Issue 14

Issue 14 | 02.07.2019 | Holland, MI

An abstract painting in light blue with flaxen round shapes and dark turquoise
Pause by Meridith Ridl. 14×11 Acrylic, ink, and watercolor on panel box. Photo by Meridith Ridl.

Holland Weekly Art: Practicing an Act of Care: An Interview with Artist Meridith Ridl

 

A male doll and female doll in traditional Dutch costume lean in to kiss
Holland Weekly Feature Article: Follow-up and Follow-through with Tulip Time’s Kinderparade

 

A half an onion, a red jalopeno slit open, a full green jalopeno, and a sliced open lime atop a red sequin cloth.
Holland Weekly Recipe Of The Week: Heat Things Up at Home This Valentine’s Day

 

Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Holland Weekly Horoscope: Sylvia Reads The Stars

A family picture features a mom, dad, 3 daughters and a son, all African American and dressed in yellow and green.
Hollander Lindsay Cherry with her family. Photo by Cassandra Brewster’s Blink of an Eye Photography.

A Parade for All Children

By Lindsay Cherry
February 7, 2019

Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories and expressed your support in regards to my article, The Kinderparade—We have a problem.

The article, which addresses the lack of inclusion in Holland’s Tulip Time Festival Kinderparade, was written from the perspective of a mother, a Hollander, and an educator with knowledge of our education system in Holland—the north and south side. It is not hard to look up numbers or listen to people’s stories and realize that a change needs to be made.

I had the honor and privilege of meeting with the Director of the Tulip Time Festival, Gwen Auwerda, and Marketing Manager, Simone Weithers, after the article was published. We discussed changes that have been made for the parade to be more inclusive, and how best to communicate those changes. I was able to share and brainstorm ways to make it possible for more children to be involved in the Kinderparade.

Gwen, Simone and I discussed the clothes for the Kinderparade. I was excited to hear that boys are in fact allowed to wear dark pants and a plaid shirt, and that there is an opportunity for the scarf and hat to be made available to students. For the girls’ Dutch costume, although it is hard to make it more practical, it can still be done—possibly with a simple skirt and shirt, with aprons being made available to students. These clothing items are ones that students may already have, therefore making it more affordable for kids to be involved in the parade. Schools are also able to decide to go a completely different route as long as students have a similar look. For example, students could wear their school t-shirt or uniform.

We also discussed the fact that the changes regarding Kinderparade that have been made may not have reached the families of our community. This is due to a lack of communication and miscommunication. It is important that communication is clear between Tulip Time, our schools, our parents and our kids, and updated—something Simone will be working on, and something we can all address and encourage.

The Kinderparade is an exciting time for the families of our community. Children are excited to be a part of it and it truly has turned into the Children’s parade. So we should not be excluding children from a community event for any reason. I am happy to see that the festival committee is open to new ideas to ensure this does not happen.

Although this topic was intense for some and eye-opening for others, at the end of the day we can all learn the importance of hearing one another’s stories, perspectives, and opinions so that we can grow and become a community that is welcoming of all people…and able to celebrate not only our history but also what we are becoming.

Lindsay Cherry is from West Michigan. She is a wife and mom, an activist and educator.


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An abstract painting in light blue with flaxen round shapes and dark turquoise
Pause by Meridith Ridl. 14×11 Acrylic, ink, and watercolor on panel box. Photo by Meridith Ridl.

Practicing an Act of Care: An Interview with Artist Meridith Ridl

By Kathleen Schenck and Meridith Ridl
February 7, 2019

Holland Weekly (HW) was so fortunate to connect via email with Meridith Ridl, an artist and educator living in Saugatuck, Michigan. Here is the interview, lightly edited.  

HW: What type of art do you most like to do? What is your choice of medium/materials?
Ridl: I have a background in printmaking/drawing, fibers, and installation work, and am currently working mostly with painting/drawing/collage. I find that I am drawn to a tone more than a particular medium, subject, or style. I’m really drawn to the delicacy and ephemeral nature of pencil (erasable), paper (tear-able), and paint (stain-causing and spill-able). I also think a lot about fragility and space…so even a blank piece of paper makes me pretty thrilled…and then to see the way a line or a drip can change everything…a tiny mark can be lovely or awkward or heartbreaking …these subtle shifts are really engaging to me.

A pencil drawing of string.
Two III by Meridith Ridl. Photo by Meridith Ridl.

HW: When did you become interested in art? What first drew you to it?
Ridl: For me art emerged quietly, amid the ordinary, where I was allowed to touch things, move things, stare, and notice the textures, tastes, and spaces around me. I was also lucky enough to have people around who let me make my mark. Growing up I spent countless hours making things with my Grandmother Esther after school and had a bed surrounded with tacked up paper so I could wake up in the night and draw on the walls.

HW: On your Artist Profile Sheet, you write that your work suggests impermanence and loss….intimacy and connectionWould it be too personal to ask if you could take us into that moment when you are creating a new work? If you could walk us through your process, either externally (materials, radio on/off, lighting) or internally (mindset, what occurs or doesn’t occur)?
Ridl: Often when I begin, especially if I haven’t been in the studio for a while, I feel excited but sort of scattered. I’ll walk around, stare a lot, look at collections of objects or unfinished pieces. I literally will just move objects around on my shelves and walls, look at a plant. I write a lot of lists. Titles and ideas appear written on walls and scraps of paper in my studio space.

For abstract pieces in particular I’ll often begin with a loose, gestural mark—just giving the paper or canvas an interruption. Then comes this tension between wanting to add layers and more and more or needing to be more restrained. A real back and forth happens…sometimes I just have to let things sit, walk away before I know what to do next.

That moment of thinking, I don’t have a clue what to do next, and then (often later) having a sudden burst of some kind of knowing—for example: I want an irregular blast of blue here! is one of my favorite parts of working.  It sounds almost made up—but sometimes (not all the time) there is this moment where my arm just juts out and makes a weird scribble or smoosh of paint in a way that feels almost out of body (I’m almost sheepish/embarrassed saying this).  I’ll think, Where did that come from? I’ll get really excited—egotistical even—IT’S WORKING!!!! Often that’s right when I wreck a composition. So in best cases I’ll pause—that waiting and stopping takes some awareness and discipline. Often I’ll miss it.

Abstract painting featuring shapes in poppy, black, and teal.
With a Kick by Meridith Ridl. Photo by Meridith Ridl.

HW: How do you communicate that the world can be delicate and compassionate? How is that accomplished? Like, wow!
Ridl: Phew! I wish I knew that I could!

I do think that if a person can pause and look thoughtfully, even for a brief moment, he or she is practicing an act of care and quietly protesting dismissiveness. Looking and seeing can reveal all sorts of connections, reveal that relationship matters…I am ever hopeful we can build from there.

I personify a lot of things. I have felt compassion for a whisk alone in a drawer (oh my). I love to notice edges, angles, tilts, gestures, and the spaces between things. These relational elements take on an emotional quality for me. This shows up in my representational work, such as drawings I’ve made of highly rendered snips of thread, as well as in abstractions where ambiguous figures, shapes, or lines lean toward one another, away from one another, cluster, or stand alone.

I’m interested in gestures that might suggest tenderness, humor, gentleness, loneliness…arrangements that might have a wobble, or that aren’t quite right. My work ranges from meditative, delicate, and quiet to more tipsy and quirky. (I have always struggled to reconcile the two…do I need to? Could both be welcome?) I think this may be where intimacy and connection, even compassion comes in—like when we form deep relationships where we accept, even celebrate, contradictions and differences.


Meridith Ridl is an artist (with a BA from the College of Wooster and MFA from the University of Michigan) and an art teacher (at Holland Christian High School). She grew up between New Wilmington, Pennsylvania and Holland, Michigan. She now lives in Saugatuck. Her work is represented by LaFontsee Galleries: www.lafontsee.us. She can be contacted directly at meridithr@gmail.com.

Abstract painting with flowing smooth shapes in seafoam green with gray pebbles.
Depths and Shallows by Meridith Ridl. Photo by Meridith Ridl.

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A half an onion, a red jalopeno slit open, a full green jalopeno, and a sliced open lime atop a red sequin cloth.
Ooh la la ingredients. Photo by Michael Tuccini.

Jalapeño and Onion Ooh La La

By Kathleen Schenck
February 7, 2019

Simple and steamy, this salsa/relish atop grilled salmon or chicken or beef will knock your socks off…and maybe those of your dining companion, too (boop, boop, bee doop). It’s not exactly Chiles Toreados because it is served raw. Cosmopolitan last year listed hot chiles and salmon as two of its top aphrodisiac foods. Look out.

Ingredients

One half sweet onion, sliced

One jalapeño, diced (optional to remove seeds, veins and pith for less heat. For more color, use one half green jalapeño and one half red.)

Juice of one lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Slice the onion into thin inch-long strands and place in a bowl. You may run the strands under cold water first if you want to soften the flavor a bit. When you begin cutting the jalapeño, wear plastic food prep gloves and safety glasses. (Every person who has ever gotten capsaicin in the eye is nodding in agreement right now. Trust us.) Dispose of the stem, and then dispose of the seeds, veins and pith if you want to dial down the heat. (I test the pepper by placing a small bit on a Saltine cracker, then adjust the seed/vein/pith accordingly.) Conjure your inner Salt Bae and sprinkle some salt on the jalapeño and onion in the bowl. Let sit for a few minutes, then squeeze the lime, crack some black pepper, and mix altogether. Something about this combination really does spice things up…have fun!


Have a recipe to share? Email us at hollandweekly@gmail.com and help your neighbor cook something different tonight!

Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Madam Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.

Sylvia Reads The Stars

Week of February 7, 2019

Aquarius Jan 20 – Feb 18

What is with this wind? And what will you do with it? Let it keep you up and whip you into a creative frenzy? Or will it cause you to don earplugs and catch some z’s?

Pisces Feb 18 – Mar 20

Pisces, it’s as if you are in a tumultuous ocean current that is turning you over and upside down. Gulp the air when you can, and don’t waste your energy fighting the current this time.

Aries Mar 20 – Apr 20

Ram, it’s so hard to concentrate, isn’t it? What with the blowhards on the TV and the wind blowing hard outside your door. What calms your mind best is your best friend this week.

Taurus Apr 20 – May 21

You are loved, you are adored. You are one lucky dog, Taurus.

Gemini May 21 – Jun 21

Gemini! Less talk, more action! And remember that active listening is action…they share the same first three letters, after all. Act. Act. 

Cancer Jun 21 – Jul 23

Feel that? It’s the heartbeat of the sky, this wind. How would you comfort a friend whose heart has gone through the wringer this week? Hint: You may find this friend is you. Imagine the wind is the sky trying to wrap its arms around you, Cancer. You’re not alone.

Leo Jul 23 – Aug 23

Ever go on a swearathon? It’s pretty much as it sounds: naughty. But nice in the way that expressing one’s self is far healthier on the heart than keeping it all in. Profanity therapy? Whatever you wanna call it, it’s yours for the taking this week.

Virgo Aug 23 – Sep 23

I see you building something with your hands this week, Virgo. Out of wood. Out of clay. Something to get you back in touch with your earthy self.

Libra Sep 23 – Oct 23

You know how you reach for your phone first thing in the morning? Don’t. Take 10 seconds to a) pet the dog, b) sing the chorus of a favorite song, or c) sit in the gray light of silence.

Scorpio Oct 23 – Nov 22

Scorp, you are a winter weather advisory. You’re graupel and freezing rain and snow all rolled into one. You are fantastic and ever-changing…but still and solid at heart.

Sagittarius Nov 22 – Dec 23

Sadge, sing your sun sign to the tune of Alleluia each and every time you do something totally you this week—whether it annoy or delight those around you.

Capricorn Dec 23 – Jan 20

The mercury will fall again, but not to vortex levels. What did we learn last week during our deep freeze? That life is precious, that the outdoors are delicious, that we are so lucky to be able to have both. Frolic some.


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Thank you for your interest in Holland Weekly.