Building the Ensemble

background + building the ensemble + parade day + thanks

The pictures give a small glimpse into some of parts of the parade build, I wish I had taken more.

The build started in January 2014 when I worked as an artist-in-residence for the Nathan Hale Horticulture program, helping students design and build papier mache vegetables for a display garden at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Their garden won two blue ribbons and the vegetables moved on to a second life in the parade.

In late winter/early spring people made tissue paper flowers during Open Studio hours I hosted at the Powerhouse (home of the Fremont Arts Council and Solstice Parade).

Here's the farm float I made in February for Petit Troll, a Mardi Gras parade I founded in 2014. The inspiration for this parade of little tiny floats was the 'tit Rəx parade in New Orleans.

In March I did a small Alien Flower World installation at The Changing Room with some of the veggie and flower props.

Batik supplies were the first thing I bought with my McKay grant and these were the first things made. These flower flags turned into the start of my current public art project The Beloved Garden.


My project corner at the Powerhouse always had things for drop-in volunteers to work on if they didn't have anything else they wanted to do.

Artist Amy Pleasant showed up to volunteer for the parade and painted two large murals for Artland Farm as part of her contribution.

I did outreach at the Wallingford Farmers Market with the help of some Nathan Hale students.


Parade Director Leslie Zenz showed me her method of making large flowers and I used her method to make a big kale plant.

The next two pictures captured a couple of my favorite moments of the parade build. The first one shows Randy (parade project co-lead) and my friend Den skinning the cornicopia on the afternoon before the parade. They did amazing work on a very big job, the largest single component of the ensemble.

The next picture shows some last-day volunteers sewing batiks to large hoops to create flower lollipops. It was a sweet bit of parade magic the way they connected and worked together to finish the last step of a project that I had worked on with my friends Denise and Den. The flower lollipops were set up at the Solstice Celebration at Gasworks Park (the end point of the parade).

And then these parts, plus more, all came together for parade day...