Best Laid Plans–Thinking Ahead In The Digital World

I’m not sure whether this is a bad thing or a good thing. You may remember my #EmbraceWinterMovement Challenge. The idea was to get people outside and moving despite the cold weather and to document that “movement” with a artful photographs that I could then utilize to create a small exhibit/installation.

We had 32 participants, some active and some passive. There was a core group who were dedicated “documenters” but in the true fleeting fashion of cyber world projects, photographs were taken, posted and trashed to make room on phones and tablets. This left me with tiny resolution digital images that couldn’t be reproduced in anything larger than a thumbnail–thus the “wall-hung” version of the exhibit won’t happen.

I can share the digital version and I thank all those hardy participants who logged their efforts which included winter running, snowshoeing, snow shoveling, farm chores, dog walking, roof raking and ice fishing. Some of the photographs made me laugh, like the picture of a hand with a blister forming from too many shovel scoops of ice and snow–how many times have I been in that same situation. I enjoyed all the images of the canine exercise partners who are so dedicated to accompanying us on our outings. The charming photograph of the boots all lined up after a spring romp in the mud is one of my favorites and another image which shows a participant inside a grain bin with the caption, “Cleaning bins is a good workout, using the grain vac. Sure beats the days when we just used shovels and the air would be thick and choking. Love farm life!” is so appropriate to living in North Dakota.

From what I can tell there were participants from North Dakota, California, Indiana, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado. Even the Californian had to bundle up to get the job done–our unseasonable cold weather meant that the EmbraceWinterMovement Challenge went into months typically reserved for spring.

I liked this project and even though it didn’t turn out exactly as planned, the camaraderie of the shared experience (remember the term Creative Engagement) had people interacting (albeit in cyberworld) to accomplish a shared goal.

Thanks again goes to Honey Stingers for their very generous contribution of prizes.  Their products are all natural foods designed for athletes and great for anyone looking for a healthy snack. Honey stinger is pure natural energy derived from honey harvested in North Dakota!

The Culture Builds Community blog is submitted (almost) weekly by The Arts Center Gallery Manager Sally Jeppson. She would love to hear your comments here or email