The Shan-Tea Art Shanty Project

Much News to report, from Shanty town.  Our Tea-Pot has become a veritable gathering place, hosting many a meal, sing along and tea party. 
Photo shoots, late night gatherings, un-expected visitors with hand welded kettles, brown paper packages tied with pink string, curious head wear/tea-cozies.
Slips and slides, radio interviews, sauna's and deja-vu's.
Saag paneer on the wood stove, 22 for a fish fry on the wood stove, Canadians!!!,tea cups, tea cups and more tea cups,  Viking ball, thanks you packages, nose flute choirs, stand up bassists, 12 musicians piled into a shack.
Half time shows, gyrating pelvises, songs that rhyme with "Beard,"  and lots of scones....
The third weekend of the Shanties takes the project to a new degree of activity.  After last weekend's slush-capade, thousand of stir crazy Minnesotans poured on to the frozen lake.  The Shan-Tea was forced to hire a tea-cup-wearing bouncer, to regulate the crowds.  Our Saturday morning began splendidly with the delivery of some most amazing packages.  Home baked cookies from the prairies and a curious  array of head gear from the southern kingdon of Pu-ehr left us salivating and scratching our decorated heads.  (thank you your royal highness and foreign tea correspondant Princess Pu.) 
The Shan-Tea was strawberry jam packed full of performers and musicians all weekend pushing the capacity of the Shan-Tea to new limits, while also allowing Oolong John and myself a little time to explore our neighbourhood on the ice.  
On Saturday, Minneapolis' "I like you" proved that you can get a five piece band with an upright bass in a 12 foot yurt and still have an audience.
Sunday morning we were greeted by a choir of nose flutes hailing from Wisconsin. "Harry and the Night Crawlers" (all 12 of them!) put on an un-believable carnival of nose flute-ery, foot stomping and beautifully brewed tea songs. 
The Shan-Tea turned opened its doors to puppets, and the later part of saturday and sunday were host to a shadow puppet show all about the history of tea. (Sorry to all that couldn't make it in, we had a line up out of our handle both days!)
A healthy dose of  costumed competition was supplied to shanty land by visiting artist Tom Risotti, who introduced the game of Viking Ball.  Much running and grunting partaken in, complete with beards, tunics and hockey sticks. Also featured , by popular request, was a re-enactment of All the Bearded Ladies, featuring the official "All the Bearded Ladies" remix, a new set of glitzy onesies, and more strategically placed beards.

The beard rules here in shanty town.  With chilly temperatures and a need for alternative non-monetary currrencies,   the beard has become not only a facial accessory, but a personal system of measurement, an item of trade, a verb, a blanket, a money pouch, an educational tool, a topic of poetry and song ("you load 16 beards, and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt..."), and a dear friend.  Stay tuned for the official DIY Beard kit to be posted on the website in late February, and you can custom make your own custom face covering mind altering beard.


02/01/2010 18:13

As a proud member of the Nighcrawlers, I'd like to say thanks for welcoming us into the shan-tea!

carol and mark
02/03/2010 21:20

Hi Shantea-ers. How are you doing on firewood? need more? need anything else? offer for shower etc. still holds.just let us know

02/06/2010 13:31

My dear Bearded Friends,
Your caravan laden with gifts arrived in the Kingdom of Pu yesterday to much joy and fanfare. I am sipping some of the delicious tea as I type and proudly wearing my handsome new Beard, for which I am particularly grateful today since it is snowing. The tea tastes wonderful. And the tea cups are perfect. Have no fear of them being too humble for Royal Use. As my dear granny Pu Yuk used to say "worms will eat us all!" meaning we are all but humble clay in the end. (Of course she would then yell "so eat 'em first!!" but that was just one of her little ways.)
As you can see if you visit the new website my Ministry of Miscommunication has set up the beard looks charming with my own new cosy/hat. The Royal Consort found that particular ancient yak-hair hat in a mountain cave - rodents had chewed a small hole in the perfect place for a tea-pot spout! He was very excited and then sad that it was too late to send this mystic find northward to you. The next day saw the arrival of sweet lady Darjeeling Clementines gift of beads (my favorite color!). So I combined the two into a marvelous cosy/hat. It will remind me of the Shan-Tea with every brewing.
So I salute you with a cup of tea, thank you for our delightful correspondence and wish you a fabulous final day on the ice.

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    A collaborative project between Kelsey Nelsen and Amber Phelps Bondaroff, for the 2010 Art Shanty Project, on Medicine Lake Minnesota.