Lynden Sculpture Garden
Press Release

June at Lynden


By - Jun 8th, 2021 04:02 pm

A year ago, choreographer and Lynden board member Reggie Wilson laid out a direction for what was then a new organization: “We need to commit to not forgetting.” Lynden’s official birth came at a moment when centering the voices of artists and audiences of color could not have been more important.

We went about our work during the pandemic, amplifying the voices of the artists, organizers, and activists who are at the center of Lynden’s programming, and putting money into the hands of artists to do what they needed to do. Not all of this work was visible (some of it will emerge in the coming year) but now that we are in June, and we can move—and set up outdoors–with greater confidence, we are delighted to be inviting you back to Lynden to participate in our Call & Response and HOME initiatives in person once again.

In 2015, we began working with artists, scholars, educators, and community members to intentionally construct a space for artists of color working across disciplines to celebrate the radical Black imagination as a means to re-examine the past and imagine a better future. In developing Call & Response and defining Lynden as a place where Black creativity is nurtured and celebrated, we have been guided by artist Folayemi Wilson’s statement that Black creativity is “a unique technology of Black agency, resistance, and survival.” Call & Response is artist-driven: one artist calls another. It provides space, resources, and time—often over the course of many years–to Black artists to ruminate, to collaborate, to experiment, to envision legacy, and to make work if the moment is right.

We are delighted to announce that this work has received extraordinary recognition this year in the form of a Joyce Award for our project with artist Daniel Minter, In the Healing Language of Trees: a natural act of transformation restructured for curing many ills. Since 2003, the Joyce Foundation’s Joyce Awards have supported the creation of impactful new work by artists of color to foster more culturally vibrant, equitable, and sustainable communities in the Great Lakes. We are honored to be among the four awardees this year. We hope that you will join Daniel Minter and the other artist-awardees (Sydney Chatman with Congo Square Theatre Company, Kameelah Janan Rasheed with FRONT International Triennial, and SANTIAGO X with Chicago Public Art Group) for a free, virtual panel discussion on Thursday, June 10 at 4 pm. Information and registration here:

In the Healing Language of Trees got off to an absorbing virtual start on June 5 when Minter and fellow Call & Response artist Arianne King Comer talked about the use of images in their work and Minter gave an overview of his process and the project. The project will culminate, in eighteen months, in the unveiling of a powerful object, a sculpture incorporating scores of beads carved with community members. But in these early stages we are collectively creating a visual language of symbols carved into small rubber blocks. Individual participants are drawing on their culture, their identity, and their lived experience to respond, visually, to these questions: What do we want to preserve? What do we want to say? As these symbols accumulate, we will be able to arrange and rearrange them to tell stories of loss (to emerald ash borer, to racial injustice, to the pandemic) and others of renewal and a better, more inclusive, more joyful future. We will be posting the link to this talk shortly on our Call & Response web page:

Better yet, Minter arrives in Milwaukee on June 16 for the first project residency, and you can now register for the symbol-carving workshops he is offering during our HOME World Refugee Day celebration on June 20. These workshops are free, but you must register in advance. And keep your eye on the Call & Response page or our web calendar for additional workshop opportunities throughout this first visit.

HOME is the theme of our work with refugee community leaders, community members, Call & Response artists, and allies. Since 2019, the HOME Refugee Steering Committee has been building a space of leading, coming together, and celebrating refugees. HOME World Refugee Day returns on June 20 as a two-part event: we will be on the grounds starting at 10 am that day and will switch to a virtual broadcast at 2 pm. We will begin the day with a land acknowledgement followed by interfaith prayers, a collaboration with the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. At 10:30 am, Claudia Orjuela and members of the Milwaukee Public Library’s staff will take up residence under the elm tree in the center of the lawn to share a bilingual story-timeDaniel Minter’s workshops begin at 11 am under the tent near the Bonsai Exhibit (small children should be accompanied by an adult; pre-registration required). At noon, Partly Press’s Chuck Stebelton hosts a poetry reading and conversation. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior/HOMES features special guest Moheb Soliman and fellow poets Jennifer ScappettoneMargaret Noodin, and Marsha McDonald. Soliman is on tour with his debut book, HOMES (Coffee House Press, 2021), and has landed at Lynden, fortuitously enough, during our HOME celebration. HOMES is an ecopoetic immigrant travelogue (Soliman was born in Egypt) around the Great Lakes bioregion/borderland, exploring nature, modernity, identity, belonging, and sublimity.

At 2 pm we pop up on Facebook Live with a special international musical guest (soon to be revealed). HOME Refugee Steering Committee Member Hasina Begum Ashraf Mia will be interviewing our guest, a musician from the overseas-based Rohingya community, between songs. This cultural exchange comes at a significant juncture: the Rohingya, are frequently deemed “the world’s most persecuted minority,” and Milwaukee has the largest Rohingya refugee community in the country.

The HOME Refugee Steering Committee and Lynden’s Kim Khaira have been hard at work planning for five additional HOME “days”–Music Day, Dance Day, Fashion Day, and two Craft Markets—and we’ll be streaming some previews during the virtual celebration, as well as portions of the morning’s in-person celebration, including the land acknowledgment and interfaith prayers. Stretching across the summer, we hope that these “days,” when taken together, will capture the spirit of art, food, and performance that we experienced at the HOME 2019 outdoor festival.

As more of you return for in-person programming in June, we ask you to join us in being respectful of all staff and visitors by maintaining distance and wearing a mask when necessary outdoors. Keep in mind that many of Lynden’s visitors are under the age of 12. Similarly, you must still register in advance for any of our programs that require registration. We have reopened part of the building to the public, and look forward to installing Daniel Minter’s exhibition, Root Work, in the gallery when he arrives. Masks are required in the house. Feel free to stop in to sign up for a membership, add your name to the mailing list, or peruse our “gift shelf.” We introduced some new T-shirt colors prior to the pandemic that bear revisiting.

Pond nets are available to check out once again. Kellen or Joe at the front desk will be able to set you up with a net and instructions; we’ve also included the information on our mobile site, (look under the “For Families” tab). It’s not a bad moment to peruse the content on that site if you are on the grounds: we are continuing to add information and activities, including information on the trees on view in the Bonsai exhibition (the exhibition is open Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays).

In June we host three walks that offer different perspectives on the landscape. Co-land managers Kyle Welna and Robert Kaleta lead a tree walk that introduces different aspects of the urban forest (including the oak savannah); Chuck Stebelton is back among the birds for his monthly walk; and artist-in-residence Angela Kingsawan of Yenepa Herbals (find her on Instagram) begins a monthly series of cultural plant walks. Yenepa Herbals was formed to create access to traditional herbal medicine for communities of culture, and Kingsawan’s walks will take in Lynden’s intentional, story-telling gardens as well as the corners less subject to human intervention. If you prefer to have your dog lead you around the sculpture garden, there is always dog day. Artist-in-residence Jenna Knapp launches this summer’s programming for the Labyrinth Society of Lynden Sculpture Garden with a new moon activity, Planting Seeds of Intention, and a sound bath with Sevan Arabajian-LawsonTuesdays in the Garden is now running weekly, and summer camps begin at the end of the month.

In the virtual world, Kim Khaira screens another immigrant-to-refugee interview as part of HOME: Conversations with Ourselves, and we stream the final episode of the Great Community Cooking Show. Our activities for readers remain online in June: the Women’s Speaker Series hosts Renée Rosen, author of The Social Graces, and the HOME Book Discussion Group begins a new book, Emmanuel Mbolela’s Refugee: A Memoir.

Also in the virtual world, and a significant part of the work we do to support artists and their work, is the 2020 Nohl Fellows Exhibition, which opens June 11. This annual exhibition includes the work of the most recent (2020) Fellows: Ck Ledesma and Nirmal Raja (Established Artists) and Janelle Gramling, Rosy Petri, and Leah Schretenthaler (Emerging Artists). The exhibition will be hosted on the Haggerty Museum of Art Google Arts & Culture site.

June events, arranged chronologically:

All in-person programs take place outdoors. For the safety of all concerned, we ask you to be respectful of others by maintaining a reasonable distance and wearing a mask when necessary outdoors. Masks are required indoors, and you must still register in advance for any of our programs that require registration. Please note that some of our programs, like summer day camps, operate under more stringent CDC guidelines and require mask-wearing outdoors.

[inarticlead ad=”UM-In-Article-2″}Tuesdays, June 8, June 15, June 22 and June 29, 2021- 10:30 am-11:30 am

The 40 acres that house the Lynden collection of monumental outdoor sculpture are also home to many birds, insects, frogs, mammals, and plants. Join art educator Claudia Orjuela for hands-on art making and all-senses-engaged exploration of the outdoor world at Lynden. We’ll consider a new theme each month, each designed to engage your child’s curiosity and encourage outdoor play, experimentation, and the manipulation of art materials. Tuesdays in the Garden is designed for children aged 1 through 3 and their caregivers. The themes for June are seed bombs and garden animals.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 – 5:30-7 pm

The new moon carries a positive energy filled with intention and purpose. Celebrate the June new moon with an interactive intention-setting workshop with artist-in-residence and Hypnosis Practitioner Jenna Knapp. We will gather near the labyrinth for a guided hypnosis session to help you identify the opportunities that you’re calling into your life. We’ll write our intentions on handmade seed paper, then we’ll take a (socially-distanced) labyrinth walk to plant our written intentions into the labyrinth walls. It is believed that intentions and goals can come full circle within one cycle of the moon; as the new moon grows, your intention will, too: from the new moon, to the full, to the new again. We will hold space for you to set your intentions for this next lunar cycle — first on paper, then in the physical.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 – 7-7:30 pm
FREE on Facebook:

As we approach World Refugee Day 2021, Lynden’s community engagement specialist Kim Khaira will screen interviews from our HOME: Conversations with Ourselves series on one Wednesday evening each month on our Facebook page. HOME: Conversations with Ourselves is an interview project of the HOME steering committee at Lynden. The interviews were designed to give voice to refugees and began as part of the virtual work on the HOME platform in 2020. Interviewers are refugees who have resettled to the United States, and their interviewees include both friends and family who are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as those who remain overseas. These interviews are reflections of relationships and conversations that we continue to have long after resettlement; they explore issues that our refugee friends and family members continue to face as they remain in their country of origin or interim country. In June, Kim Khaira (Milwaukee, WI, USA) in conversation with Komeil Zarin (Iran, currently living in Malaysia).

Thursday, June 10, 2021 – 4 pm

The Joyce Foundation presents a free, virtual panel that will convene all four 2021 artist awardees for the first time to discuss their projects: four impactful collaborations spanning the visual, performing, and multidisciplinary arts that engage diverse communities in Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. Lynden is proud to be included, for its project with Daniel Minter, among the 2021 awardees. The other awardees include Sydney Chatman with Congo Square Theatre Company (Chicago); SANTIAGO X with Chicago Public Art Group (Chicago), and Kameelah Janan Rasheed with FRONT International (Cleveland). The panel will be moderated by Heinz Endowments Arts and Culture Program Officer Shaunda McDill, and will explore timely issues and themes addressed in this year’s projects, including intracommunal and state-sanctioned violence against women, identity and cultural sustainability, and healing through community, art, and nature. The Joyce Awards is the only regional program dedicated to supporting artists of color in major Great Lakes cities. Since its inception in 2003, the competition has awarded more than $3.7 million to commission 72 new works and collaborations between emerging and mid-career artists of color and arts and community organizations in six Great Lakes cities: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Read more about the Joyce Awards here.

June 11-August 8, 2021
Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University

This annual exhibition includes work of the most recent (2020) Fellows: Ck Ledesma and Nirmal Raja (Established Artists) and Janelle Gramling, Rosy Petri, and Leah Schretenthaler (Emerging Artists). While the Haggerty remains closed to the public, the exhibition will be hosted on the museum’s Google Arts & Culture site. The fellows were selected from a field of 151 applicants by a panel of three jurors: The panel of jurors included Kimberli Gant, McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA; Ashley James, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; and Shamim M. Momin, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA.

Saturday, June 12, 2021 – 9-11 am

Bonsai is living sculpture. Unlike traditional sculpture however, it changes from day to day, season to season, and year to year. Because it is never finished, it celebrates all of nature: its cycles, its harshness, its resilience, and its balance. Bonsai is for people who enjoy art, nature, trees, gardening, and sculpture. It combines the principles of design with the science of horticulture. In this hands-on workshop, members of the Milwaukee Bonsai Society will teach you the basic techniques of styling a juniper bonsai tree. We will also discuss proper care of your bonsai. As a new member of the Milwaukee Bonsai Society, you will have access to knowledgeable members to help you care for your tree after the workshop.

Saturday, June 12, 2021 – 1-3 pm

Native herbalist and artist-in-residence Angela Kingsawan of Yenepa Herbs leads a series of guided tours of Lynden’s narrative gardens. There are several gardens at Lynden that tell stories of specific cultures and moments in history. Join us each month for a fun and informative outing to learn about the plants identified and cultivated by Kingsawan that hold significance as food, medicine, and tradition within the exchange and migration of refugee, immigrant, and Indigenous communities.

Sunday, June 13, 2021 – 8:30-10 am

Join poet and birder Chuck Stebelton the second Sunday of each month for a small-group, socially distanced bird walk on the grounds. Keeping to the perimeter of the garden, we’ll watch for seasonal migrants and resident bird species and seek out the best bird habitats to identify as many species as we can. Please dress for the weather and plan to walk in varied terrain. Bring your binoculars if you have them; no previous birding experience required.

Friday, June 18, 2021 – 7-8:30 pm

The full moon is a time for releasing and cleansing. The light of the full moon illuminates any obstacles or interferences in our lives. Once we recognize our blocks, it becomes easier to let go of what didn’t serve us in the most recent lunar phase. It is an amazing time to reevaluate and recollect. Join artist-in-residence Jenna Knapp to celebrate the summer solstice with a healing sound bath followed by a candle-lit labyrinth walk. Sound baths are an ancient form of deep meditation; they include various ambient sounds playing in a space where you can hear and feel their vibrations. Your sound healer for the evening will be Milwaukee’s own Sevan Arabajian-Lawson (Cat Ries), initiated by Akhilanka of the Temple of Singing Bowls in Mysore, India. The sound bath last approximately 45-60 minutes. Please bring your own yoga mat, blanket, or towel to rest on for the duration, and dress appropriately for the weather. Candles will be provided for the labyrinth walk, but feel free to bring your own.

Saturday, June 19, 2021 – 10 am-4 pm

Bring your canine friends for a wintery walk. Dogs must be leashed and considerate of other visitors, canine and human.

Sunday, June 20, 2021
10 am: In person at Lynden.
2 pm: On Facebook live at
Like the Lynden Facebook page to be notified when we go live!

This year, we are offering HOME 2021 as a series of dispersed events spanning the summer. These events will be small, in order to conform with public health guidelines, and will take place outdoors on Lynden’s grounds. We hope that these events, when taken together, will capture the spirit of art, food, and performance that we experienced at the HOME 2019 outdoor festival. HOME 2021 launches on World Refugee Day with a brief, in-person celebration in the morning followed by a virtual program in the afternoon. You may stop by Lynden starting at 10 am for a land acknowledgement and a series of interfaith prayers. Claudia Orjuela and the Milwaukee Public Library will wrap up the HOME Story Time season with an outdoor, bilingual reading; Daniel Minter will lead a symbol-carving workshop; and Partly Press will host a poetry reading with Moheb Soliman, author of HOMES. In the afternoon, we will broadcast the morning’s welcome and share cultural programming on Facebook Live.

Monday, June 21, 2021 – 7:00 pm
WOMEN’S SPEAKER SERIES: Renée Rosen, author of The Social Graces

Lynden Sculpture Garden’s Women’s Speaker Series and Boswell Books welcome Renée Rosen, author of The Social Graces, to Milwaukee for a virtual, BYOS (bring-your-own-snack) event. The bestselling author of Park Avenue Summer throws back the curtain on one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Astor’s notorious battle for control of New York society during the Gilded Age. In the glittering world of Manhattan’s upper crust, where wives turn a blind eye to husbands’ infidelities, and women have few rights and even less independence, society is everything. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor – the Mrs. Astor. But times are changing. Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America’s richest families. But what good is money when society refuses to acknowledge you? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything. Sweeping three decades and based on true events, this is a gripping novel about two fascinating, complicated women going head-to- head, behaving badly, and discovering what’s truly at stake.

Thursday, June 24, 2021 – 7-8:30 pm

The Lynden/HOME Refugee Steering Committee book discussion group, moderated by Lynden’s Kim Khaira, is for those interested in firsthand accounts of displacement. We consider works of non-fiction, including autobiographical and semi-autobiographical works, by writers who have faced or are facing forced displacement as refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants. We continue the series with Emmanuel Mbolela’s Refugee: A Memoir (2021). Mbolela, a notable Congolese activist and advocate of refugee issues in Germany (the book was originally published in German), tells his personal story, having gone through the journey that refugees and those that face forced displacement know all too well. He relates his experience of human trafficking and deplorable living conditions, and questions the need for the harrowing experience that refugees face as they seek asylum. Mbolela’s work, deemed both personal and collective, provides an individual perspective and a critical global outlook on the lives of refugees around the world. This will be our first in a series of three monthly discussions of the book.

Saturday, June 26, 2021 – 1-3 pm

Join the Lynden’s land managers, Kyle Welna and Robert Kaleta, Jr., on a walk around the grounds to discover Lynden’s urban forest. They will discuss the various trees and shrubs that make up the forest, urban forest management techniques, and Lynden’s exciting new tree inventory project ,which we are conducting with the assistance of a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant. This tree inventory will result in a management plan to help care for our valuable urban forest far into the future.

Sunday, June 27, 2021 – 2-4 pm
On Facebook live at

Like the Lynden Facebook page to be notified when we go live!
The HOME Refugee Steering Committee at Lynden and Tables Across Borders invite you to join us for the next episode in our (virtual) bimonthly community cooking series. Tables Across Borders is a global food tour collaboration highlighting local refugee chefs and the cuisines and cultures of refugee communities in Milwaukee. The community cooking series is an opportunity for chefs across cultures to share tips and recipes from their own cuisines while also allowing us to explore how cuisines cross-pollinate as people migrate and need to adapt techniques and ingredients in a new homeland. Cooking is a place where we interact, exchange, borrow, and invent and imagine new ways of being with each other. Co-sponsored by Our City of Nations.


We settle into summer in July with two of our dispersed HOME celebrations: a Music Day on July 10 and a Dance Day on July 25. There will be a bird walk with Chuck Stebelton (July 11), a cultural plant walk with Angela Kingsawan (July 17), and another full moon sound bath (July 23). July 17 is dog day, and on July 18 artist-in-residence Jenna Knapp begins a monthly hypnosis series near the labyrinth with Building Self-Confidence with Hypnosis. The Women’s Speaker Series welcomes Kristin Harmel, author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars, on July 26, and the HOME Book Discussion Group continues its perusal of Emmanuel Mbolela’s Refugee: A Memoir on July 29. Tuesdays in the Garden meets weekly (the themes for July are pond critters and plant dyes), and summer camps continue. Both Reggie Wilson and Daniel Minter will be in residence.

See you outside,

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