It’s not just a meaningless chain of letters.
Look closely, and you’ll see a SHIP in those WOODS, the hidden name of an artful non-profit formerly based in a sprawling, mid-century rental in the hills of Del Mar. There, for five years, until their lease ended last summer, they welcomed the public to meet a changing cast of visiting artists and immerse themselves in a world of thought-provoking installations.
It took a while to find, buy and remodel a new venue, suitable for the kind of cultural crossroads they wanted, but on June 4, they were ready. More than 400 people showed up at the grand re-opening, an event called, appropriately, FELICITA, since the place, which includes two acres of gardens, an oak-grove, a pool, and a year-round stream, adjoins Felicita County Park in Escondido.
The powers behind WSOHOIDPS are RJ Brooks and Dan Fauchier, joined several years ago by Lianne Mueller, a La Jollan who came aboard as curator and is now co-director. Mueller, who moved here from San Francisco in 2011, has a varied background in arts education and new media, and feels right at home with the Shipsters, in any location. “There’s always a sense of excitement and novelty,” she said. “I love it!”
The seven-hour, day-into-night inaugural was a great meet-and-greet featuring site-specific installations and performances, indoors and out, by 26 very different art-and-science creatives.
It was truly a kind of Alice in Wonderland adventure, with visitors free to wander about and make their own discoveries, like climbing a ladder to peer into Adam Belt’s foggy tower; fondling The League of Imaginary Scientists’ sensitive-touch plant to create a rainbow; sampling the cotton candy spun by Lissa Corona in “Sweetness”; sharing a Soup Toast with Wendell Kling (soup provided by La Jolla’s Whiskenladle Hospitality); following winding garden pathways and finding, amid the botanical delights, unexpected art-surprises, like Eva De Leon’s tiny hut-in-the-woods, where, once inside, you were enveloped in a red mist and tuned into the hut’s own heartbeat.
Outside, at the June 4 grand opening of Ship in the Woods: co-director Lianne Mueller, artists Christine Shields and Johanna Jackson, and gallery owner Mark Quint Maurice Hewitt
If you missed the opening, worry not, there’s much more to come. To schedule a tour for your group or learn of future events, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit shipinthewoods.com.
LONNIE BURSTEIN HEWITT has been helping other people tell their stories for most of her life. As author of “The Little Red Writing Book: A Practical Guide to Writing Your Own Life Story,” she was called “a Lonnie Appleseed for lifestory writing” by the San Diego Union-Tribune, and was a featured presenter at the national AARP convention in 2002.
These days, Lonnie writes about lifestyle, nature and travel for publications as diverse as the Christian Science Monitor, San Diego ZooNooz, and Hadassah Magazine. Returning to her first love, the theater, she created “Tales from the Far Side of Fifty,” a show acclaimed for its honesty, courage and humor, in which women from 55-90 share stories from their lives.
For her work as writer/producer/director of “The Far Side of Fifty,” she received a Senior Artist Project grant from the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation and a Making a Difference for Women Award from Soroptomists International. She is now on the board of Coming of Age, San Diego’s First Film Festival on Aging.
For more visit, http://www.lonniebursteinhewitt.com.