Before industrial agriculture, dozens of different chicken breeds, now called heritage breeds, provided meat and blue, green, brown, orange, or white eggs in many different climates and locations. Now, only a couple breeds provide packaged chicken breast fillets and white eggs.
The Kellogg Writers Series of the University of Indianapolis will partner with the Big Car and Second Story to explore heritage chickens not only as a food source, but also as companions, inspiration for art and writing, and art themselves. This multi-disciplinary event includes:
- A reading by Michael Perry, memoirist, journalist, humorist
- Art created by members of Big Car and UIndy students
- Writing from local students facilitated by Second Story
- Audience participation in a Question and Answer session after the reading
- Audience participation in making art inspired by heritage chickens
- Audience participation in writing poetry inspired by heritage chickens
Michael Perry's latest book, "Coop: A Year of Pigs, Poultry, and Parenting." explores his move to a small farm in northern Wisconsin with his family. Two of his previous books have explored life in rural Wisconsin: "Population: 485" and "Truck: A Love Story."
Members of Big Car will produce numerous pieces of contemporary art to accompany the reading. Big Car is especially adept at putting together shows for the community that involve attendees in not only viewing art, but making art. Members include photographers, painters, sculptors, audio/video artists, and writers. This eclectic group will take their inspiration from the beauty and individuality of heritage chickens. Chickens will be on display as living sculpture so attendees can see their unique beauty up close and be inspired. UIndy art and writing students will also contribute work.
During the event, attendees can look at new art and chickens as art, and have the opportunity to create their own artistic response to chickens. Moreover, UIndy students will display their own art for the show. Attendees can also respond to the writing prompts Second Story will distribute to local schools.
We want to recast chickens not as something breaded or fried, but as living and inspiring art with long, rich history intertwined with humans!