As I started to move my way west and out of Florida, I was looking to make a stop somewhere in the panhandle. I didn’t know anyone there but my friends came through with a connection. The Whipples and Kiaralinda and Todd all knew another artist that was in need of some unskilled labor, she was just outside of Tallahassee and I was happy to meet another kindred spirit especially one that had a bit of work for me to do and was willing to pay me. Before arriving on April 3rd I knew very little about e’Layne, what she needed or where she was located except that she had just turned her single family home/studio into a duplex. Allowing for the road to unfold in front of me was leading me to some amazing experiences, this stop was no exception. e’Layne Koenigsberg is an artist working mostly in collage with her photographs, found objects and inspirational words. She is also the manager of Railroad Square Art Park, teaches workshops, has owned a number of galleries, is a mother, and works to empower artists and women. When I arrived she had just finished construction on her home located in an intentional community. I cleaned up the plaster aftermath, helped move things back into place, hung art, consulted on paint colors and generally helped organize. I also got to do some exploring of both the Art Park (as I arrived just before their 1st Friday event) and the Land Cooperative’s, 344 acres in the woods where e’Layne made her home. At Railroad Square Art Park I discovered some surprising things and one especially fantastic art exhibit at the 621Gallery, FSU Faculty member George Blakely had completely covered the walls with his collected, cut up and reassembled postcard panels. Equally inspiring was the wooded paradise of the Miccosukee Land Co-op, I am feeling at a loss for words when describing this place. Suffice it to say that the trees are so thick that you can barely see the neighbors, and even if they are close-by it is more fun to take the long way to get there so you can walk along the raised walkways through the swamp.
I had some interesting exchanges while exploring the co-op:
A bearded man driving a Volvo stopped his car and asked “are you going to the swamp?” I answered that I didn’t really know, I was just walking. He let me know that the direction I was heading led to 2 paths through the swamp and that on the path to the right someone saw a cottonmouth. I turned around and went back the way I came.
Later I crossed paths with e’Layne’s son Ian and 2 of his friends, one I think was called Squid.
Ian asks “What are you doing?”
Me to them “taking a long walk in the woods.”
The blonde in the cutoff coveralls and knife around his waist responds “where did you go?”
Me “I don’t know.”
Blonde again “Good answer!”