Apr 06 2024


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Free with registration

Workshop: Watershed Moments with Ben Binversie and Martina Patterson *IN PERSON at UEC*

Two artist portraits, Ben Binversie on the left, Ben is in a pile of leaves with only his head showing, on the right Martina Patterson next to big green leaves.
In person at Urban Ecology Center—Riverside Park Branch (1500 E. Park Place)

This workshop is free to attend, but space is limited. 


Come gather to play with water and words as a part of Emerging Poet Fellow Ben Binversie’s “Watershed Moments” project. Ben and Martina Patterson will facilitate a generative workshop where we will commune and communicate with water in refreshing ways. We will play with the ancient Japanese art of marbling, Suminagashi, as well as with movement, stories, and sound, with the hopes of deepening our connection to the waters that sustain us, and writing from and towards that place of connection. This workshop is the beginning of Ben’s project, which will culminate in a publication and waterside reading of poems gathered from Milwaukee’s watersheds.

Artist, Master Naturalist, Land Steward, Environmental Educator, and community wellness advocate, Martina Patterson, also known as mars, has earned multiple certifications in ethnohorticultural practices such as plant pathology and physiology, cultural medicinal herbal wellness, traditional cultural plant usage, and ecological restoration. Examples of mars’ leadership as an Ecological Restorationist can be seen throughout Milwaukee’s Northwest side. mars’ mixed media weavings, wearable art, eco-soft-sculptures, as well as ceramic tile murals (created in collaboration with fellow artists and mentors Melanie Tallmadge-Sainz, Hocąk Elder and Founder of Little Eagle Arts Foundation, and Muneer Bahauddeen, master ceramist and Elder) can be viewed throughout Wisconsin. mars is currently serving as a MdW Arts Fellow focusing on connecting people, place, and plants through eco art workshop facilitation, land restoration volunteering, and leading nature ‘healing hikes’ within Milwaukee County. mars earned a BFA from The Illinois Institute of Art (2008).

Ben Binversie tries to share joy and wonder by whatever means necessary, often through the simple and sacred activities most humans have practiced since forever, including dancing, singing, playing, and storytelling. Ben cares about the words we use and the stories we live in, foolishly believing they might yet matter, especially if we seek to reconcile and honor the magic of this place we call home. Ben makes movies, poems, essays, zines, soundscapes, songs, and a lot of chaos. In the wild, he can usually be found swimming in Michigami, dancing around town, or eating frozen custard. Ben grew up in Mequon, and now lives along the Milwaukee River, where he forages for fungi and other wonders. He's excited to gather around water with neighbors for this project and curious what beauty we can make together. 

About the Watershed Moments project: 

“Watershed moments,” commonly understood, mark momentous changes. If we want to continue living on this planet, many folks believe we have to make some big changes in how we live. This project asks us to take a good, hard look at our words and waters and how we use them. By exploring our connection to this vital element and interrogating how we can infuse our words with a caring spirit, perhaps we can deepen and mend that connection. Whether mundane or glacial, miniscule or grand, magical or grotesque, language and water flow through us and connect us all. Words often fail to adequately communicate the sensation of lived experience, but they are some of the best tools we have. Expressing these moments of connection can be challenging, but it is a good task for poetry—and for the people of Milwaukee.

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