harvest III

Harvest day came on a perfect fall morning.  Neighbors, artists and friends came to help us get the crop out.  We asked our local man-with-a-scythe Martin Saunders to swing by and give everyone a tutorial on old-tymey scything, flailing and winnowing techniques and he came through in spades.  Everyone took turns cutting the crop, tying up stooks, thrashing the crap out of the barley and then throwing it in the air to get the chaff out.  Everyone learned something, and the Sghool got nearly a bushel of barley out of the deal!  That's less than $4.00 on the open market, and totally worth it.

harvest II

This one's a quick and dirty montage of the barley growing.  It was wonderful to watch a crop growing up right in the middle of our suburb, and (frankly) it kept our yard cleaner than usual.  We also tried to build a sod hut, but it fell in a rainstorm because John's an idiot.



In the spring of 2007 we decided that we’d had enough of our lawn, and that a nice, rippling field of wheat would look much prettier and break up the Kentucky Bluegrass monotony of our neck of the woods.  We also (ludicrously) decided to do all the work, from tearing up the old to planting the new to harvesting our crop, by hand.  And we did it!  We ended up using barley instead (you can make beer from barley!), donated graciously by Patterson Farms.


Scott made a painting of the word BOOM in sky-writing.  He liked it so much that he convinced ArtCity to program the Sghool’s giving out of 5,000 sky-blue balloons with a similar logo in September of 2007.  John made the logo and everyone pitched in to distribute the balloons to innocent passersby.  It was cool to see some people make connections (“BOOM? like an economic boom?  Or an explosion?”) and others make none at all.  One highlight was the lady who just kept asking for more balloons and let each one off into the sky seconds after we gave it to her. 


Every so often Justin undertakes a pilgrimage back to the family farm, making a stopover in Brooks Alberta to paint windows for local businesses.  Here’s a small sampling of his handiwork at Ace’s Lounge and Grill and at the Brooks Hotel.  Scott collaborated on the “Future of Farming” suite.


This is a project that Scott completed on the kitchen window at ALS over a few weeks in February 2007. The piece grew slowly in a viral, organic way; something like the way real suburbs expand across territory.



Having a mostly unfenced garden gives the Arbour Lake Sghool the perfect venue to showcase outdoor ephemeral artworks.  A pizza box geodesic, a wonky flower garden, some weird domes and a haircut for grass are included.


Where I Lay My Heart

In late 2005 the Sghool submitted four proposals to the Banff Centre for the Arts’ project “Where I Lay my Heart,” an informal architecture project demanding cheap, portable and whimsical housing ideas. These are they. The Portable Suspension Tent was selected for further workshopping, and plans and a model were drawn up over one hedonistic weekend in Banff.



This is a project which we are doing for The New Gallery +15* space in the Epcor Centre in Calgary.  It uses the space of the vitrine to present a museum-like archive of our collaborative and individual found object sculptures from the last three years.  Running from August to the end of September 2006.



John used to make robot costumes in the back room of a liquor store.  Few have been documented; Justin gave a presentation for English class in one and a few show up in videos made by Sghool members.


Re-enactment of WWI in a suburban backyard.  2004/2006


We’re undecided as to whether this is some kind of spirit/totem or a more corporeal creature.  2006.


We’ve had the carpets steam cleaned many times, but these stains come back like old ghosts.  Justin outlines them and calls them “the Ancients”


in 2005 the Sghool made a two-and-a-half storey tall cardboard mountain in the backyard. Pictures, two videos, a drawing by John Bride, a few articles and an angry e-mail to the Frosst parents resulted.

© 2007 The Arbour Lake Sghool