The Idle Class Quarantine Creative series features local creators and their spread of good fortune and creativity in a time of quarantine. What exactly are these artists doing to lift the spirits of our community while practicing social distancing? We’re here to find out. Next in the series: local artist Wendy Love Edge.
The eccentric artist, author, talk show host and cannabis activist, Wendy Love Edge, hails originally from Boston and is now known as a Northwest Arkansas icon. With a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy, Edge founded Bulldozer Health Inc., a nonprofit organization and health care reform initiative, as well as the Green Heart Festival, a celebration of wellness, art, music, plant medicine, sustainability and music.
Edge spent her formative years indulging in the arts, music and dance. Her painting mediums range from acrylics, watercolors and pastels. Through occupational therapy Edge was able to use her knowledge of art and science in therapy to treat patients. Her recent endeavors in painting have been for not only therapeutic value, but to send a message of health, wellness, ending cannabis prohibition and promoting it as medicine.
Her three books, Sixteen: My Journey to Wellness, Helpful Hannah Creates Her Own Health and Happiness and Helpful Hannah Educates Herself About Cannabis, are direct deliveries of success recipes for wellness. Her current show, The Wendy Love Edge Show with Topher Kogen, can be found in three states on radio, television and major podcasting formats. These are just a handful of the many, many artistic accolades and endeavors of the wondrous Edge.
As artists find ways to be creative during a time of social distancing, Edge told The Idle Class what she is doing to spread light and art in a time of seeming darkness.
What have you been doing creatively during the self distancing period?
Creatively, I have been doing several things. Returning to some hand work with crocheting, finishing some paintings that have been sitting on the easel in my art space for some time.
I am also, most importantly, continuing to create episodes of The Wendy Love Edge Show with Topher Kogen in a “quarantine edition.”
Along with that I’m staying connected with other creatives and sharing their work as I see it on social media. It’s nice to see other creatives sharing each other’s work. I just love how the music and art community has worked together on that. It keeps the wonderful sense of community that exists here in Fayetteville.
Why are you doing it?
The visual art and handwork helps me to keep anxiety lower and express myself in different ways to get through this time. It’s therapeutic–that is always the case for me.
As for my show, The Wendy Love Edge Show with Topher Kogen is one way that I create community on a weekly basis. We also present education and entertainment all wrapped up in one show. When Topher and I discussed it, we really wanted to keep bringing the show forward, since it highlights some of the best in our community in several areas including wellness, health, music, comedy, plant medicine and love. People need all of that now, more than ever. We remixed it a little to follow CDC guidelines. Since Topher and I live under one roof, we can create the beginning of the show and the end, then we are asking guests to send us videos with their segments on health, music and plant medicine or what we call, The Green Zone. Find the first quarantine edition below.
It will also air Wednesdays on KPSQ.org 97.3 FM Fayetteville.
I feel as an artist and someone who provides inspiration to the community, it is my duty to continue to do that in this stressful and frightening time. I believe it is the duty of all artists and entertainers and it is evident in Fayetteville that most of the other creators feel the same way. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.
It’s true that musicians are asking for donations in return for all the entertainment they are providing. Most face significant loss of income; incomes that are often already far below a living wage, despite all of their hard work. But you can be sure that just like under normal conditions, their drive goes far deeper than simply making some money. They are passionate and driving to continue to entertain and provide some positivity and comfort at such a difficult time.
Why is staying active in your art and finding new ways to express it important at a time like this?
I feel that it is personally healing to stay active in the artistic pursuits I engage in. But more than that, it keeps me inspired and helps me make sense of the emotional turmoil I feel for not only my own family, but humanity. Art is a connector, and once connected, people often feel more open in their heart and mind to discuss important topics and find solutions. I feel that art (in all of its forms) not only creates a positive focus, it shines a light on paths to change.
By continuing our show, which is available not only locally, but nationally, we are also providing a constant for people. It’s a constant in an uncertain world. People are used to seeing or hearing the show weekly, giving them news they can use for their own health and wellness and also providing inspiration and entertainment. We also hope it provides a few laughs to help their week be just a little better, a little more positive. If one person feels that way, we have done our job. But many people tell us that this is the case, and that drives us to keep going especially during this pandemic crisis.