Little Fish

Presentation of Practice; Goddard College, MFA-IA, 2016

Susan Buroker and Stephanie Trotter with Little Fish, Scuppets.

Susan Buroker and Stephanie Trotter with Little Fish, Scuppets.

For my required presentation of practice, I created Little Fish; an interactive puppet show showcasing the effects nitrogen pollution has on aquatic like. The story is centered around Millers Pond, a community pond in Smithtown, NY.

Drawings of Millers Pond.

Drawings of Millers Pond.

During my study at Goddard College, I had an opportunity to attend the Highlander Research and Education Center. “The center has been a catalyst to reform in the labor and civil rights movement in this country and has touched the lives of many, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and Pete Seeger” (Horton).

 
Catfish

Catfish

 

This concept combined with imagination, offers people an opportunity to create a world of respectful justice and the mindfulness of the oneness of all. I had an opportunity to share my experience as an artist, developing sculptures and art addressing ecological and social issues challenging my local community. The feedback I received from the group suggested using Cultural Organizing as a strategy, combining art and culture to broaden my audience. This is an avenue I am currently developing, using Scuppets (sculpted puppets) to address nitrogen runoff into Millers Pond, a pond in my local community (Nissequogue River/Smithtown Bay Watershed).

Brown Bullhead Catfish

Brown Bullhead Catfish

The Highlander workshop consisted of immersion into Highlander methodologies, Population Education, Cultural Organizing, Participatory Action Research (PAR), Language Justice, and Intergenerational Organizing. All the methodologies encompass learning and begin with the learner’s own experience, focusing on connecting that experience to others. Using the thread of experience to educate in such a way that people are able to grasp deep concepts and make sense of them through community, the program produces effective practices participants can use to govern their lives.

Catfish

Catfish

Preliminary Drawings for Scuppets:

Nitrogen

Nitrogen

Nitrogen

Nitrogen

Lady of the Lake

Lady of the Lake

Yellow Perch                                                                                   Bluegill Sunfish

Yellow Perch                                                                                   Bluegill Sunfish

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

Millers Pond’s “Lady of the Lake” attends to the fish living in the pond suffering from Nitrogen’s infiltration. How will this be solved? Will Nitrogen have to go on a diet? This is what the audience had to find out. The performance concluded with a procession around Millers Pond.

Posters to spread the word and advertise the performance, Haybarn Theatre, Goddard College, VT.

Posters to spread the word and advertise the performance, Haybarn Theatre, Goddard College, VT.

LittleFishPoster-2 copy copy.jpg

PROCESS PHOTOS:

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The suppressing heat of the summer forced me to convert my home into a studio in order to finish this project!

Spencer, my Jack Russel, volunteered to be a model! But he is a dog, the wrong species.

The Rehearsal at Goddard:

This is the brochure that was given to the audience before the performance.

This is the brochure that was given to the audience before the performance.

Goddard advisors; Peter Hocking, Rachel Van Fossen, and Erica Eaton.

Goddard advisors; Peter Hocking, Rachel Van Fossen, and Erica Eaton.

The Performance:

Question and answer after the performance with Susan Buroker and Fran Sillau; Little Fish's stage manager and one of the performers.

Question and answer after the performance with Susan Buroker and Fran Sillau; Little Fish's stage manager and one of the performers.

This project has been a collaboration by many. A special thank you to all who contributed.

This is a project that I'd like to continue to perform for children of all ages to educate on the importance of community building. Anyone looking for a performance, let me know!

Peter Hocking; Goddard advisor, my portfolio thesis second reader, and a very dear friend.

Peter Hocking; Goddard advisor, my portfolio thesis second reader, and a very dear friend.

Dr. Gale Jackson; Goddard advisor, my portfolio thesis first reader, and a woman after my own heart!

Dr. Gale Jackson; Goddard advisor, my portfolio thesis first reader, and a woman after my own heart!

The drawings, posters, and ceramic hand painted pieces from Little Fish, are exhibited at the Eliot Pratt Library Gallery from now until April 21st, 2017.