Arts: Visual, Martial, and Flow at EVO

- Author:  Nick Heyming

What is art?  Do we know it when we see it, as the cliche goes?  When most of us think of art, we think ofpaintings, sculpture, and photography.  But what about less obvious art forms?

At the Emerald Village, we practice a diverse array of disciplines and art forms that make up our practice and our art.  We have welders and yoginis, gardeners and martial artists.  Some blow glass, others create unconventional structures, some spin fire, and still others paint or practice qi gong.  We pride ourselves on providing a space where we can come together with our friends to hone our skills and express ourselves.

Since we finished our co-working studio, we’ve begun hosting art night once a week for locals as well as visitors to come and create art.  Hosted by resident master artist Rebecca Goodman, the art night has become a hit with both children and adults.  Participants have created everything from mosaic signs to wire art to welded angel apron racks.

But visual art isn’t the only way our villagers get down.  Many of us are also flow artists.  Flow Artistry is a new meta-genre of self expression encompassing everything from juggling, contact staff, acroyoga, fire spinning, to hula hooping.  We even host flow gatherings, such as the upcoming Master Ong’s Flow Retreat Weekend.  It’s always a blast to invite some of the world’s most talented performers to come and share their tricks and secrets!

Another way we hone our flow is in the Flow Dojo, a project that I started several years ago that I envision becoming an integrated obstacle course throughout the whole property, as well as practice areas for a variety of tools.  Already there are plant tunnels, slack lines, javelin ranges, archery sheds, balance beams, hanging TRX straps, tree chin up stations, and hidden passageways spread throughout the village, and we’re just getting started.  Someday they may even be a whole shinobi course to explore!

Speaking of shinobi, EVO recently hosted a workshop that featured Adam Mitchell, 5th Dan ofJinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō in New York.  He shared ancient Japanese martial art techniques such as jujutsu takedowns and traditional ninjitsu short sword katas.  Participants drove hundreds of miles to learn from a master in our humble little village.  It was quite exciting to have a band of ninjas training in our tea house!  Maybe we’ll be able to fit ninjitsu in with the capoeira, limalama, brazilian jiu jitsu, tae kwon do, parkour, muay thai, and kung fu forms our villagers are integrating into their own martial art practices.