Dear Curiosity Journal,

Campers arrived Friday evening and the creative metalworking began Saturday morning when 30 participants, 6 artist instructors, and 9 volunteers gathered on the farm to learn tool skills and create collaborative sculptures. Dana Albany shared the story of her artistic journey and worked alongside students as they developed confidence and sparked creativity. I was in awe as I observed women plasma cutting, welding, chopping, torching, hammering, and forging beautiful life back into discarded agricultural scraps. I strolled through a flutter of artistic expression so rattling that it moved the metal within me. The sight of women grinding sharp edges smooth, joining that which was separate together with a blaze hotter than fire, and braiding the ideas bursting from 30 brains into 4 pieces was nothing short of transformational. When Dana saw her first firefly on Tuesday, she was enchanted by their magic and became determined to create a sculpture of her Driftless muse. After that, elements of the lightning bug and its habitat began to emerge from the scrap and were organized across the barn. Each time I returned to a workstation, I couldn’t believe the progress of both the art itself and the relationships being formed through the collaborative process. I paused amidst the bustle and thought, this is one bad-ass manifestation of the Driftless Curiosity mission – deepening connections between people and the land through curiosity, experiential education, farming, social justice, and the arts. I’m so incredibly grateful for Dana, Flash, Dave X, Cjay, my family and DC team, my superstar volunteers, Scott, Tammy, Ariel, Mic, and Taylor, Chef Lauren with Blue Plate Wellness Kitchen for catering, and Gaby Marvan for taking these amazing photos. You have all helped me bring this wild dream into the real world and I can’t thank you enough. Bravo everyone 🙂