The coming weekend will bring more than falling leaves and temperatures, as the InterArts Graduate student organizations Pulp, Ink, & Thread (P.I.T.) and ImageUnit join together in the first annual “Dia de Los Bulbos” event. The festive planting event will happen on Saturday, November 3, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. in the newly inaugurated Papermaker’s Garden at 750 South Wabash Avenue, adjacent the CCC bike rack station. The two groups are hosting the event, complete with performance possibilities (spoken word, hot cocoa, movement exercises, cider, and perhaps even a group build), in order to activate the new campus space. The event is free and open to the friends and family, and tulip and daffodil bulbs will be supplied.
The Papermaker’s Garden contributes to both Columbia College Chicago’s green initiative and its academic curriculum. Urban gardens help reduce air pollution, cool the air through evapotranspiration (thus cutting energy use), reduce urban runoff, and give students access to natural, sustainably grown fibers for papermaking, and the time and space to interact with the natural world. Plants grown in the Papermaker’s Garden will produce suitable papermaking fibers and offer collaborative, cross-disciplinary educational opportunities. Students utilizing the fibers will be conscious not only of environmental concerns of fiber production but also of contemporary ideas in conceptual artistic practice—collaboration with science, art, and the environment. Columbia’s students will receive hands-on education about the plants in a practical way and then use that knowledge to fuel artistic practice through papermaking. In the future there are plans to use the garden area as an alternative art site, featuring outdoor sculptures, images, and performances enhancing the visibility of the space, its place within Columbia’s campus, and its contribution to the local community.