Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let's Go On A Treasure Hunt

Last weekend, Cathy, Casey and I ventured out to the annual open house of Riverdog Studio & Gallery. Riverdog is owned and operated by husband and wife multi media artists Deborah Banyas and T.P. Speer. The studio is situated on 20 acres and was converted from a property that was once a summer camp. The main building is a combination gallery space and working studio that is simply amazing. In addition to their artwork, you can also see some of Deborah and T.P.'s fabulous collection of folk art plus a studio space that has everything an artist could possibly want including a photo studio and wood shop.

A really fun feature of the open house is the chance to go on a treasure hunt on the extensive property and choose a piece of art from the treasure chest if you complete the task. You are provided with a map and the first of eight clues. Each clue leads you to the next and a rubber stamp proves you found each and every one in the correct sequence. If you get to the last clue and return to the gallery with a small head, (yes, I said head) you get to pick out a treasure. Even though a treasure hunt sounds like child's play, trust me when I tell you that it's not.

We spent close to two hours traipsing through meadows, wetland trails, brambles, bushes and branches looking for bee hives, wells, and this caterpillar infestation. Cathy and I thought we would fare better this year since we had Casey with us--she's young, energetic, and grew up on a farm. Even that wasn't enough to help us find clue #2 easily. We searched forever for this small tree infested with caterpillars. The clue said it was "just past" the settler's house. In reality, it was way, way, way, way past the settler's house. I suppose that's the difference between the way city folk and country folk interpret distances.

The very last clue led us to this bad baby in the woods. How creepy is that?

So creepy that we just couldn't stop looking at it and taking pictures of it.

Enough already!

At last, we found the heads! They were sprouting like mushrooms on fallen trees and logs.

These little polymer clay masterpieces are what Deborah uses in her artwork to create whimsical wall sculptures.

Hey, this one looks like Casey!

See what I mean?

Here's my treasure map complete with rubber stamps and the required head. Now I'm off to collect my prize.

Ta da! Here's what I chose from the treasure chest. Isn't he adorable? Was he worth an entire afternoon spent with my friends, soaking up art and inspiration indoors and fresh air and sunshine outdoors?

Yep. Totally worth it.


lori vliegen said...

hee hee.....what a great prize!! you're a lot braver than i am, traipsing around in the woods looking for rubber stamps (i prefer the easy method of going to aisle six over at hobby lobby!). and i definitely would have called it quits after coming across that "chucky baby"....yikes!!

and, pat, somehow i missed seeing your butterfly on's magnificent!! i would love to take a tutorial with you someday!! :))

Bridget said...

OMG, that looks like sooo much fun!!!! Does this happen every year? I would love to go walking along that property :)

Anonymous said...

What a cool idea! It's amazing what some people think of. And I love your prize, he's too cute.

Dr. Hammel said...

Better late than never to comment. Your writing AND artwork AND photos are inspired! This sounds like terrific fun--even with the bad baby. Do you know the history of Gore Orphanage Road? It's as creepy as the baby.