SOLSTEAD: Beauty and Sustainability in Bisbee
Updated: Nov 15, 2018
Downtown Bisbee at night (source: http://everyavenuegirl.com/travel/5-days-in-southwestern-arizona/#)
People want to visit places that make a lasting impression. Bisbee’s cultural and biological richness draws outdoor enthusiasts, day trippers, motorcyclists, art lovers, and shoppers alike, providing a destination that attracts people from diverse ages and backgrounds. The county's building codes support and even encourage sustainable building. That, along with its dedication to historical and environmental preservation, including the creation of a Light Pollution Code, provides the perfect place for a group of artists and natural builders to call home. We have been in Bisbee for six wonderful weeks. In that time, we have participated in city council meetings, attended scientific presentations, and engaged in arts & cultural events. The community has offered us nothing but warmth and support along the way. We have been made to feel welcome here, and these endorsements have greatly encouraged us, and have helped us to sculpt ideas concerning ways that we can give back to this city.
An adobe workshop done with The Canelo Project at Deep Dirt Farm Institute in Patagonia, AZ At Solstead, education and creativity are the pillars of our mission statement . We intend to provide opportunities for people to develop and enhance their skills in natural building and the arts. By sharing our knowledge and expertise and inviting expert guest instructors to teach specialized skills, Bisbee could become a hub to which locals and non-locals come to participate in a variety of educational opportunities, including rainwater harvesting, water management, the construction and maintenance of composting toilets, the application and use of natural plasters (including adobe), enjoyment of the dark night sky and other eco-tourism attractions, and more. Restorative & Resilient Environment It is extremely important to us that we not only create a sustainable environment, but a restorative one. As our land heals from years of overgrazing by cattle and invasive pests, we look forward to welcoming back and growing a variety of native plants. We’re determined to work with the high desert climate to create gardens and landscapes that work with the natural rhythms of the desert. A CALL TO ART
The chance to work with the city to showcase Bisbee as a vibrant Arts & Cultural district is a strong motivating factor. We are already pursuing projects in muraling, teaching art classes, and constructing mobile galleries called “art carts”, and we are eager to start implementing them while working to develop new ideas for future collaborative endeavors. Bisbee already has a large network of artists (from painters to potters to sculptors) who would be perfect instructors for art classes at Solstead.
Art wall in Bisbee's Arts & Culture District
BISBEE's eclectic, historical, and artistic vibrance makes for an enchanting place to live. Musicians play on street corners and in parks in town, and unusual festivals like “Return of the Turkey Vultures” captivate and tantalize visitors and locals alike. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to experience Bisbee as we unravel the meaning behind sayings like, “I got weird in Bisbee", and “Bisbee is like Mayberry on Acid”. If you’re an artist or builder and would be interested in joining us on this adventure, stay tuned for upcoming posts about our workshop and volunteer opportunities.
Thank you for all of your support and encouragement as we forge ahead with our project. We have just received a roll of hyperadobe bags, and are planning and designing bathrooms and benches for our first project (exciting!). Also, welcome to Eugenio—the newest member of our team, visiting from Verona, Italy, and a pasta maker extraordinaire!