Traveling artists to visit Waterfall Arts

Aug 01, 2014
Emily Puthoff and Elena Sniezek will pull their teardrop trailer into Belfast’s Waterfall Arts Friday, Aug. 8.

Belfast — Traveling artists will visit Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., Fridays, Aug. 8 and 15, during the Belfast Farmers Market held in the organization’s back yard from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Aug. 8, Emily Puthoff and Elena Sniezek will stop by as part of their Wayfinding Series, A Work in Progress. They are traveling the Northeast in a teardrop trailer designed and built by Puthoff and stop often to have conversations with people about their ideas of progress with questions like: Do you think progress is possible? If so, what does progress look like? What can be done here, now, in your own life?

They post these conversations on the project blog, wayfindingseries.com. Their trailer will be stationed in the parking lot at Waterfall Arts and they are open to conversations; to see pictures of the teardrop build, visit emilyputhoff.com. The trailer features a large solar-powered TV with which they screen the nomadic Wayfinding Series Film Festival along with their travels.

Mathew McEntree fixes nearing everything, from a toaster to a broken heart, for free because he believes by providing free help he can empower us to learn. He will be providing his free services Aug. 15 at Waterfall Arts, so bring that irritating item or thought and get it fixed.

“I will help anyone make or fix (nearly) anything for free. Over the past year, I have been publicly offering my tools and knowledge as a way to create situations of democratic pedagogy and have helped people with a range of projects from fixing shoes to broken hearts. The major goal of this practice is to empower community to self-educate,” he said.

McEntree said his teaching style is highly influenced by the pedagogical theory of Rancière and Jacotot, thinkers who suggest a method whereby teacher and student approach the acquisition of knowledge as co-learners as opposed to the more unidirectional imposition of knowledge found in conventional teaching. Instead of telling students what and how to know, this teaching method facilitates development of student capacities to self-educate.

The focus on making and fixing was carefully chosen, said McEntree of his endeavors, because he believes that the engagement of these activities provides essential physical knowledge that is rapidly being lost in our highly specialized society. The practice also activates public space as a place of learning, not just loitering.

“Finally, I do this for free because I believe that where practical, education should be freely and publicly available. My practice of helping people make and fix things is my creative attempt to empower my community,” he said.

Everyone is invited to stop by Waterfall Arts and meet these interesting travelers. More information on events, classes, exhibits and studio rentals is available at waterfallarts.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Mathew McEntree repairs shoes and a whole lot more.
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