jar empties into the top of the bulk tank not the side as I have been drawing.

2

Inspired by the Seven Schools of Yoga by Ernest Wood 1931 pg. 112 Myths to Live by How We Recreate Ancient Legends in Our Daily Lives to Release Human Potential Joseph Campbell 1972 4 Concordance: from Latin con=together, and cor=heart; also means peaceful relations. 3


Just as the English word “may” means possibility, permission or contingency—I thought how my art may shine a light on the gifts God has given us. But perhaps I have only uncovered the Indian word of “maya”—a true representation of the incomplete experience of reality—how we don’t see the whole picture and thus put all our energy into the pieces we do see and experience—losing our opportunities to experience the fullness of life, as if the whole of life is hidden from us by us (is knowledge of the whole of life also our hidden power?) How I did not see beyond these fields which feed these cows, how at times all I see is the Receiving Jar until I could see all the work the farmers put into the jar, how their whole lives are vassals to the jar. 5 The surrounding farms of family, community, church come suddenly into view as I step back from the Receiving Jar experience, as I see the reflection of the farmer’s farm, his body, his life on the Receiving Jar and in this curved reflection—distorted by the pulsing milk flowing at 2000 rpms—I could see how incomplete our experience of life can be, how we put all our energy into the incompleteness, into the pieces of life we experience and with our energy spent on pieces we do not even try to understand the whole, we continue on in a partial reality, letting incomplete experiences pile up as our lives. We allow fragmented pieces to be a substitute for the Divine reality of wholeness. When we base our attitude about life on only a few experiences that we have each day instead of inspecting these experiences and being open to new and different experiences we lose our chance to fully embrace love. Joseph Campbell said, “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” completely. Since we are born whole, how is it that we can live a life of just pieces, fragmented from even ourselves?6

Receiving Jar as the Holy Grail As I watched the milk whirling like a dervish in the Receiving Jar, trapped quite literally in this large glass jar, accepting the farmer’s life’s work; then I saw myself reflected in the jar, standing there, an artist consumed by this jar, this idea, by evolution. I thought how curious it is that I draw the jar as an hour glass shape even though it isn’t and how surprised I was when I noticed the incongruity of my drawings with reality and realized that the hour glass shape I draw is a symbol of things coming, a messenger of what will happen to all that work, all these acres of land, all these cows, this milk, this jar and I can see how unsustainable it all is. The Receiving Jar

I walk home fast and when I arrive I continue walking around my lake where I see two men in the field across from the lake with white shirts and black pants on. I walk up the hill, growing closer to them with each step but as I look they shift into cows, then men, cows then men. I wonder if the setting sun is playing tricks on my eyes or helping me to see how some people give their whole life to cows. When I reach the top of the hill it is two men and they turn and walk west, away from me. I think of an idea from the Gospel of Mary about the everpresent Law of Thermodynamics, “every nature, every modeled form, every creature exists in and with each other. They will dissolve again into their own proper root. For the nature of matter is dissolved into what belongs to its nature.”7 I think also of ethnologists searching for a confluence between evolution and cultural relativism. As our culture evolves an increasing complexity of skills are needed. The process of milking has evolved over the last few thousand years and now more cows than ever can be milked in a short time by one or 5

Inspired by the Seven Schools of Yoga by Ernest Wood 1931 Quote from The Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell 1948 7 Quote from The Nag Hammadi Scriptures edited by Marvin Meyer 2007, The Gospel of Mary 6


two people. Where our food comes from has pushed the evolution of our culture and our language since a higher complexity of skills is needed to provide for, care for and milk cows this work needs a higher complexity of language in order to train and understand how to perform at an efficient standard. It’s amazing how language shapes an individual’s mind and also exposes it for the rest of the world to see, just as the tools of one’s trade do the same. The farmer’s plow which breaks open the earth to plant the seed, the seed which does the same using the soil’s resources for growth and the Receiving Jar which breaks the vacuum environment the milk is put into after being broken from the cow—all these are tools showing a farmer’s mind exposed like an open book, like a vast Montana field, or Pacific Ocean waves crashing on an Oregon beach. The tools of an artist expose the same, the brushes breaking open the empty canvas, plowing furrows through the paints, how simple ideas break open willing minds and hearts. Thinking again of the hour glass shape of the Receiving Jar and how different the shape of the jar is in reality, I think of the quest for the holy grail. Whether it is a mythological quest, a religious journey or a tale of the advent of chivalry, I am not sure but Campbell’s description of it is fascinating and relevant to my drawings, “The grail is the fountain in the center of the universe from which the energies of eternity pour into the world of time.” Campbell goes on to say about the grail, its quest and its existence, “The sacrifice is the sacrifice of the container of the energy for the release of the energy” (ie. the Receiving Jar releases the energy of the milk, of the farmer). To sacrifice energy in order to release energy is an interesting idea. To sacrifice a life for the release of the energy of milk seems wrong. I think of all the energy that is contained in that Receiving Jar and all the sacrifice contained in it. The Receiving Jar can be seen as the center of a dairy farmer’s life work; the energy of the cow’s milk pours into it, this energy was intended to be eternal energy since a cow produces its milk to feed its calves, now we artificially force cows to produce their milk to feed humans. The easy sacrifice is to sell the contents of the jar, the milk, but the real sacrifice is the life not led by the dairy farmer chained to his cows, the real sacrifice is the sacrifice of the land for that milk, the sacrifice of love careless of the rules of the world since love leads beyond this world, toward god. So the Receiving Jar as grail also shows each dairy farmer seeks the grail which is really the contents of the grail not the grail itself. Would it be possible for this situation to be alleviated? How to release energy, expend energy but not sacrifice lives in the process?8 The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are The simple blue lines with splashes of yellow energy representing pure light set against the purest light of the white background—as if all the scene is bathed in the purest light in which to overpower maya, the incompleteness of our time together. Just as I see how many “pieces” of art in Walker’s Art Center in Minneapolis, MN show the fragmented modernist perceptions which formed abstract expressionism, and other art movements. These fragmented perceptions are used to show a stark recognition of the incompleteness of our experience of life and how to see past the incompleteness towards wholeness. The same idea is like seeing our lives through the computerized digital zeros and ones, bits and “pieces” of information we try to share with others even as we realize this actual, virtual sharing disconnects us from each other even further dissecting our lives into pieces that disguise us as whole people experiencing a whole reality when in fact we are not.

8

What God Said 5 (in the milk house)

Inspired by Transformations of Myth through Time 13 lectures by Joseph Campbell 1990, particularly the lecture entitled “Where There Was No Path: Arthurian Legends and the Western Way”.


It is akin to those people who are not awake, who are sleeping through their lives—then all they live through is maya. It is when the work at hand becomes the life lived, then one is lost in the bondage of maya Attempting to learn sanyama—the triple process of concentration, meditation and contemplation through the Receiving Jar experience. Just as the Christian trinity is a unified three of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God is the concentration that holds us all. Jesus is the meditation, primarily on love; he stands as the isthmus, the bridge, connecting our Maker with our Knower, connecting us to the Divine, the Divine inside us and outside us, the Divine of all. The Holy Spirit is contemplation –another kind of concentration which can only occur after meditation has been attained. The gnosis, or knowledge, of these things is apparent only through love. As Christ said, let those who can hear listen there is only one commandment, the command to love.9 The past, present, future is contained in this moment. Breathe in, and then out, that is eternity. A moment in the presence of a loved one, that is eternity. Do not go into a cave with a candle to praise the sun, so do not think praising God only in a church, only in a field, only in a bedroom is praising Him at all—these incomplete expressions of praise only show one shackled to maya, to incompleteness, to an illusion that all is whole when it is not. 10 It is not just in the giving of one’s life to work, in the sacrifice we all make to life, to make our way through whatever world we construct—but it is in giving wisely, in seeking and knowing wisdom that we can give wisely, we can sacrifice knowingly. A great purifier is wisdom, just as a fire reduces wood to ash, the fire of wisdom shines forth truth, wholeness, life, the love of all. Wisdom flowing through the Receiving Jar shows me love, allows me more time to understand.

Door Keeps Opening

9

Holy Bible John 15:17 ” I give you one commandment, To Love One Another” Inspired by the Seven Schools of Yoga by Ernest Wood 1931

10


The Red Road Inside the Receiving Jar: The Door Keeps Opening My Red Road collection of paintings and drawings has been extended into the Receiving Jar once I saw the red road spiraling through the milk inside the jar one evening when I was lucky enough to view it during milking time. My Red Road collection began as an understanding of my travels through the United States and my increase of self knowledge. 11 When I saw the Red Road spiraling inside the Receiving Jar, I knew the two collections are connected. The Red Road has been like food to me: nourishing and delivering energy to continue my work.

My Red Road Series shows energy rising into the sky as the paintings progress. After studying and painting all seven chakras I learned about the idea of chi or energy or kundalini rising as one gains more self knowledge. I began to see the red road in my paintings as the kundalini rising, instructing me to live healthier, to live in a healthier environment, to have healthier relationships—that “health” and “home” are one and the same. Kundalini rises through karma (a form of love seeking union through work or service) and up through the other form of love known as bhakti (love of God). The red road rises into the heavens as it moves toward understanding God as love, losing the desire to hold the material results of our work in our hands since God as love is like the second form of love called agape love which is when we find a person to love that leaves us amazed and transcends our common notions of space and time, infinity in a touch, a look, a presence inside, how the rules of this world just don’t apply in the presence of such love. I now see how the Receiving Jar is the next step in my evolution as an artist. The milk in the Receiving Jar is like the metaphorical Hindu rain cloud where protection and beneficence reside for a growing field, our own water supply, a cleansing of spirit. The cows giving the milk are like the verses in a hymn which the Receiving Jar sings out. 12 The farmers tending the cows are like students who gain wisdom with each carefully studied moment, with each tree left standing in a field, each raindrop allowed to fall on the land and naturally soak into our aquifer; all showing how creation can coexist with development and seeking in a life’s work. The Receiving Jar has been called a ‘vacuum breaker” by the original patent holder since the new pipeline system 13 that the jar works with uses a vacuum to suck the milk from the cow to the bulk tank, the receiving jar has to break that vacuum state of the milk before it enters the bulk tank. The patent holder felt that the old way of milking cows was so time consuming as well physically exhaustive that her life was being sucked away by the process; she felt she was living in a vacuum because of how hard this work was since even after the invention of the milking pipeline in the late 1800’s, many farmers still had to move milk from one place to another physically since it was not until the bulk tank was clearly connected to the pipeline (with the invention of the Receiving Jar in 1918) that farmers were released from this labor. But many farmers did not have the ability to install the Receiving Jar until the 1960’s when automation in making the jars and vacuum pumps allowed many more barns to be outfitted with this upgrade. As I learned more about the jar and its creation I realized that my study of the jar and sketches and paintings could also be a vacuum breaker for my yoga studies, helping me to evolve into a new stage of learning about myself and the world around me. I had studied the chakra system to prepare for my first major collection of 11

Walking the Red Road is a native American concept of walking the right path in a good way with the right intentions. A teacher I had helped me to understand the Red Road and when I first saw the actual road that has inspired my Red Road collection I understood the path I am on is a good one. 12 Ibid 13 Anna Baldwin, a New Jersey farmwoman, invented the suction milking machine in 1878. Carl Gustav de Laval, a Swedish engineer, developed the first commercially successful machine. This device was on sale from 1918 onwards.


paintings called the Chakra Collection and felt I had a firm grasp on that part of the world. Chakras are a part of Laya Yoga studies, or latent yoga which is also known as the yoga of suspension since the student is suspended between two worlds of learning as they move forward to a fuller understanding of self and spirit living in the same world. When I first encountered the Receiving Jar I was pretty satisfied with my yoga work and knowledge, but since that first encounter I have altered my perspective and studies and have found that I had become complacent and I had allowed myself to fall into a routine that was not challenging me to move forward. The Receiving Jar had been a vacuum breaker for my life. Just as our immediate atmosphere breaks the vacuum of outer space, allowing an oxygen rich environment to envelope us, so too the Receiving Jar breaks the vacuum of the outer space inside the pipeline carrying transmuted grasses, grains and water in the form of milk to the outside world. The Receiving Jar literally breaks the vacuum of the milk pipeline in the barn just as it could break the vacuum of a life lived on the surface alone, just as it could break the vacuum of a life based on the past and not a personal present respected by dreams of the future.14 Finding the infinite in the finite means to see infinity in everything. Thoughts do not arise by accident but according to definite laws. There are roads that the human mind has made through the jungle of our minds, just as surely as there are now roads through our physical world, our jungles, forest, and cities. We drive on these roads just as we follow the roads in our minds. Roads of thought can take us where we want to go, we can build new roads, like when I first saw the Receiving Jar and the milk pulsing through it, I started to build new roads of thought so that I could think differently, envision a new way of life, believe in myself in this new light. Just as John Muir said “Going outside I found I was going in.” The Receiving Jar’s vacuum breaking helped to lure me away from frequented paths that were no longer useful to my work, my life. Seeing the Red Road inside the Receiving Jar also shows the road outside is the road inside, what goes out, goes in, what goes in, goes out. So if we only travel on the same roads in our minds, we will only travel upon the same roads in life, we will become stagnate and live our piecemeal lives in a vacuum state.

The Red Road 4: The Open Door

14

Inspired by The Indian Man, A Biography of James Mooney, L.G. Moses 1984 and inspired by The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890 by James Mooney, 1895


Looking at a few of the Artworks Glenn’s Corn 5: The Inspiration I was invited to witness the growth of a single plant in a field of many, to watch the slowness of growth within my fast life, to make the unseen seeable and these are some of the reasons I paint and create. The sun shone on one small corn plant in a dairy farmer’s corn field almost 5 years ago and that one plant has led me on a journey to understand its life cycle and to find that cycle tied to mine bringing an understanding of a spring morning when a single, newly emerged corn plant of about 6” glowed yellow in its center as the dawn sun shone through it inspiring me to understand where our food comes from. Glenn's Corn 5: The Inspiration is a fiber art piece with embroidery thread, pencil and pastel on canvas highlighting a young corn plant which inspired me to create mixed media pieces about a growing corn field. The use of embroidery is to heighten the inspirational plant making the rest of the corn field seem like shadows since this one plant was the inspiration. 3 different colors of yellow were used to create the glow the rising sun produced on this young plant. This piece is one of many artworks which explores food production sustainability through focusing on the relationship between us and the food system we have created. Glenn’s Corn 6: Sun Shining Through After accepting an invitation to the party of life in a corn field, I figured out what to wear during dewy, spring mornings keeping my feet dry, my arms warm and my sketchbook easier to hold. These choices helped me contemplate the growing field and accept the repeating experience of sunlight on pollen drenched corn plants; enlarging my perspective beyond the original plant that inspired me and to see myself as part of a community: an individual amongst artists, farmers and you, just as this field holds individual plants that will produce thousands of bushels of corn for my Mennonite dairy farmer renter who rides in his horse and buggy on the gravel road and his steel wheel tractor in this field, who argues with me about farming practices, who planted this field, whose name is Glenn. Each day we work on our livelihoods, somehow this time they intersected anachronistic yet feeling fated to understand where our food comes from. Glenn’s Corn 6: Sun Shining Through explores how the same sun shining on us connects us while also highlighting our uniqueness. Glenn’s Corn 6: Sun Shining Through is an oil painting on canvas which shows the moment after my initial inspiration of seeing one, small corn plant glowing yellow at its center in the dawn sun--then the entire corn field started to glow yellow too. The newly emerged plants have only two cotyledon leaves as they climb out of the soil. After these first two leaves drop away the first leaves of the plant grow and unfurl; these have strands of green colors that seem to wave inside the leaf form, almost liquid for the first few hours of life. Four different forms of yellow were used to create the glowing centers with chunks of oil paint dabbed on to show the liquidity of the moment. Six different greens were blended to produce the inner wave form of each leaf to mirror how the early morning gentle breezes dance and stretch these small plants into waves in an ocean of green. The yellow glowing centers are actually the corn’s pollen lying within the leaf form (instead of outside it) For the first few days of life these plants will contain the pollen within these single leaves then the pollen moves into the stalk and climbs with the growing plant to the top where tassels with small flowers will form. The flowers will explode the pollen out into the rest of the field so that corn cobs can be produced through this cross


pollination. It is a fragile harmony that is needed for pollination to occur, weather, sun, wind and rain all have to play their part in the right degrees. Glenn’s Corn 7: Another Dawn Brings the Same Glow All good parties end so another kind of party can begin, just as the yellow pollen in corn plants glowing at dawn ended. I took the party to my easel, mixing paints and contemplating my sketches---memorializing moments witnessed as the rising sun shone through fragile, liquid leaves with yellow pollen lying inside them preparing for a corn harvest months away for my renter a Mennonite dairy farmer who rides in his horse and buggy on the gravel road, who uses his steel wheel tractor to plant this field, whose name is Glenn. Who said, after I pointed out the yellow on each plant, “I guess I seen it before but didn’t know what it was.” Causing an intersection between our livelihoods--anachronistic yet feeling fated to understand my new collection Where Our Food Comes From. This oil painting called Glenn’s Corn 7: Another Dawn Brings the Same Glow uses vibrant yellow and green oil paints to show glory in a growing corn field where dawn briefly shows glowing pollen inside emergent plants and showing the last day of seeing the yellow pollen centers of the young corn plants. The same four different forms of yellow used in Glenn’s Corn 6 were used here to create the glowing centers with chunks of oil paint dabbed on but in a narrower strip since the yellow centers are disappearing into the plants emerging stalk. Only four shades of green were used to show the uniformity that was developing in the field soon to overtake each plant’s leaves so that the unique tassels and corn cobs can utilize the growing energy. When I completed the sketches on this day I did not know it would be the last I would see of the yellow centers for a few years. The next day during my dawn walk the leaves were all green and I saw how the stalk of the plant had emerged from the soil. I started to research what I had seen on those couple of wonderful, glowing days of seeing the yellow centers and found the yellow to actually be the pollen lying within the leaves of each plant’s almost transparent leaf. It took more research to follow the path of the pollen up the stalk and into the tiny flowers that make up the tassels. These flowers will dehisce or explode their pollen out into the winds to be carried to nearby plants for cross pollination. Now knowing the yellow through seeing, reading and asking it glows more deeply, dancing the cycle of life, cross pollinating into my artworks a better understanding of where my food comes from. I had no idea that one corn plant would lead me into a better understanding of dairy farming and finding the receiving jar within the milk house of Glenn’s dairy barn. I felt connected to the farming community around me, and a closeness with my ancestors who had been dairy farmers on this farm for over a 100 years. That I also experienced love during the process was the most unexpected revelation.


Receiving Jar Science

The Receiving Jar 2 Collage

Knowing What Goes In Means Knowing What Comes Out


Receiving Jar Science The Receiving Jar has two processes 1. Adding oxygen to the milk to break the vacuum atmosphere created by the need to mechanically suck the milk from the cow to the bulk tank. 2. Shaking the milk to mix the fat and water to produce commercialized milk instead of the milk that naturally comes from a cow which has the fat (protein) and water more fully separated. Receiving Jar Process One: Breaking the vacuum environment The Receiving Jar is a part of the modern process of milking a cow that receives the milk into a jar. The milk spins around in the jar, breaking the vacuum qualities it has picked up by being pushed through a vacuum system (usually called the “pipeline”) from the cow to the jar. The pipeline has a vacuum atmosphere so that the milk can be sucked from the cow and then utilizes gravity to flow toward the bulk tank. The milk is pulled up into the milk-return pipe by the vacuum system, and then flows by gravity and mechanical suction to the milk house vacuum-breaker (ie. the receiving jar) that prepares the milk for the bulk storage tank. All the milk from all the cows milked passes through this jar and is forever altered. The jar is sometimes called a “vacuum breaker” since it introduces oxygen into the milk to break the vacuum environment of the pipeline that brought the milk from the cow to the jar.

Milk Flowing in the Receiving Jar

The receiving jar is a transition point to move the milk from the pipeline under a vacuum atmosphere to the bulk tank which is at normal atmospheric pressure. This is done by having the milk flow into the receiving jar, which is a large hollow glass container with electronic liquid-detecting probes in the center. As the milk rises to a certain height in the bowl, a transfer pump is used to push the milk through a one-way check valve and into a pipe that transfers the milk to the bulk tank. When the level has dropped far enough in the bowl, the transfer pump turns off. Without the check valve, the milk in the bulk tank could be sucked back into the receiving jar when the pump is not running. 100’s of gallons of milk a day will pass through a receiving jar which serves a common sized herd of 100 cows.

The receiving jar is a “vacuum breaker” since the spinning action in the jar breaks the vacuum animation of the milk coming from the pipeline allowing it to fill the bulk tank with more milk than the pressurized liquid milk would allow. The receiving jar frees the milk from the pipeline’s vacuum atmosphere by injecting oxygen into the process. The bulk tank could explode if the receiving jar did not break the vacuum atmosphere. If the pressure is too great and if there was no receiving jar then, ironically, at some point the pressure exerted by the vacuum used to suck the milk from the cow to the bulk tank could destroy the system it was made to work for. After passing through the receiving jar, the extracted milk passes through a strainer and plate heat exchangers to begin cooling the milk before entering the bulk tank, where it can be stored safely for a few days at approximately 42 °F (6 °C). A milk truck then pumps the milk from the tank for transport to a dairy factory where it will be pasteurized and processed into many different products. The Vacuum Environment Milking machines depend upon a partial vacuum for their operation. A partial vacuum is created when part of the air is removed from a confined space, such as the various pipes in a milking system. The amount of air removed from the system will determine the vacuum level. The vacuum level indicated on a vacuum gauge is


measured in Kilopascals (metric) or in inches of mercury vacuum (imperial). For example, if approximately one-half of the air is removed from the system a vacuum gauge would indicate about 50 kilopascals or15 inches of mercury vacuum. Each milking system and herd characteristics will determine the most efficient pressure for a specific milk pipeline. Milking machines are held in place automatically by a vacuum system that draws the ambient air pressure down from 15 to 21 pounds per square inch (100 to 140 kPa) of vacuum. The vacuum is also used to lift milk vertically through small diameter hoses, into the receiving jar. A milk lift pump draws the milk from the receiving jar through large diameter stainless steel piping, through a plate cooler, then into a refrigerated bulk tank. Milk is extracted from the cow's udder by flexible rubber sheaths known as liners or inflations that are surrounded by a rigid air chamber. A pulsating flow of ambient air and vacuum is applied to the inflation's air chamber during the milking process. When ambient air is allowed to enter the chamber, the vacuum inside the inflation causes the inflation to collapse around the cow's teat, squeezing the milk out of the teat in a similar fashion as a baby calf's mouth massaging the teat. When the vacuum is reapplied in the chamber the flexible rubber inflation relaxes and opens up, preparing for the next squeezing cycle. Once the milk enters the pipeline any remaining ambient air is evacuated and the vacuum atmosphere is increased. It takes the average cow three to five minutes to give her milk. Some cows are faster or slower. Slow-milking cows may take up to fifteen minutes to let down all their milk. Milking speed is only somewhat related to the quantity of milk the cow produces — milking speed is a separate factor from milk quantity; milk quantity is not determinative of milking speed. Because most farmers milk cattle in groups, the farmer can only process a group of cows at the speed of the slowest-milking cow. For this reason, many farmers will group slow-milking cows so as not to stress the faster milking cows. The liners sucking milk from the cows will drop off when a cow is done giving her milk; however, some cows have pauses between giving milk and then the farmer needs to reattach the liner to the cow’s teat in order for the cow to finish milking. Farmers get to know each of their cows personally so as to assist each cow in giving her milk fully each milking time; to this end farmers customarily name their cows to make this personalization easier and the names often reflect a cow’s milking personality. The Milking Pipeline

The Milkiing Pipeline

There is a permanent milk-return pipeline with a second vacuum pipe that encircles each dairy barn above the rows of cows, with quick-seal entry ports above each cow so that the liner can be connected to the pipeline. By eliminating the need for separate milk containers filled by each cow, the milking device shrank in size and weight to the point where it could hang under the cow, held up only by the sucking force of the liner attached to the teats on the cow's udder. The milk is pulled up into the milk-return pipe by the vacuum system, and then flows by gravity to the milk house vacuum-breaker (ie. the receiving jar) that puts the milk in the bulk storage tank. The pipeline system greatly reduced the physical labor of milking since farmers no longer needed to carry around huge heavy buckets of milk from each cow.

The pipeline (figure 1) allowed barn length to keep increasing and expanding, but after a point farmers started to milk the cows in large Figure 1 The Milking Pipeline


groups, filling the barn with one-half to one-third of the herd, milking the animals, and then emptying and refilling the barn. Grouping cows by milking times and performance has kept the need for humans involved in the milking process important. Large milking parlors as well as robotized milkers have been shown to extract half the amount of milk per cow than a farmer who knows his cows and works with them individually. On average a cow can give between 5-9 gallons of milk a day depending on the season, breed and age of cow. For this reason the USDA has encouraged a fuller return to family dairy farms since the use of land, water and animal resources is more effectively used and hence more sustainable. However, large corporations believe that their large milking parlors (anything over 250 cows being milked) and the advent of robotized milkers that have eliminated the need for humans in the process, are a better use of their corporate resources even though such uses have been found to be one of the number one causes for aquifers like the Oglala Aquifer in Kansas (once the largest in the nation) to dry up and cause the corporations to move into areas like Wisconsin and Minnesota. Farmland Preservation legislation has passed in both these states and as more farmers unknowingly place their farms into these programs, the way for corporations to intercede onto those farms is made much easier. But as countries like China stop purchasing milk from the U.S. milk prices will drop, making it less desirable for corporations to enter the market. In 2012 alone China added over 50,000 cows to 12 newly built milking parlors. Corporations also have waste management problems. When properly managed, dairy and other livestock waste, due to its nutrient content (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus), can make an excellent fertilizer promoting crop growth, increasing soil organic matter, and improving overall soil fertility and tilth characteristics. However, liquid dairy manure alone has not been shown to improve soil quality, perhaps because the low-solids nature of the manure makes its inherent nitrogen cleave to the manure instead of integrating with the soil. The quality of the manure depends upon 2 factors—the quality of feed and overall health of the cows and the quality of the composting mechanism used to turn the manure into organic material that will merge easily with the existing top soil instead of just laying on top of it until eventual run off or evaporation occurs as traditional liquid manure does. Composted manure does improve soil characteristics and releases nitrogen in a more beneficial way than the liquid manure. Again family farms are the most well equipped to compost manure while corporate milking parlors would have too much bulk in manure to compost. Windrows are the least expensive way to compost manure and can be laid out on the fields that the composted material will be turned into. Most dairy farms in the United States are required to develop nutrient management plans for their farms, to help balance the flow of nutrients and reduce the risks of environmental pollution. These plans encourage producers to monitor all nutrients coming onto the farm as feed, forage, animals, fertilizer, etc. and all nutrients exiting the farm as product, crop, animals, manure, etc. For example, a precision approach to animal feeding results in less overfeeding of nutrients and a subsequent decrease in environmental excretion of nutrients, such as phosphorus. In recent years, nutritionists have realized that requirements for phosphorus are much lower than previously thought. These changes have allowed dairy producers to reduce the amount of phosphorus being fed to their cows with a reduction in environmental pollution. However, large scale milking operations have gained legislation which makes their management of nutrients trade secrets or worse, unknowable. This is yet another reason why smaller scale milking operations make more sense. Process Two: Creating the milk we know by mixing its proteins and water Under the microscope milk can be seen to consist of a large number of spheres (of fat protein) of varying sizes floating in the milk (which is mainly white water called serum). Each sphere is surrounded by a thin skin of a fat globule membrane which acts as the emulsifying agent for the fat suspended in milk (Figure 2).The membrane protects the fat from enzymes and prevents the globules coalescing into butter grains, hence keeping it liquefied. The fat is present as an oil-in-water emulsion: this emulsion can be broken by mechanical action


such as shaking—exactly the shaking that is done by the receiving jar. There have been studies done to determine the right rate of shaking required to mix the milk enough without making it turn, or go bad, and allowing for a certain amount of shaking when the milk is transported.

Figure 2 Milk under a microscope

Proteins are an extremely important class of naturally occurring compounds that are essential to all life processes. They perform a variety of functions in living organisms ranging from providing structure to reproduction. The receiving jar mixes the proteins found in cow milk enough to provide easier digestion for humans since drinking cow milk is not a natural dietary function. Further processing of the milk proteins at processing plants also ensures that human consumption is without complications like various forms of cancer and nausea. Milk proteins represent one of the greatest contributions of milk to human nutrition. Proteins are polymers of amino acids. Only 20 different amino acids occur, regularly in proteins. Each one has a general structure, with only slight variations in this chemical structure making each amino acid unique. Inside some of the Receiving Jars I have drawn I put the abbreviations for these chemical structures (as seen in Figure 3) allowing the letters to float in the spiraling milk.

NH= nitrogen +hydrogen R= variable CH= Carbon and Hydrogen bonded to form a hydrocarbon group COOH= Amino acids contain both a carboxyl group (COOH) and an amino group (NH) H=Hydrogen Figure 3 chemical structure of milk proteins

Milk carbohydrates are also an important contribution milk makes to our dietary regimen. Lactose is the major carbohydrate fraction in milk. It is made up of two sugars, glucose and galactose (Figure 4). The average lactose content of milk varies between 4.7 and 4.9%, though milk from individual cows may vary more.

Figure 4 Structure of a lactose molecule.


A Milk Based Paint Called Casien It was fascinating to find a paint made from milk called casein. A favorite artist of mine, Oscar Howe 15, used casein paints. For many years I have visited Howe paintings and wondered what a casein paint might look like. Now I know this water soluble paint is still made, and in Wisconsin, so it may become my paint of choice since the toxicity of oil paints has become a concern to me. To use paints made out of milk seems the right connection for this collection. As with all complex proteins, casein has energized my thinking. Casein was first separated from milk in 1830, by adding acid to milk, thus establishing its existence as a distinct protein.16 In 1895 the whey proteins were separated into globulin and albumin fractions. It was subsequently shown that casein is made up of a number of fractions and is therefore heterogeneous. The whey proteins are also made up of a number of distinct proteins as shown in the scheme in Figure 5.

Figure 5 hemical structure of milk proteins

15

Yanktonai Indian artist Oscar Howe (1915-1983) depicted Indian traditions through a modernist aesthetic painting style. Howe led the way for ot her Native American artists to free themselves from the stereotypical constraints of making "Indian Art." His work served as a bridge between his experiences in both cultures and as a bridge for contemporary Native Artists to be heralded as artists no matter how they express themselves. 16

Casein (from Latin caseus, "cheese") is the name for a family of related phosphoproteins. These proteins are commonly found in mammalian milk, making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk and between 20% and 45% of the proteins in human milk. Casein has a wide variety of uses, from being a major component of cheese, to use as a food additive, to a binder for safety matches. As a food source, casein supplies amino acids; carbohydrates; and two inorganic elements, calcium and phosphorus. Casein paint is a fastdrying, water-soluble medium used by artists. Casein paint has been used since ancient Egyptian times as a form of tempera paint, and was widely used by commercial illustrators as the material of choice until the late 1960s.


The Receiving Jar and Vilem Flusser Vilem Flusser17 posits cows are like machines, complex but easy to handle like a computer—cows are full of “dairy and data”18—but what if that analogy has more linkage than we give it credit? This is not said to minimalize Flusser’s analogy that we may go the way of the cow—becoming a heard tended by a cultural elite all the while believing ourselves to be “free”. What if we take Flusser’s comparison of the nature of cows and the nature of a technologically ‘savvy” humanity and apply the technology to what goes into the cow: the chemicals, the genetic modifications, the very sunlight producing photosynthesis—what if we took all that chemistry and determined how those equations create us? What if those people caring for the cows, those fields feeding the cows, those “nutrients” and poisons like pesticides and herbicides and the countless hormones given to the cows; what if all these ingredients create a data storm so that when we drink any milk, in any form, we are ingesting all this data—the sequences of the chemicals applied to this process, the sequencing of each seed’s growth? And all we have on our side is the data from nature, the data from the sun, the rain, the moon, the stars which hang resolutely over the soil, the waterways, the people tending the cows. In these, yes also in the chemicals, lies our history and our future. We ingest one so that the other may occur. But are we involved in a manipulation by these ingredients? Even the cow’s life will inform the very structure of our life—our bones, our brains, our output and our input. This is more than making us just cows as Flusser contends as the resolution of his analogy—is this the process of making a better cow? Is this the process of making something that has never been before? Through making my art collection Where Our Food Comes From: Part One the Milk Receiving Jar 21st Century Dairy Farming, I could not shake the sense that I was being directed at times to conclusions about a certain piece of art, a brushstroke, a fiber placement; I see better now that direction was from within me from my connection to the milk products I consume. The very atomic structure of each milk particle has a chance of directing and suggesting, as an artist I struggle to freely express the experiences that have inspired this collection and others; however, my need for sustenance may be my undoing. Artforum International September 2013

17

Vilem Flusser (1920—1991) was a regular contributor to Artforum and a part of his book Natural Mind was published in Artforum International September 2013 on the advent of the first English translation of this text by Rodrigo Maltez Novaes. 18 Ibid from Flusser’s essay “Cows”


Conclusion The two main scientific processes the receiving jar performs are aligned with my artistic inspirations after seeing the jar and learning more about it I know I’m on the right path when information I learn compliments, contributes and extends initial inspirations. It is like when I started researching a single road out west which inspires me I found its history was deep—leading me to speak with historians, road builders, Native American elders and astrophysicists. I found how many of our roads today were ancient hunting trails that followed animal migrations and also used the stars to chart their direction as ancient humans sought where their food came from. The day I saw this very road inside the Receiving Jar, I knew I had to continue my research of the jar. Pouring over patents and narratives, discovering the 1000’s of years old practice of utilizing animal milk as a source of protein for humans was not only fascinating but it showed me those ancient hunting trails were followed in our ancestor’s minds as well as on their feet. The first scientific process of the receiving jar which is breaking the mechanically created vacuum environment in order to store, transport, sell and eventually consume milk has so many counterparts to my artistic inspiration. How this simple jar broke a vacuum environment in my life, helping me to extend my thinking and yoga practice. It also helped me to see that I have not allowed full expression of my thoughts and feelings since I had taken on my parents’ sense of convention. I relived the moment my parents were told of my IQ, how silent they both were but how united they were that I would not go to a “genius school”. A few months before he died, my father told me how proud he was of me and he cried in front of me because he felt he had held me back because he had realized that his fear of convention has made him place convention upon me.. He had left the small rural community he was raised in since he could not live with the narrow conventions that regulated the social structures, yet he had fallen into those same structures when trying to place goals for my happiness upon me. I realized then that my nonconventional life is extraordinary, god-given and filled with love. As I have worked on this Receiving Jar collection I can see I no longer need to be afraid of people knowing what I think—god has given it to me as gifts to share. Anyone who sees it differently, even negatively, are not seeing me but themselves. The second scientific process of the receiving jar that of mixing the milk through the rhythmic shaking that naturally occurs as the milk enters the jar finally free of the vacuum environment, I thought of how I mix paints with other media to produce a desired effect in my paintings. How words, soil, and now milk are mixed into my paints for aesthetic purposes. As I learned about the proteins in milk and the ancient use of casein milk based paints I knew myself to be a part of an age old practice—that of being an artist—and felt connected to those who had come before me and those who are yet to come. I felt a genuine sorrow for those people who have only known their parents’ lives, who have only lived as extensions of their parents’ instead of taking the risky, sometimes scary and lonely but very wonderful path of being who we are meant to be. I thought of the loss our world suffers since a multitude of talent, ideas and love is lost inside these people who could have shared if they had chosen to be who they really are. Both my parents felt to repeat their parents’ lives would be wrong, would be against their very destinies and so both of them, against great odds, found each other and created unique, full lives. I see now how this collection is dedicated to them.


The Emergent Corn Feeding the Receiving Jar Never Doubt “Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful citizens can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has" ---Margaret Mead Just as this single, small corn plant inspired me to research, contemplate and then create artworks about it, so too each individual can contribute to reaching a more equitable distribution for our world. Just as this corn plant wants to live, to produce, to return to the soil, so too each individual wants to live, produce and live out her days complementing her environment and adding to it. My new art collection Where Our Food Comes From explores our food system’s producers, production and products so they can be seen and heard, understood and then known. After moving from Chicago to my family’s farm in Wisconsin, I started thinking about where my food comes from. The first of this four part collection elucidates the dairy farm’s receiving jar and the main protein cropped for cows: corn. I am an abstract expressionist examining inspirational moments through my creative process and art making; expressing moments that have inspired me to accept the thrill of life and all my pursuits, moments that energize me to move forward and beyond, moments of love. I live for those moments and to be able to paint them is truly a love of my life. The emergent corn plants in these artworks are the beginning of the dairy farm’s story and show the yellow pollen inside each young plant’s leaves which will eventually rise to the top of the corn plant and, when weather conditions are right, the tiny flowers of each corn tassel will explode pollen and use the wind for cross pollination. The corn stalks will also rub against each during this process, smearing each other with pollen. Corn cobs will mature about 100 days later and become the main protein dairy cows need to make the complex proteins in milk. I seek to understand our seen and unseen world, life and love through my artwork with freedom, truth, family and community as my foundation. Once this corn plant inspired me to create, I followed its life span until the eventual end as grain in a cow’s feeding trough and entered into the heart of dairy farming. This is my process: inspiration then research, observation and contemplation before creating a collection, series or piece of art. My artwork begins with inspiration and moves toward understanding the unseen and seen worlds of life, love and community. After being inspired by a single corn plant I was then again inspired to see the entire field of corn plants with these glowing centers of yellow. I then moved toward understanding the unseen world of corn pollen in order to understand how even I need the right conditions in order to cross pollinate my life, love and art with others. Just as the environment around a corn field will determine the outcome of the corn crop, so too any environment I find myself in will determine my work, my living and my loving.


The Receiving Jar The Art Works At A Glance

Corn Growing at Dawn

By Vicki Milewski


Glenn’s Corn 6 Sun Shining Through Oil on Canvas 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Glenn’s Corn 3 The Lines Have It Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14”

Glenn’s Corn 9 The Fire Within Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36”

Glenn’s Corn 10 Seeing the Other Side Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36”

In Antique Barn Wood Frame

In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Glenn’s Corn 2 We’re Dancing Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14”

Glenn’s Corn 1 Do You Know Who We Are To You? Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14”

In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Glenn’s Corn 11 The Memory Oil on Canvas, 24” X 36” In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Sold

Glenn’s Corn 5 The Inspiration Fiber Art on Canvas, 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Sold

In Antique Barn Wood Frame

In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Glenn’s Corn 4 Sundancers Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 14” In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Sold

Glenn’s Corn 7 Another Dawn Brings the Same Glow Oil on Canvas 16” X 20” In Antique Barn Wood Frame

Emergent Corn Field on Milewski Farm Archival Box with Photo on archival paper, corn husk and other items 4” X 6” Sold

My Father’s Barn Archival Box with Photos on archival paper, barn twine, barn wood and other items. 11” X 14” Sold


The Receiving Jar 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15”

The Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15”

Receiving Jar Window Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Sold

Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” Sold

Barn Crossroads 1 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15”

A Road in the Crossroads A Road in the Crossroad 2 Pencil on archival paper, Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” 8” X 11”

Many Sides to It Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8” X 10” Sold

Milk House Door Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

Door Keeps Opening Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

Milking Time Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15” $545.00

Many Sides to It: What God Said Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8” X 10” Sold


Bulk Tank with Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

What God said in a San Antonio Church Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

Receiving Jar Reflections Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” Sold

Red Road Inside the Receiving Jar Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

What God Said 2 Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

Where the Red Road Begins Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

The Red Road Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15”

The Red Road 4 Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

What God Said Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11” Sold

What God Said 5 Pencil on archival paper, 8” X 11”

Many Sides to It: Milk House Door Pencil, pen, charcoal on archival paper, 8” X 10”

Barn Crossroads 2 Pencil on archival paper, 11” X 15”


The Tassel Begins Photo on archival paper, 8” X 10” 15of the 25 limited edition prints sold

We’re Ready Photo on archival paper, 8” X 10” 8 of the 25 limited edition prints sold A Fall Dawn

Popcorn 5 Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper, 5 ½” X 7 ¾” Sold

Photo on archival paper, 8” X 10” 10 of the 10 limited edition prints sold

Popcorn 7 Watercolor on Arches Cold Press Paper, 6” X 8” Sold

Furled Stalks Photo on archival paper, 12” X 18” 4 of the 8 limited edition prints sold

Headed to the Barn Photo on archival paper, 4” X 6” 12 of the 25 limited edition prints sold

Leaf Dance Photo on archival paper, 12” X 18” 2 of the 8 limited edition prints sold

Looking In Photo on archival paper, 4” X 6” 25 of the 25 limited edition prints sold

On my Side Photo on archival paper, 14” X 14” 2 of the 8 limited edition prints sold

In the Thick of It Photo on archival paper, 12” X 18” 2 of the 8 limited edition prints sold

Leaf Dance Photo on archival paper, 12” X 18” 2 of the 8 limited edition prints sold


Farm Zig Zag Trail 1 Photo on archival paper, 12” X 18”

Farm Zig Zag Trail 2 Photo on archival paper, 12” X 18”

Crossroads 1 Photo on Archival Paper 12” X 18”

In the Headland Photo on archival paper, 16” X 20” Emergent Corn Field on Milewski Farm 6:27 am Photo on archival paper 4” X 6”

Brazilian Psalm (To Jean Berger) Altered Art Total Dimensions 5” X 7”

New Corn Photo on Archival Paper 12” X 18”

Husked Goal Photo on archival paper, 8” X 10” Ready Photo on archival paper, 8” X 10”


Where Our Food Comes From is a four part collection with Part 1: The Milk Receiving Jar: Dairy Farming in the 21st Century completed and available for exhibition within its current schedule parameters Where Our Food Comes From Part 2: Water the Source of Life is currently being readied for exhibition with a sample of work starting to be exhibited in 2016. Where Our Food Comes From Part 3: Soil more than Gravity Connects Us is currently under creation and slated for exhibition readiness in 2017 Where Our Food Comes From Part 4: What surrounds Us is currently under creation and slated for exhibition readiness in 2018


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