Mitchell Squire, artist and educator, began an ongoing project in 2020 titled "bloom BOOM." I was commissioned to design and source two embroidered patches to promote the message, as well as raise money for the GTWY Fund — a series of grants awarded to emerging BIPOC artists in Iowa.

BLOOM BOOM PATCHES

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The confluence of crises in 2020 put me in a frame of mind to question whether I had fully engaged this life; whether it was even worth it to do so; and whether the pleasure and joy of being me needed to be writ large in everything I do. I began to answer photographically how this muthafuckin’ 60+ year old man might live increasingly unmeasured, uncensored, ungovernable, and so thoroughly carried along by the flow as never experienced. I took to crop fields, clumps of wildflowers, muddy creek beds, woods, thickets, snow covered lowlands, and the darkness of a dilapidated shed, to make self portraits that would more clearly reveal (primarily to me and secondarily to the world) how I can inhabit an enlightened me, how I can live inside a world inside the world where immediacy reigns, wantonness becomes a standard, and fugitivity resounds.

 

It is 2021 now and I am still here. Never shall I suffer the kind of sentient deprivation I had grown accustomed to, had been lulled to sleep by. This reliquary of visual noise has helped amplify my anarchy, my one-person revolution to feel, to continually escape into a presence that is drawn deeply into this earth by a different field of gravity. What may have begun an academic pursuit for sabbatical has, like the virus, mutated to become a larger project I now refer to as ‘bloom BOOM’."

— MITCHELL SQUIRE