Seeking, fleeing, adopted, stolen, here, unknown, I don’t know. These are the words that start to describe the ways in which our forbearers came to, or were here, in America. Ayumi Horie, one of Haystack’s 2017 Summer Conference presenters, led a workshop in which participants stamped bricks with these circumstances and the century in which they or their ancestors “became American.” It’s a project with ambiguities, imperfection, and complexity so it allows for interpretation of the narratives that we all tell about our family histories. It pulls many different groups together based on collective histories. A brick wall was built and collapsed, a fitting a metaphor for the times we live in!  Ayumi created this video, capturing the brick-making process -just one of many activities during this year’s conference.


Haystack is an international, non-profit, studio program in the arts, offering six
one- and two-week studio workshop sessions to craft-makers and visual artists
of all skill levels, led by prominent faculty artists. Haystack also offers a residency program,
conferences, a visiting artist series, spring and fall workshops specifically for Maine residents,
and workshop series and mentorship programs for Maine high school students.