Meeting Notes

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Inventory Barbara’s Studio

The Title will be

The Mississippi River Pearl

Oct 1  Notes



See Action Items in Red.

1. We still have open drawers
2. Please create  your “signature”  to put on the sculpture.  Up to 1”  x 6”
3. Still need Research Card topics.  See in Red Below. Neil provided what he feels are key issues.  Remember… make them fun!!
Ideas from Neil for Research Card topics

-where do plastic come from

-biorenewable polymers

-biodegradable polymers

-the flow of plastic from land to the ocean

-What do recycling facilities do with chasing arrows 7 materials

-Why do we use plastics (because there are many good uses)

  1. Second Workshop Day. I am going to offer a second studio day next week, especially if you missed Oct 8. Worried about us finishing.
    Oct 11, 13 or 14  9:00-1:00.  Would any of these work for you?


Research Day

Action Items:

Title:  Mississippi River Pearl

An Aha is  something new you learned.  Ex.  The term Fossil Fuels comes from the fact that the dinosaurs played a part in the deposits!

Bike Wheels  Sculpture  Research Info Cards attached with oversize wooden clothes pins.  Ordered.

Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack )


Research Card -PHA – Mirel re-cycle spoons vs wood re-cycle spoons
Drawer  Collect ALL the data ALL the time  and Mississippi River Stories mini-prints, ACW Swag, Aha Drawer, Research Card Drawer
Signs: Mississippi River Pearl  and You are invited to choose one keepsake from the drawers which have this sticker  )


Drawer – Oil is Plastic-Fossil Fuels are from the Dinosaur
Drawer  – Chair  Activity on Wellness.  Instructions
Research Card:  Oil comes from Dinosaurs
Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack

Margo:  The Power of Words – Word find on 6-8 key words we learned.  Definitions of the words on reverse.  printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50

Creating the Wheel Sculpture
Oversize clothes pins will clip 5-7 cards on the top wheel.  Need sign prompt that they may take one.

Creating Booklet, Pamphlet, Brochure, Deconstruction Map (need a name for this document)
Macro Flow Illustration for one of the shadow boxes?
Research Card?
Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack


Drawer  – Bio-Based castor Bean
Creating Booklet with Katherine
Handmade Paper?  What are your ideas?
Research Card? Bio Based Castor Bean?
Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack

Drawer  Ciggy Buts
Drawer Mirrors- Reflecting on Place?
Research Card  Trex – how to  support them. Reach out to them for involvement?
Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack

Drawer  Styrophobia
Drawer  ?
Research Card?
Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack

Drawer   Harsh Realities  Wooden “cards” with Picture on one side and descriptions on the other
Drawer Chasing Arrows 4 common finds with tags on how to avoid or at least how to re-cycle.  Cut in organic shapes , laminated and attached to object in a “precious” way.

Research Card?
Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack

Drawer  Party in a box
Drawer ??

Research Card?
Research Cards Should be 4 x 6 – printed on Index Card Stock.  Both Sides.  Print 50  (one Drawer will store all the  cards not on the bike rack


Notes from Frances

Kevin – MWMO Tour


Kid Lab

  • Activities with sand and water
  • Learn about the Mississippi


Resident Artist

  • Currently have a weaving activity with a loom
  • Contact MWMO if you are interested in having your art there


Facts about their company and building

  • Inside
    • Cool interactive floor on the stair landing that are tiles filled with gel
    • Interactive map on the floor upstairs that shows the cities they cover
  • Outside
    • Parking lot collects water that they use for their facilities
    • Green roof with filtration system that they collect data from
    • Tree trenches and rain gardens
  • There are marks on the sidewalk where flood waters have reached



Neil – Plastics Presentation


Polymers are made up of monomers

  • Polymer = stacked Lego bricks (1000s or millions)
  • Monomer = individual Lego brick


Two main types of plastic

  • Thermoplastics
    • Becomes fluid when heated
    • Can be reformed
    • Start of as pellets
    • Like a bowl of spaghetti
  • Thermosets
    • Permanent
    • Has a curing process
    • Will burn not melt
    • Resins are an example
    • Like a big net


Frances found a TikTok about someone calling the pellets Nurdles


Most plastics come from oil which is created by biomass

  • Used to be decomposed dinosaurs which is why we call it fossil fuels
  • Now it is just decomposed plants


AHA MOMENT – We could do a dinosaur theme drawer to teach people about fossil fuels

  • Annie will take on this idea
  • Create a drawer that contrasts the oil drawer, like what can people use instead of plastic


Bio renewable vs biodegradable

  • Bio polymers a material that can break down
    • It takes very specific compost conditions to help break down the plastics
  • Not all bio plastics can be broken down


Some of the more environmentally friendly plastics aren’t as tough and that is why companies aren’t using them.


Chasing Arrows = the recycling symbols

  • Neil uses this name for them and will make a drawer about it


Trex Company collects the plastic bags grocery stores gather



  • Amáda came up with this for her dislike of Styrofoam
  • We could make this a drawer


“Polystyrene is the clunker of plastics” – Neil


There are ways to test plastics if you don’t know which type it is

  • DSC – heat
  • FTIR – wavelengths of light
  • NMR – magnetic fields


They have found plastics everywhere. Even places humans don’t inhabit and in the deepest parts of the ocean we have explored.

  • “Plastic bags are manmade jellyfish” – Frances (Can make her 11×11 box about this)


Plastics don’t actually leach much. It is more of the problems they carry with them.

  • Animals eat them think it’s food
  • End up on shorelines



Barbara – Project Info Discussion


The name we voted for: Mississippi River Pearl


Send photos to Kelly

  • Anytime we meet
  • In progress work


K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Silly


AHA MOMENT – Margo’s butterfly object she found could go with the big parabolic plastic we found to be some sort of wings theme.




Get the fantastic artist Lucy to quilt us a new seat using the fabric we found during collection day.



  • A quiz on plastics people could take
  • Something to do with wellness



Make the top wheel a spinner that will tell people what drawer to open. Similar to prize wheels at festivals.


Quote from her email – The trash pollutes the river, but the river also changes the trash. In some cases, the man-made objects we found blended right in with the natural scenery around them. E.g. cigarette butts were hard to find because they look like twigs; we saw a couch cushion that blended in with the pile of driftwood it was sitting on



Can use the cigarette butts to make paper with.



  • Cigarette butts and glitter
  • Name for our piece – Mississippi Pearl


Quote from her email – My title idea, since we are doing a throne for a king or queen kinda, and kings are referred to as ‘mighty,’ which the Mississippi River is also referred to as, it could be simply called, “Mighty Mississippi” or the Ojibwe origin of the name, “Misiziibi,” so “Mighty Misiziibi.”



Could make info cards about plastic



Party in a box. Use the balloon Neil and I found in one of my drawers. Make it fun but also have a message behind it.

September 30

Construction Notes

  1. Drawers: Make them precious.  This is our color side.
    Some of our drawers have objects to take.  Some of our drawers have objects to interact.  I will create a sign on the sculpture which will say :
    You are invited to remove one object from our sculpture if it is in a drawer with this___ sticker.
    Take all you want from the ACW promo drawer!


Make sure to take a few stickers if you have objects to take.

NOTE:  the drawers are softwood.  Do not try to drill large items in without making a drill hole first. It will split the drawer.

  1. I have many , many objects to help make your drawers precious. See my trays.  I will put these down on our table under my carport.  Please feel free to come and mine this inventory.  Text me that you are coming.  I will try to join you but if I don’t just take what you can use! If you want to go into the studios, please feel invited.  The keys are under the tile over the charcoal.  Use everything except the table saw.  Sorry, Liability!
  2. I have tried many, many glues and mastics. This GE black silicone is the most flexible and durable. Home Depot has been out for months.  I am getting it on Amazon.  I know, the evil empire.  If you DO use Amazon, add ACW as your non-profit.  They will send us .05 of your purchases.  See procedure following.


  1. Please take in-progress photos. Please send an aha to Frances.


I have worked on several collaborative projects. I have never had such a talented, original thinking group. Kudos!

September 28

Timelines.  I am excited to report that we have accepted the installation invitation from Homewood Studios.  We need the tag and the artwork statement by Oct 20.  He will be installing on Nov 1 but the opening is not until Nov 11 (mark your calendar) so we might be able to install our work by , say, Nov 9 (if we had to)  but this means we need to do a lot of our “precious” small detail work at home.


  1. This also means we need to help Katherine get going on our  deconstruction map, booklet, pamphlet… what should we call our document?  What should be in this document?  (folded 8.5 x 11 inch like the Onion map I showed you.  Artwork statement, map front, back and two sides of the work itself, writeups on the chemical facts we fund and write in Neil’s workshop, treasure hunt on the sculpture which may win a prize?  Testimony sentence from each of us? Sponsors on the back.  What else?
  2. We will need a wonderful “holder” for the pamphlet on the sculpture.  I would like to volunteer to create this box.  Permission?
  3.  Several of you have drawer ideas. Frances already picked up her drawers.  You voted to have the cabinet side a riot of color.  Fabulous!!  I will bring the drawers this Saturday to MWMO so you can get going (if you want to build out a drawer.)  Here are your drawer dimensions.  Front” 5” x 3.t “ (have to leave room for them to pull the drawer open.) Interior: 5” W x 4” T x 12” long.
  4. The seat covering.  I would really like to commission one of our extortionary ACW members who is a quilt maker like you have never seen   We will ask her to use the fabrics we found and finish with gold thread.  What do you think?
  1. Look at the two images below. I am recommending we have three components. 1. The cabinet, 2. The Black plastic, driftwwood arch and white A, 3. the chair. This will work structurally.
    6. Kelly want to create a mosaic using the colored cans on the back of the black plastic (not covered by the cabinet.) OK?
    7. Annie , our wellness expert, is thinking about an activity which requires them to sit in the chair and have an “experience” and then reflect on it and put the answer in her drawer?
  2. Do you want to make one of the drawers your own? Share your idea?
  3. What should we put in the compartments on the white “A”.

10. and finally… start thinking about a show boat name for our work.

Reminder.  Meeting :  October 1, 2022 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM  (lunch included)  Research Day.  MWMO Stormwater Park and Learning Center, 2522 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418-3329

September 21



Bridges  1. ACW swag,  2. rocks with “Collect ALL the data ALL the time 3. River Prints
Annie  4.  bobbers, ciggy butts partitioned.

Notes Created by Frances  Bates

Frances found a broken water level sign and though it would be good to use as a way to talk about how plastics and global warming are changing the water level.

Put the fishing related stuff together

Barbara was worried we wouldn’t have enough but we found plenty

Plastic bottles

  • Fill with smaller items
  • We may not use all of them

Barbie doll let and action figure arm could go together

Each group found a bicycle wheel

We choose not to use any aerosolized cans for safety reasons

  • What about lighters? > Can drill out the bottom

Cigarette butts

  • How much focus can we put on them?
  • Could do something with them and tiny liquor bottles to talk about vices

We will be contacting the medical supply company that branded the fabric masks we found. Could be a possible source for donations or a space to display what we make.

Put all the glass and ceramic pieces together, maybe as a dome or window

Items don’t have to stay in the form they are

  • Cut up plastic bottles
  • Rip up fabric

The rounded large piece of plastic and huge curved driftwood gives us thrown vibes, leading us to choose to make a chair.

Barbara has a chair to use for us to use as the base

Do we use the wheels to form some sort of wheelchair? > Idea vetoed because none of us are wheelchair users, and it could be seen as too intense of a topic.

Could use the wheels as tables or the cabinet concept

Shouldn’t be bigger than 5x5x5

  • Make a thrown with some sort of cabinet on the back
  • Stack the wheels together and have it as a spinning display concept

Fill the cabinet will small items > Could have messages on cards people could read

There should be a place for people to leave something, but we don’t want to hide that

We could make a diagram of the piece

  • Items it’s made up of
  • What’s in the drawers of the cabinet
  • Possible hidden part of the piece

Use the A (part of a roadblock thing) be the back of the chair

  • Surround it be the big piece of plastic and driftwood
  • Add lights and objects to it

Quilt together the pieces of fabric we found to make a new seat cover

  • Possibly ask Lucie to do this for us

Utilizing space is key, even under the chair can be useful

Anything we don’t use can be claimed by participants

Main plan: To make a sort of parabolic chair/thrown with a cabinet on the back and a side display/table made out of bicycle wheels.

Important info

Email is the best way for most people to be contacted. Please check regularly.

Lunch will be provided on October 1st

October 22nd is a potential 3rd studio day since we may not finish in two days.

Date Time Location What’s happening?
October 1st 10am to 1pm 2522 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis Research Day
October 8th 1pm to 4pm 2323 Monroe St NE, Minneapolis Studio Day
October 16th 9am to 1pm 2323 Monroe St NE, Minneapolis Studio Day
October 22nd TBD 2323 Monroe St NE, Minneapolis Studio Day