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Co-creation and partnerships are tenets of outreach and engagement work. Tillamook County took co-creation and partnerships to a new level by participating in the Partners for Rural Innovation. Hayden Bush, Open Campus coordinator and Scott Reed’s guest in this month’s update, explains the difference the approach is making in the county.

Tell us about your partnerships and the gaps you are filling in your communities by commenting on this post.

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Andony Melathopoulos, pollinator health Extension specialist, joins Scott Reed to talk about the statewide Oregon Bee Project initiative. The diversity of the Pacific Northwest’s pollinator species may be unrivaled in the U.S. Led by OSU Extension, Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Forestry, the initiative takes a comprehensive look at the state’s bee population.

As Scott points out, pollinator health is the responsibility of all of us. Tell us what you are doing for pollinator health by commenting on the blog.
Note: The defective “Captcha” security feature has been removed from the blog, so it is much easier to comment/reply!

Scott Reed introduces Becca Gose, general counsel for OSU, in this month’s First Monday Update. “It’s not ‘who you gonna call,’ but ‘when are you gonna call,’” as Scott points out. The Office of General Counsel was essential to the process of bringing Outdoor School on board. The team is a resource to provide you with the legal advice to do your job. Becca shares scenarios where a call to her office is essential.

Do you have questions about how, or when, to use the General Counsel team? Start a conversation in the comment (reply) section.

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Scott Reed reflects on the exceptional commitment Extension staff and faculty make to our communities and looks ahead to three 2018 initiatives.

Change will continue at a fast pace, but what won’t change is our passion for connecting people with information and expertise to help meet local challenges and help Oregon’s people, communities, ecosystems, and economies thrive.

Best wishes for an incredible new year! Share your 2018 resolution or plans to bring joy to your life in the comment section.

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Extension has a vital role to play in student success by offering experiential learning opportunities: community engagement—volunteering and service learning—and job shadowing, co-ops and internships. This month, Scott talks with Sam Angima, assistant dean for Outreach and Engagement in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Extension program leader for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Download this pdf to learn more about the benefits of experiential learning, including how it increases graduation rates. Sam challenges Extension to include student experiential learning in 2018 program plans.

Use the comment section of the blog to share how your Extension office and program can create experiential learning opportunities for students—in real time and/or virtually.

Economic impact is one of many ways to communicate the value and relevance of OSU Extension’s work in and with communities. Mallory Rahe, an Extension community economist, joined Vice Provost Scott Reed to share highlights from a recent study on the economic impact of local food producers in Central Oregon. They also mention the importance of working with community partners and across programs to build on and broaden this and similar work in the future.

Please post a comment on the blog to let us know how you measure or interpret the economic impact of your Extension work.

To learn more about the OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems, or our cross-program Community Food Systems community of practice, please contact Lauren Gwin.

Ask an Expert is a vital entry point for thousands of people to learn about OSU Extension. Kym Pokorny, Ask an Expert coordinator for Oregon, and Chrissy Lucas, an OSU Extension question wrangler, joined Vice Provost Scott Reed to reveal best practices for answering questions. More experts are needed. To join the ranks of Ask an Expert experts, please get in touch with Kym online, or at 541-737-3380.

Tell us the most unusual Ask an Expert question you’ve had to answer by posting a comment on the blog.

 

Jim Johnson, senior associate dean and program leader for Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) Extension, joins Scott Reed for the September Monday Update. Scott learns FNR’s secret for using time and FTE to effectively tackle statewide challenges.

How can we reserve FTE to address challenges that are beyond one person to solve and how can we work in teams to accomplish things that we can’t do individually. Share your thoughts by commenting on the blog.

Photo and video by Jill Wells

Fall 2017 will see the launch of new state-funded outdoor schools administered by OSU Extension Service. Susan Sahnow, interim Outdoor School director, shares with Vice Provost Scott Reed what it means for OSU Extension Service.

Share a memorable outdoor school experience—or a profound experience you’ve had in the great outdoors—in the comment section below. 

One of the greatest natural cosmic coincidences likely to happen in the Pacific Northwest in our lifetimes occurs on August 21: the total eclipse of the sun. It is an experience that will be shared by millions. Visit eclipse2017.nasa.gov for information about how to view the eclipse safely and much more. Learn about the events OSU has planned for the phenomenon.

For information about the eclipse in Spanish, click here.

The University Outreach and Engagement blog is reinstating People Profiles. This month, learn something about one of your colleagues: Tracy Crews. “Stop by” and say hello!

Written by Bennett Hall, Corvallis Gazette-Times, June 15, 2017. Reprinted with permission.

 

OSU graduate Madelaine Corbin was in the Community Art Studio Class and participated in the Extension Reconsidered Creative Oregon series. Part of the groundwork for “The Mobile Color Laboratory” came from conversations Creative Coast activities in Newport and elsewhere with OSU Master Gardeners.

 

Madelaine Corbin stands next to her art project, the "Mobile Color Lab," in Fairbanks Hall at Oregon State University on June 7. Photo: Amanda Loman, Gazette-Times
Madelaine Corbin stands next to her art project “The Mobile Color Lab” in Fairbanks Hall at Oregon State University on June 7. Photo: Amanda Loman, Gazette-Times

As they are every year at this time [in June], the walls of Oregon State University’s Fairbanks Gallery are adorned with the thesis projects of graduating art majors.

But this year’s [2017] show has something different: Parked in the middle of the floor is a 4-by-8-foot flatbed utility trailer holding four galvanized planters filled with colorful flowers.

It’s the latest iteration of “The Mobile Color Laboratory: A Natural Pigment and Dye Garden,” an evolving project that has become something of an obsession for Madelaine Corbin, who will graduate from OSU on Saturday with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

Displayed in the midst of a gallery, it clearly appears to be a work of art — but its homely materials and functional design just as clearly mark it as part of the workaday world.

For Corbin, that’s kind of the point.

“The idea is really to try and experiment with community engagement, art and horticulture, see where those boundaries are (and) open up those boundaries between art and community and campus life,” she said. “That’s why it’s mobile, because it really exists in those in-between spaces.”

The project had its genesis when Corbin was working in OSU professor Mas Subramanian’s chemistry lab, where she was part of a team that found a way to synthesize a previously unknown blue pigment. Another source of inspiration came when she did a practicum with New York artist Mary Mattingly, who created an edible landscape on a barge that floated through the city’s waterways.

Corbin really liked the idea of taking art out of the gallery and bringing it to the people.

“I started looking at how people could inject color into their everyday lives,” said Corbin, a 2012 Corvallis High graduate. “My project is focused more on color and the origins of color and how we could grow our own.”

An earlier version of the project was built on a repurposed bicycle trailer.

For the current incarnation, Corbin assembled a trailer kit purchased at a local hardware store. She used recycled cedar boards and fence posts for the deck. The plants were grown from donated starts or seeds or bought with donated funds (a “license plate” on the back of the trailer lists the names of the donors). At some point, Corbin says, she may add some PVC hoops and plastic sheeting to turn the whole thing into a rolling greenhouse.

Madelaine Corbin's rolling garden, cum art project. Photo: Amanda Loman, Gazette-Times.
Madelaine Corbin’s rolling garden, cum art project called “The Mobile Color Laboratory: A Natural Pigment and Dye Garden.” Photo: Amanda Loman, Gazette-Times.

Both versions of “The Mobile Color Lab” are designed to be towed to various sites for art workshops. Corbin has also designed two companion pieces — a field guide to the plants in the lab and a workbook with space for notes, sketches, rubbings and so on — that can be ordered online.

At Corbin’s workshops, participants are encouraged to use plants from the rolling garden in a variety of ways. Some, such as marigolds, sunflowers and dahlias, can be simmered to produce dyes for tinting textiles. Basil is edible, echinacea and chamomile have medicinal properties, and still others — the pasqueflower plant, for instance — have elegantly filigreed leaves that can be pounded onto pretreated cloth in an ancient Japanese printmaking process.

“Part of why this is called a laboratory is because they’re total experiments,” Corbin said. “I have no idea what’s going to happen, and that’s really exciting to me.”

Of course, she could have done it the other way around by setting up workshops in a gallery or art studio and inviting people to attend. But Corbin really liked the idea of taking art out of the gallery and bringing it to the people.

“Sometimes the gallery can be intimidating, and this project really wants to be approachable,” she said.

“And the reversal of that is kind of the same question I have: Why, out in the world, do we not see more things as art? I just love that idea that you’re actually immersed in it all the time and you don’t have to go to a special place to see it.”

After graduation, Corbin will be showing a version of her “Mobile Color Laboratory” at the highly regarded Blackfish Gallery in Portland and starting a job as assistant to the director of Djerassi, a residential retreat for artists in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco.

She’s not sure what direction her own art will take next, but she intends to keep on questioning the assumptions that create artificial barriers between the art world and everyday life.

“That’s kind of the responsibility of an artist is to break out questions and think of them in different ways,” she said.

“I get that way every day. I have so many questions, and if the art is doing that for you, then, oh my God, it’s working!”

Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.