Marisa Dipaola, USA / Portugal

Residency Period: August 1, 2016 - July 31, 2017


Marisa Dipaola was born barefoot on December 12th, 1977, and grew up in the cedar swamps and coastal Atlantic of southern New Jersey. She graduated with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2000 where she majored in painting and began experimenting with site-specific sculptural installations. Upon graduation, Marisa received a travel grant to study la Mezquita, in Cordoba, Spain, which began a collection of travels to eighteen countries, studying the sacred architecture and natural wonders, producing site-specific artworks in Japan and Iceland as well as entire series of artwork while on residence in Spain, India, Italy, Egypt, Austria, and Bahrain.

She has exhibited her works internationally at museums, galleries, universities, cultural institutions, community gathering places, outdoors within natural sculptural parks and urban revitalization projects.


On-hiatus Proposal Summary

In the course of being a nomadic artist, Marisa Dipaola has wandered throughout the landscape in diverse surroundings, constantly inspired by the natural world that embraces us all. After residing in the southern Austrian Alps for three years, she and her family are ready for a road trip to move to southern Portugal, in order to buy and renovate an old farm as a sustainable, permaculture project: moonfarmers. Raising her three-year old daughter while this major project is on the go, she is unable to foresee any free-time to take part in the artworld, at least for a year or so. Instead, she will dedicate her time and artistic effort to turning an abandoned property into a sustainable small farm and retreat, and quite possibly a future artist residency.

Her time will be spent with rebuilding a sustainable habitation, sourcing and planting fruit and nut trees, native edibles, sacred seeds, establishing berry patches, grape vines, mushroom patches, a chicken coop, a small fish pond, a huge vegetable patch. She will use sculptural elements to create terraced farming areas, enhance microclimates and enable year-round cultivation courtesy of cold frames fashioned from old windows as well as illuminating indoor growing areas, a few wind-chimes, alternative-energy-generating works, and the interior redesign & redecoration of their living space. On a more scientific front, she hopes to incorporate the skills she learns during this time to create various sculptural projects that encourage growth, combining illuminated works with fungal works and garden projects to create sustainable, living artworks. Any additional free time she finds will be spent mending clothes from the pile she’s had gathering for years and to complete more butterfly carpets -- and there is that quilt she has wanted to make for her bedroom.

She hopes that the time working and reflecting while on-hiatus from the artworld, but proceeding with her moonfarmers project will guide the future, whichever way it grows.

Final Report




recent comments

On Jul 31 2017, mathieu commented on revival: part IV: thank you for the reports and for the gorgeous photographs, your adventure is very inspiring![...]

On Jul 31 2017, co-director (s) commented on revival: part IV: I'm all choked up... July 31 happened to be my birthday too; what a last day! Thank you to you all!![...]

On Jul 31 2017, co-director (m) commented on revival: part IV: Thank you so much for your generous contribution to this project Marisa - and everyone (we know it's[...]

On Jul 30 2017, co-director (s) commented on revival: part three: One thing we regret not to have done sooner is to make the comment section capable of posting images[...]

On Jul 29 2017, marisa commented on revival: part one: Most of our gardening is playing the long-game & indeed for the patient-hearted. some of our tre[...]

frog songs & flowering food

Now that our pond is consistently full and continually bubbling,
our frogs seem contented and serenade us each evening.
(Well, actually, a little each morning, late-morning, & mid-afternoon, too.)

We definitely have three green tree frogs,
and also one larger striped frog,
that seems to be of the same species
as the frog in the well at our squatting spot in Rogil.
Since we aren’t frog experts,
we’re not sure what all their croaking is about:
communication for sure;
but is it for courtship and mating,
inviting neighboring frogs over for a party,
or just chit-chat about the changing weather?
Who can tell?

But they’re reassuring noises whenever we hear them;
along with the chattering of the songbirds each morning

and the high-pitched squeaks of the bats at twilight.

Otherwise our valley is pretty quiet most of the day,
except for the morning and afternoon commuters to bamboo parque,
and the hay man, the cow man, and the goat man
who all drive by a few times around midday.

Last Tuesday we had a Root trine,
during the tail end of transplant time.
So we cleared out a bit more of the garden
to put in 9 more potato sprouts and another row of onions.

The potato sprouts from last time have begun to leaf out,
and the beets from the first two plantings have all emerged.

And along with the flowering kale and arugula,

the broccoli raab and mustard have begun to blossom, too.

Otherwise, we’ve returned to mulching,
and finished covering the entire driveway
and now working on the walking paths
that meander up the hillside and toward the house.
During the rainy days, these paths got quite soggy and muddy,
and we noticed that where we had mulched the driveway,
the water ran underneath the mulch and made walking on top easier,
like walking on carpeting, so while there is still roadside mulch,
we decided to do all our walking paths.

In other news, we found some tadpoles swimming around
in the deep puddle over by the honeysuckle fence near the ruin.
There’s at least a dozen, perhaps more.
Since it was a small pond during the rains,
I’m sure they were quite comfortable,
but as it’s been drying up,
their oasis is quite murky.
So we’ve begun relocating the tadpoles to our pond.
Three moved the first day, and then a few more each day,
so far a dozen, but I thought I saw another in there yesterday.
(Update: turns out there were a few more; we’re up to fifteen!)

And since we had the time,
we had been doing some pruning,
mostly to free some cork oaks from shrubbery and other saplings.
We also have at least another dozen stone oak saplings to remove,
because they’re overcrowding our corks and fruit trees.
Some we hope to transplant, or gift to friends,
because we hate killing trees, and want to use their holes for planting in,
and because the trees aren’t large enough to be useful for firewood yet.

And over the long holiday weekend,
we’ve been baking, painting with Marmalade,

and back into the garden,
planting another batch of rainbow carrots,
and another two rows of rainbow beets
during Saturday’s Root time.

And giving all the planted seeds a good soaking.
Many seeds from the past few weeks have emerged:
aside from the rainbow beets and carrots,

purple kohlrabi, red swiss chard, garlic chives,
and a second batch of broccoli raab and spinach have all sprouted.

Also, a whole patch of something else has emerged
and is growing it’s second sets of leaves, but for the life of me,
I can’t remember what I might of planted there,
and don’t recognize these little plants at all.

Saturday night was a short Flower time,
so I planted a few lupines in our yard,
and potted up some of the purple artichokes.
(I had run an experiment with the artichoke seeds:
directly planting some in little pots in our cold frame,
and sprouting some in a wet towel before planting.
So far, nine of the sprouting dozen have sprouted,
so those I’ve potted up, and a few
have since emerged and leafed out.
Only one of the cold frame ones have sprouted so far,
though that could be due to the cold frame
being a bit cooler than my kitchen counter.)
Next Flower time, I’ll soak another dozen to sprout.
And then figure out where we can plant some more of them.
(I figure I’ll try to sprout about forty of them,
and then gift a few seeds each to friends with large yards.

Leave a Comment (2)

co-director (s) wrote on Mar 3:

Boy, frogs are the best. I really miss them. And great you rescued those tadpoles! Maybe I'll intern for you this summer

Lee wrote on Feb 27:

I love seeing your garden! It's -24 here and we are still very much in winter, but you are inspiring me to start some seeds. My boys and I love gardening so much, even though we garden in containers and a tiny strip in front of our window. We could use a boost to help us get through to our planting time - which is in early June!