The Jude Rockfish Chronicles

These are the chronicles of the artist-in-residence, Daniel Kerkhoff, originally from Minnesota, U.S.A. (or possibly somewhere else?) who makes his way to different communities on different continents with art acting as his conduit.  Along with Jude Rockfish as his guide and muse, they consider themselves cultural cross-pollinators, weaving communities and creating social sculpture

For previous blogs about Daniel’s artist-in residency in Ghana, 2009, go to:

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International Art Exhibition and Festival, Sisid-anejo, Ecuador, Feb. 17-19, 2012

Art Show Fliers r3

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Exhibición y Festival Internacional de Arte, 17, 18, 19 de febrero, 2012, en Sisid-Anejo, Provincia de Cañar, Ecuador

Exhibición y  Festival Internacional de Arte, 17, 18, 19 de febrero en Sisid-Anejo,  Provincia de Cañar, entre El Tambo y Ingapirca (Hay taxis de El Tambo a  Sisid-Anejo por $3.00).
Habrán  artistas plásticos, artesanos, bandas de música, grupos de danza, comida típica de Cañar, y más!  Mire el anuncio agregado para más  información.
International Art Exhibition and Art Festival, February 17th, 18th, and 19th in  Sisid-Anejo, province of Cañar, between El Tambo and Ingapirca (there  are taxis from El Tambo to Sisid-Anejo for $3.00).
There will be visual artists, artisans, bands, dance groups, Cañari food, and more!  Please  see announcement in the attachent for more information.
Participating Artists:
Miguel Angel, Quilotoa, Ecuador, two acrylic paintings.
Anonymous, Cuenca, Ecuador, woodcarving.
Artistas del Ministerio de Cultura Direccion Provincial Cañar
Antonio Berrneo, Cuenca, Ecuador, acrylic painting, Taller ¨Chagarro Fufurufu¨, Mariano Cueva y Pr. Cordova, Cuenca,
Ceramica Quinde, Cuenca, Ecuador, ceramic painting, Galeria Altany, Juan Jaramillo 5-42, Cuenca.
Esther Cho, New York, NY, U.S.A./Seoul, South Korea, drawings.
Cosmic Cannonball, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., The band`s music CD, ¨Live: Magnetic Flux¨, dR. idway, Calum Forster, Yarrow Benrud.
Poppy Dully, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., three prints,
Steven Edmundson, St. Paul Park, Minnesota, U.S.A., four prints,
Shuu Eguchi, Tokyo, Japan, an oil painting,¨Esperanza¨, 2011.
Jack Gallup, Ames, Iowa, U.S.A., A CD of his piano music, ¨Green Places¨.
Karl Giesler, St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., a print, ¨An Origin for the Dream of Flight¨ 1995.
Jorge Gonzàlez U., Cuenca, Ecuador, paintings, Artes J.G., Calle Larga 528, Cuenca.
Anna Goodale, Cuenca, Ecuador/ Camden, Maine, U.S.A., watercolor,
Dolores Guaman, Sisid-Anejo, Ecuador, drawings, 2011-2012.
Barbara Halvorson,  Pueblo, Colorado, U.S.A., a print on canvas, ¨Ingapirca ca  1970¨ and a book of her photos of Sisid (1970) with her pastel drawings.
Nathan Heidt, San Diego, California, U.S.A., A book of his photographs, ¨this is not a rehearsal, photographs from the field¨.
Charles Hinman´s Class of 2011, The Art Student´s League of New York, NY, U.S.A.
    Parker Cushing, a print, ¨Croquet Anyone¨.
    Lucia Heredia-Malamud, a print, ¨The Poem of Space¨, 2010.
    Basia Goldsmith, a print,
    Lilla Grant, a print.
    Michelle Melo, a print, ¨El Taller¨.
    Aya Ogasawaka, a print, ¨My Little Court¨.
    Gloria R. Pearl, a print.
    Wm Pearl, a print, ¨Untitled¨.
    Mary Ryan, a print, ¨Sophie´s Chair¨, 2011,
    Robert T. Schultheis, a print.
    Robert Scott, a print, ¨Transaction¨.
    Anita Seay, a print
    Hanna Seiman, a print, ¨Above and Beyond¨, 2011,
    Christine Springuel, a print
    Marla Vilanova, a print, ¨Tierra y Agua¨, 2008.
Randy Holst, Missoula, Montana, U.S.A., a watercolor.
Rachel Horn, Berkley, California, U.S.A., two drawings, 2011.
Ivan, Quilotoa, Ecuador, an acrylic painting.
Laurent Jacquinot, New York, NY, U.S.A./Paris, France, an oil pastel,¨Ingapirca Landscape as Sunset¨.
Jose, Quilotoa, Ecuador, an acrylic painting.
Daniel Kerkhoff, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., an art installation.
Yukitsuga Komura, New York, NY, U.S.A./ Tokyo, Japan, four prints,
Ed Konderla, Cuenca, Ecuador/Center, Texas, U.S.A., wood sculptures.
Humberto Latacunga, Quilotoa, Ecuador, an acrylic painting, 2011.
Gustavo López M., Cuenca, Ecuador, paintings, Galería-R-Rios, Calle Luis Cordero 4-17 y Calle Larga, Cuenca,
Michelle Louis, Middleton, Wisconsin, U.S.A., a painting ¨Lemons + Limes¨, a print ¨Agave¨, a photograph  ¨A tree near my house¨.
Sophia Manriquez, Bonita, California, U.S.A., a drawing.
Tom Nay, Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A., a cd of his music, songs of Brian Wilson, ¨Midnight Pass–Let it Flow!,
Aaron Nerenberg, San Diego, California, U.S.A., a drawing.
Isabel Nerenberg, San Diego, California, U.S.A., a drawing.
Jóhnatan Ortega, Cuenca, Ecuador, a watercolor, Taller Chagarro Fufurufu, Mariano Cuevo y Pr. Cordova, Cuenca.
Jose Ortiz, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., a drawing.
Neha Pannuri, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, U.S.A. a DVD of her classical Indian dance performance.  Sachin Pannuri, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, U.S.A./Hyderabad, India, paintings.
Kenneth Platnick, New York, NY, U.S.A., an ink drawing.
Jude Rockfish, Good Thunder, Minnesota, U.S.A., collages, scuptures.
Angelo Siguencia, Cañar, Ecuador, paintings.
Ava Smith, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., two paintings.
Zyra Smith, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., two paintings.
The Students of the Community of Sisid-Anejo, Sisid-Central, Cahuanapamba, and neighbors, drawings, 2011-2012.
The Students of the Community of Adugyama, Ghana, drawings, 2009-2011.
Klever Táraconga, Quilotoa, Ecuador, an acrylic painting.
Marshall Waterman, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., a painting.
Winona Waterman, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., a painting.
The Weekenders, Ames, Iowa, U.S.A., a cd of the bands music, ¨Multiverse 11¨
Carolyn Weiss, Bacalar, Q.Roo, Mexico/Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., a watercolor,
Plus many dance groups and bands performing!
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January, 2012 Newsletter from Ecuador

January, 2012, Sisid-Anejo, Ecuador

Feliz Año Nuevo a Todos!!!!

And for those of you not up on your español, ¨Happy New Year Everyone!¨ Or what my English students here in Sisid-Anejo would think I´m saying, ¨Happy New Year Bulls!¨

During our English classes, when I would say ¨todos¨ (Spanish for ¨everyone¨), some of my students would start laughing (under their breath and down-right openly!) because my ¨todos¨ sounds like ¨toros¨or ¨bulls¨ in English. Maybe it´s my new term of endearment, un hommage to Lady Gaga´s ¨little monsters¨.

We are busy preparing for the art exhibition and art festival which will take place for three days, February 17th, 18th, and 19th here in Sisid-Anejo. I recently found out that the Ecuadorian Tourist Bureau has taken an interest, and a music group from Esmeraldas, which is all the way up in northwest Ecuador, wants to perform. Besides the art and Cds some of you are sending, there will be artisans, bands of music, dance groups, and lots of Cañari food, so it should be something a little out of the ordinary for all of us here in Sisid-Anejo!

It´s still not too late if any of you still wish to participate. Just drop something that you´ve created in the mail, preferrably before January 15th or probably no later than January 20th. If it arrives before February, I will put your name on the e-mail announcement. Those of you in Ecuador don´t need to donate a piece if you´re responsible for dropping it off and picking it up.

Send whatever inspires you and wish to donate to the community here–a small drawing or painting, a collage, a photo you took, a CD of your photos or of your music–any one of your creations you´re willing to set free and let fly to South America! It´s an opportunity to share, connect, and be in solidarity with another community (you´ll feel the vibrations later). I´ll also post photos of your work at my website,

These past three months I´ve been mostly working on my own art and haven´t been much help farming. Instead, I´m spreading the ishma (Kichwa for ¨manure¨) on the inside of my house, so to speak, and seeing what creative things sprout and come to life.

I did try my hand one day at plowing a field with a wooden plow and two bulls (I lasted about five minutes). I claimed I was too tall and didn´t have enough time to observe, but obviously I was way out of my league. The ¨Lionel Messi of plowing¨ took back the whip and wooden handle and made it look, of course, really easy. He would just make a variety of little sounds with his voice and the bulls listened to him. He hardly had to use the whip. I, on the other hand, was a bit zealous with the whip (hmmmm?), which made the bulls just want to run away from me.

Raymundo was videotaping the whole thing, but everyone was laughing so hard, the video is mostly of the ground. He did catch me for about three seconds on tape at the very end when I fell (the furrows are deep!). Some photos and short videos of my Sensei and the bulls are in the ¨La Comuna Sisid¨ set.

I´ve been going about every two weeks to the city of Cuenca, about a two-hour bus ride. Cuenca is rich with museums, galleries, good restuarants, universities, loads of beautiful, colonial buildings; and the pulsing Río Tomebamba flows right through the city, complete with walkways and weeping willows.

I´ve been very lucky because this year was the Bienal de Cuenca (a huge, multi-site, international, art exhibition) and the Festival de la Lira (a four-day, international, poetry festival).

The Bienal de Cuenca has been going on from November 11, 2011 to January 31, 2012, Many of the works in the Bienal are video installations. Two that come to mind that I´ve enjoyed were: Kaoru Katayama`s (Japan) video, ¨Technocharro¨, a traditional dance group from Salamanca, Spain dances to techno music and Javier Nuñez Gasco`s (Spain) video, ¨Protesis para una Bailarina¨–a ballerina has a man taped to one of her legs and she tries to dance while he lies on the ground like dead weight. I wonder what that`s all about??

Besides all the museums that are exhibiting work, many of the galleries also have art that has been related to the Bienal. One gallery I´ve been enjoying going to is the Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo de Cuenca on Avenida Hermano Miguel which has had interesting exhibits and has a beautiful, lush courtyard. I´ve been meeting artists here in Ecuador such as Marcelo Aguirre (Quito), Ariel Dawi (Cuenca), Roberto Carlos Paredes Marìn (Cuenca), Hernàn Illescas (Cuenca), and Miguel Angel Cajilima (Cuenca). I`ve seen some interesting work by Luigi Stornaiolo and Adrian Washco, and I`m just starting to learn about the many of art collectives who are doing interesting work. I`m also documenting the street art in Cuenca which can be seen in my ¨Cuenca¨ set of photos.

When I was in Quito for a week in September, I saw the museums of Oswaldo Guayasamín and Camilo Egas, two of Ecuador´s most famous artists, and the work of two other greats, Eduardo Kingman and Enrique Tábara.

At the end of November,I was able to attend three days of the four-day, international, poetry festival, La Festival de la Lira, It was a free event with poets having panel discussions during the day and poetry readings at cafes and other venues in the evening. There was a large reading at the CIDAP museum which also included live music, dance groups, fireworks at the end. I bought several books and talked with the poets, Paùl Puma (Ecuador), and Reynaldo Perèz Sò(Venezuela).

Also, if any of you would like to learn more about the area I´m living in, in the province of Cañar, I recommend the book by Judy Blankenship, Cañar: A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador. You should be able to find it on-line at Amazon or order from your local, independent bookstore! She lives part of the year in the town of Cañar and we´ve e-mailed each other. I hopefully will meet her soon.

Those of you in Ecuador, I´ll be exhibiting my art at Libri Mundi, Avenida Hermano Miguel in Cuenca, starting January 13th until about Feb. 2nd.

We´ll also be having two exhibitions in May in north Minneapolis. I´ll send out the announcement in April. The children and student´s art from Sisid, along with photos of the community, will be exhibited at Homewood Studios,, from May 1st to 16th. My art installation along with what I´ve been collecting here will be shown at the Warren: An Artist Habitat,, for the month of May.

If anyone has any questions about the culture here or what I´m doing, or the photos I have at my site,, please feel free to write and I´ll try and answer them, or more likely, find someone who can answer them. Part of the reason why I travel and live in other countries and connect with a community is because my own ignorance (and indifference) becomes intolerable for me. I often rely on over simplified formulas about the ¨other¨, an easy thing to do. Being ¨in person¨ and over a period of time often crushes those very-assured notions. Besides all the sensory delights of traveling which really feeds me, traveling takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me curious again and wakes me up!. Fresh Eyes (like a child´s). I need that.

So, Happy New Year to Everyone! Thanks for all of you reading this verbose e-mail and to those who have corresponded, and those that have already sent art for the exhibition!

Wishing us all an abunDance of Relatedness, Community, and Sweet Solitude in 2012! And less BUSYNESS!

Ecuadorially Yours, Daniel Kerkhoff and Jude Rockfish

¨Caya Cama, Mincha Cama!¨ (Kichwa for ¨See you tomorrow, see you another day!¨)
¨Yacu Naya!¨ (Kichwa for ¨I`m thirsty!¨)

P.S. I leave Ecuador February 25th. When I return to Minneapolis, I´ll be doing an artist-in-residency at St. Stephen´s Homeless Shelter from March 5th to April 3rd. I´ll be living at the shelter, working with the residents on art, witnessing, and learning. I also hope to assist St. Stephen´s with their Oral History of Homelessness Project,, or whatever else they might need. Their website is:

P.P.S. Some of you might want to check out the Yusuni Project that is protecting theYasuni National Park from oil development. President Correo proposed that if Ecuador can raise $350 million dollars each year, then that would protect the park, the Amazon River, the rare animals, plants, and indigenous peoples from oil developers. By keeping the oil in the ground, it`s also keeping carbon dioxide emissions from affecting the atmosphere. There have been telethons here in Ecuador, and European countries and Japan have financially assisted. You can too!!!,


Quotes by the artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin:

¨Mi arte es una forma de oracion, al mismo tiempo que de grito…y la màs alta consquencia del amor y la soledad.¨

¨My art is a way of praying and to scream at the same time… and the greatest consequence of love and solitude.¨

¨Si no tenemos la fuerza de estrechar nuestras manos de todos, si no tenemos la ternura de tomar en nuestros brazos a los niños del mundo, si no tenemos la voluntad de limpiar la de todos, los ejércitos; este pequeño planeta serà un curepo seco y oscuro.¨

¨If we do`t have the strength to grasp our hands with everyone`s hands, if we don`t have the tenderness to hold in our arms the children of the world, if we do not have the will to clean the earth of all its armies, this small planet will be a dry and black body in a black space.¨


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October, 2011 Newsletter from Ecuador

October, 2011, Sisid-Anejo, Ecuador

Hola One andean All!

Greetings from the southern highlands of Ecuador in the province of Cañar! I´m here doing an artist-in-residency in the community of Sisid-Anejo (elev. around 11,000 ft., 3500 m) from June 14th until Feb. 25th. Sisid-Anejo is only about 3.5 kilometres from the famous Incan ruins of Ingapirca.

I was invited to Sisid-Anejo by Marcos, the owner of Chimborazo Restaurant (29th and Central Ave. in NE Minneapolis, if you´re in the area, stop in, say ¨hello¨ and enjoy some of his wonderful Ecuadorian cuisine). His family has been helping me out, cooking me wonderful meals, and teaching me about Cañari culture. I have done farm work with them, cutting grass for the cows and cuyes (guinea pigs), spreading abono de pollo (chicken manure), feeding the pigs, moving the cows from pasture to pasture and giving them water, and even milking the cows (I´m still learning!). Now I can say I´ve had a café con leche squeezed with my own hands.

The community here are really hard-working farmers who grow papas (potatoes), maize (corn), fava beans, peas, wheat, barley, quinoa, garlic, carrots, onions, and various other vegetables and medicinal herbs. They often are working on steep mountain-sides and use bulls with a wooden plow, though tractors are used as well. Being of Irish ancestry, I probably owe my very existence to the potato, the sustenance of my forebears (and Guiness, of course!). As much as the potato is associated with Ireland, its origens are from the Andes mountains. The potato here is included in practically every delicious meal and I´ve had the pleasure of eating several classes. Here are just a few spuds that are in these parts (for you potato connoisseurs our there!): Papa Chaucha, Papa Super Chola, Oca, Melloco, Papa Juvaleña, Papa Violeta, Papa Pata de Venado, Papa Bolona, Papa Esperanza. And let´s not forget Salchipapas!, the Ecuadorian french fry, ¨Mishqui!¨(Kichwa for ¨delicious¨).

I am SLOWLY learning Spanish and also a few phrases and words of the indigenous language, Kichwa (Quichua). Kichwa is spoken by many of the adults here, but some schools are switching from teaching Kichwa to teaching only Spanish and English. Sadly, some of the children are losing their Kichwa language abilities. ¿Alli lla chu kangui? is How are you? and to say ¨I´m fine¨, ¨Alli lla kash kani¨.

After being here for four months, I´ve already developed an addiction that I´m unwilling to control. Although I walk a lot, which is a healthy activity, I find myself unable to stop from picking up eucalyptus leaves. Often I return to my house with a handful of the odiferous fellows and place them in various groupings and piles. Their burgandy-wine reds and leathery browns have captivated me and like all addictions, it´s led me to other habits such as buying large amounts of hairspray and glycerin. As the red-laterite dirt had me under its spell in Adugyama, Ghana, these enchanting eucalyptus leaves will play a major role in the art installation I am creating in honor of the community of Sisid. My neighbors here probably watch me intently picking up these ubiquitous, non-edible vegetations and see it as just another sign that the U.S. empire is on the wane.

I see a large part of my work here is being a witness– a witness to this new environment, to the people and culture here, to my own cultural indoctrinations, and to all the interactions that take place in between. Much as I did in Adugyama, Ghana, I am creating an installation that reflects these interactions and my own attractions. The installation is in honor of this community, Sisid, but hopefully it also honors the larger community we call Earth, in all of its diversity and complexity.

In a way, I consider my work in these communities as a form of Social Scupture which was put forth and developed by the artist, Joseph Beuys (1921-1986). Art reflects human consciousness and is becoming more expansive and democratic. Although I still do traditional drawing and painting, I now consider most of my activities in terms of being a form of art. I also see how much art everyone possesses in their activities which are a part of their being, that they do with attentiveness (mindfulness) and do well. I see art in the incredible skill and work the farmers do here. In many ways, the same way farmers have been working here for centuries. While they make their work look easy and graceful, I´m just trying to hang in there and abide.

On the 17th, 18th, and 19th of February, we will be having a three day art exhibit and festival at the church/community center/hostal here in Sisid-Anejo. The community leaders want to include typical Cañari food, area musicians will be playing, and they will invite the media, poiticians, and other dignitaries. The exhibit will include my art, the children´s and student´s art, photocopies and photos of children´s art from Adugyama, Ghana, and various art from Ecuador and other countries. They are developing tourism here and have converted the former convent into a hostal where people can stay and learn about Cañari culture (their e-mail:, Tel. 092879898). It´ a cool space.

Anyone who would like to donate an art work for this community ¨weaving¨ project is invited to do so! The art work just needs to be sent to me before February 1st, the sooner the better. I encourage children and classrooms to participate as well. I will document the exhibit and people will be able to see their work being shown here in Ecuador on my website. You can send whatever inspires you to share with this community: photos, prints, collages, drawings, paintings, CDs, DVDs, photocopies. I will make portfolios for your work and they will be kept in the community room in Sisid-Anejo. This room will become a community sharing room. Here is the address where you can send your art work (it just needs to be under 8 lbs).

Daniel Kerkhoff (Tel. 087659877)


Cañar (Canton-Cañar)

Ecuador, South America

In May, 2012, I will also be curating two exhibitions in north Minneapolis. The children´s art and photos from Sisid-Anejo will be shown at Homewood Studios ( and my art installation will be shown at The Warren: An Artist Habitat ( Hopefully, I´ll see some of you there!

Here in Sisid-Anejo, I have a room that is used as a drop-in art center and a library. I brought about 150 children´s books in Spanish and English donated by my aunt Michelle and uncle Bob and Capstone Press. Thank you! Many thanks also to all my family and friends for their support, to Marcos and his family, and to the community of Sisid!

You can see photos of the community of Sisid, Ecuador, and my art at my new website, ,still a work-in-progress. Many thanks to Aleta Johansen for building the site for me. Anyone wishing her web services can contact her at: or Many of the families here in Sisid also have family in the United States, mainly in the cities of Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York. They can see photos of their loved ones here and what´s happening in the community.

Wishing you all a good view on this journey. Blessings to you all!

Ecuadorially Yours (J.G.V PTH),

Daniel Kerkhoff and Jude Rockfish

Tel. 087659877

P.S. Those of you in the Cuenca area, I´ll be in a group show at Dos Mundos. The inauguración/reception is Thurs, Oct. 27th at 7pm. Dos Mundos, Av. Remigio Crespo 4-72 (Frente a Jaher). The exhibit will be up for two weeks.

P.P.S. If you´re wishing to impress your neighbor on the bus or at the coffeshop or bar, just turn to them and let them know that The Panama Hat really isn´t from Panama. It´s actually made in Ecuador, mostly on the coast and in Cuenca and surrounds. It´s called the sombrero de paja toquilla or the Montecristi. The name ¨Panama Hat¨ came to be popular because the Montecristi was worn by many of the workers building the canal.

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