Connected \\ September 19, 2018

Asking questions

My name is Wes. I’m 33 years old and deeply curious about the world. I’m a full time artist, creating worlds within the world. I love climbing trees, swimming in cold rivers and looking for moss in the cracks of the sidewalk. I was born and raised in the woods of northern California, spent most of my 20s near the ocean in San Diego and have lived where the mountains meet the prairie in Colorado since 2013. Since I can remember, my metaphors, life, interests and work have been inseparable from the natural world. The sight of a lush green pine tree or flowing body of water have offered me great joy, restoration and play.


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For my next life chapter, my wife Emi and I are moving to New York City, which might seem strange for someone who loves nature. But the truth is, I love the city too. New York, as well as the whole Northeast Region, has INCREDIBLE nature, just not always how or where you’d expect it.

I am probably not so different than you... in the city, I don’t have as much access to nature as I’d like. I eat and sleep mostly inside. I process the world through a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual filter, and I feel like there are certain things that I “get,”but generally I have more questions than answers. I find that the more questions I ask, the more interesting the world gets.

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As part of this next chapter, I’m jumping into a wild, collaborative project with the Peabody Essex Museum that will be a year-long exploration of our interconnections within the natural world, contemplating through action and art how these two things that are often thought to be separate actually make a greater whole.


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I’m creating an adventure-based art project that will incorporate a lot of exploring, listening, asking, writing and art making. I’ll be curiously and openly posing questions, listening deeply and responding creatively to the experiences of human beings as a part of our living world. I’ll be engaging vulnerably with the nature that’s all around us and within us. Searching places we often overlook, or just below the surface in pursuit of the poetry, wisdom and the life it offers.

I’d LOVE for you to participate and teach me — whether you’re 8 or 80. There will be a lot of open calls at PEM for you to participate and be a collaborator, sharing your insights, questions and findings.

From September 2018 through September 2019, we will be investigating and creating content independently and together, asking questions, hosting art-making workshops and tugging on the strings of the world through a website that will act as a shifting and changing archive and project home. We’d be honored if you’d help us plant and water the seeds of this adventure as it grows and blossoms.

We’re calling this meandering, art making, story-soaked project: Where the Questions Live

We’ll be utilizing a dynamic range of creative practices and artistic mediums, including walking, sculpting, painting, poetry, photography, music, listening and film. I’ll regularly be asking you to help me out, go for a walk together, teach me what you know or share with me what you’re curious about.

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The full year of exploration will be archived as a living, breathing, changing project online. And at the end of the full year, there will a culminating exhibition which will show the project’s prolific questions, discoveries and artwork in the museum.

If you are someone who has a taste for the unknown, the natural world and human connection, I invite you to follow along, put on your outside clothes and become a collaborator. We are going to where the questions live…

Video by Ryan Shoemaker.

Wild Designs Demo plus Art Drop-in with Wes Sam-Bruce
Saturday, September 22

11 am–3 pm | Create Space

Meet scientist David Emerson from the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences to learn about his research into deep-sea bacteria that produce their own construction materials and build their own environments from iron. Then join PEM visiting artist Wes Sam-Bruce to create mono-chromatic paper-based sculptures inspired by the work of Emerson and this architectural world of microbes. There will be projects to make and take home, as well as a large collective group project that participants can create together.

Where the Questions Live Public Project Launch
Saturday, November 24
Sunday, November 25

11 am-3 pm
Included with admission

Come celebrate, collaborate and make art with artist Wes Sam-Bruce at the official public launch of the brand new curiosity-infused, format-bending project, Where the Questions Live. You are invited to share your wisdom, create artwork, contribute insight and ask questions in the mobile tiny house studio that Sam-Bruce will reveal at this event. This exploration will result in an immersive exhibition, set to open in September 2019, in the Art & Nature Center.

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