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[...]

wild enough

So the wildflowers are incredible.

And it turns out that a lot of the shrubby things in our yard
are all related species of wild flowering shrubs,
the largest (& most exquisite) of these are the sea roses.

But there are also flowering orchid relatives and little wildflowers,
and a whole lot of lavender, flowering profusely.

And although not a wildflower,
the tangerine tree has begun to blossom.

And one of the eight blueberry bushes.

Getting our yard and garden ready for Springtime
has been exhausting, yet rewarding…
(& a good mental break for the mentally broke)

Oddly enough, one of the common “weeds” in our garden are calla lilies.
They are strangely stunted, because I had pulled some of their first leaves
before realizing what they were.
They were my grandmother’s wedding bouquet.
And I’m sure she’d be delighted to see them here.

The pond is flowing nicely, the frogs are less bashful,
and we’ve added five fish (3 goldfish & 2 koi) to our pond;
so now our pond visits have even more searchable creatures.

While we were adding the fish,
we actually got a glimpse of one of the tadpoles.
We had wondered what became of them,
and were kinda worried that one of the larger frogs might’ve eaten them
(if frogs would even do that), but at least a few have survived and are in fine form.

Also, we got a waterlily from our friend’s pond,
that seems to have transplanted nicely,
and showed off its first bloom.

Sapo, our toad, has been making almost nightly appearances.
Last night it was sitting in one of the yogurt cups
that I had planted with orange bell pepper seeds,
so I asked it to move along, which it did obligingly,
probably because I was shining the lantern on it.
After it moved aside, it crept into a crack on the porch,
seemingly to be living in the cavern of a cinderblock.
It is quite large, with very muscular arms and legs,
which it moves with silent precision
(well, except when it scuttles over the wood chips, then it is quite loud).
So cool.

Otherwise, all our lizards are out and about,
scurrying across our walls and chimney,
and just plain sunning themselves.
They are still quite shy,
perhaps because we get excited to see them
and the excitement startles them.
Also, they are getting quite large.
And I’ve been even catching glimpses of one in the garden.

And while checking over at Nutella’s grave,
I saw a snake swerve over and into the nearby undergrowth.
The Hopi consider snakes the messengers to the Earth Mother,
as they travel into the underworld.

Last week we had a bunch of Root days,
and Mohamed’s father was in a getting-things-done mood,
so he helped Mohamed begin building Marmalade’s playhouse

(using all the scraps we’d been scavenging these past months)
and a pergola for over the outdoor kitchen area.
Meanwhile I had twisted my ankle and wasn’t very mobile,
but still busy preparing for a short and busy Flower transplanting time.

At first, I had 10 artichokes and a few climbing flowers to transplant,
but then we bought a Lantana flowering bush and two passionflower vines.
Then, while down in Rogil, for lunch at Batata Doce, we stopped by a garden shop
and got a wisteria, a jasmine, and a maracuja (passionfruit vine).

And some more of the blue ballet winter squash seedlings were ready for the ground,

as were a few more organic sunflower seedlings.
So we had a lot of transplanting to do.

We had a really eventful long holiday weekend.
On Saturday was Sebastian’s 5th birthday party,
and Sunday was Easter Sunday, and we had holiday breakfast at home.
And so taking the advice from Lee (“fake it til you make it”)
I helped Marmalade dye Easter eggs and sing bunny songs.

Monday we went to Nova Tero:
a horse (& goat & sheep) farmstead
run by a vegan German couple
who recently relocated from the Canary Islands,
where climate-change induced wildfires burned their forest home.
(Mohamed met them because we bought a solar inverter from them,
& befriended them & was curious to see their land & animals.)
They live an hour and change away, really in the middle of nowhere
(I thought we were kinda in the middle of nowhere,
but we can conveniently get to a market & a town, which they cannot).
The Sebastians came, too, partly so we could help each other find the place.
But mostly because they love horses, were curious to see Nova Tero,
and Marmalade and Sebastian play really well together.
I went because Marmalade asked me to.
Otherwise, I would’ve stayed at home,
as I haven’t been feeling very social.

Now we’re thankfully back home,
and back to our normal, quiet life fixing up the house and the garden.
The garden is getting huge,
and several plants are ready for harvest:

especially the broccoli and spinach,
with mustard greens and onions harvested for most of our meals.
And the peas are getting plump, so soon they’ll be ready too!

After some Fruit time cutting a fig branch to root,
and planting quinoa, yellow wax beans, and Auskernbohnen beans from Austria;
and planting strawberry seeds, Calabacita (round zucchini),
and a few more watermelon, eggplant and tomato seeds,
it has flipped over to Root time.

So we are building a trellis support for the maracuja and passionflower vines.
And since the temperature has dropped back to normal,
I started painting the house trim blue.
It’s nice to be painting again.

Over the next few weeks, we will paint the whole exterior of the house,
before all the planted climbing vines start climbing up the walls.
So I decided to get started.

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