We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Weaver and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachel, what are you inspired by?
The environment, nature, and the world around us. Whether it is natural spaces that feel like a getaway from bustling city and town areas, or the nature, trees, plants, and animals surrounding my home and neighborhoods, I enjoy finding inspiration in the natural world around me, wherever I may be. This state of wonder, curiosity, and inspiration is essential to my creative, personal, and professional endeavors. I’m inspired by the tiny ecosystem of my small garden, the lives and interactions of the birds and squirrels that live around my backyard trees, and the powerful appreciation that occurs when I’m in more wild spaces and parks. This inspiration leads to honoring our environment, appreciating natural resources, and creating pathways for new understandings about our natural world.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I create mixed media art with an environmental focus. Under my solo project name “blendways”, I create ambient soundscapes with electronics and field recordings, I also create collage zines, fiber arts, installations, and performance art. I started performing in 2018 and have continued to use blendways as a space for personal exploration and expression. My hope is that my art inspires others to consider our relationships with the natural world, and develop a sense of love and care for it. Throughout developing blendways and what that project can express, I’ve remained open to opportunities and new pathways for artistic growth – building collaborations and experimenting with other artists, applying for fellowships, and exploring the variety of venues that art can be expressed at.

I have also worked to develop my social art practice through this project, and make financial contributions and donations to environmental and social organizations whenever I receive any payment for performances and zines. I’m hoping to continue to grow blendways and find new ways for this social art practice to grow and connect with community.

I also try to participate in creative community building with my skills. I’m on the Board of Directors with KUZU Community Radio station in Denton, and host a weekly educational program called IN FORMED Radio. I broadcast fiction, nonfiction, music, art, and expressions over the radio. I also coordinate Denton Zine & Art Party to showcase local zine-makers, DIY publishing, and celebrate our community of artists. These projects and events take a lot of ongoing time, energy, and effort, with lots of various people and personalities involved, but I feel such fulfillment and gratitude for this community of creatives and the goals we share in.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are some really great nature centers and parks throughout DFW/North Texas. I live in Denton, and used to work at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, and it is one of my favorite spots to hike. I’ve also visited the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, and it was some of the most interesting hiking I have seen in the area. I want to visit the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve. There are many more I have visited or want to visit. It’s great that we actually have so many natural spaces preserved without our various cities and towns in North Texas. After hiking, I’d want to grab lunch, and visiting unique vegetarian-friendly restaurants around Dallas is one of our favorite things about DFW! We love Mai’s, DaLat, Zaguan, and Casa del Vegano to name a few.

I also like to visit the Museum District, and stop through the Nasher, the Crow museum, or the Dallas Museum of Art.

I have to give a shoutout to the Wild Detectives bookstore and the Texas Theatre – both are great local art-centered businesses and alternative venues that have hosted my performances in series such as the Six Foot Love Series and Dallas Ambient Music Nights.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My appreciation and care for the environment was really solidified during my environmental philosophy graduate studies and work abroad, where I gained new perspectives and experiences in new places and wilderness areas. Since then, I have tried to continuously cultivate a deeper environmental understanding, develop a sense of connection to the natural world, and teach others how to develop their environmental knowledge. I just finished reading “The Intersectional Environmentalist” by Leah Thomas, and it is a really great introductory text discussing the intersections and interconnections of environmental and social issues (and what we can do to protect people + planet). My creative community constantly inspires me. Because of this inspiration, I’m grateful to help host community events and be involved in organizations that contribute to strong creative community building. There are too many to name, but every single artist and creative that I collaborate and interact with inspires me.

Website: https://www.weaverswriting.com/about

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raxhelw/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blendways

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmdQm0VGAjk&t=197s

Other: https://blendways.bandcamp.com/ https://www.kuzu.fm/ https://www.dentonzines.com/

Image Credits
Some additional photos provided by Ellie Alonzo

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