Community Engagement

From community art projects to artist residencies at elementary schools, Joan and Ali love working & collaborating with others to create beautiful works of art!

Forces of Attraction - Artlink Gala 2022

Environmental Artist Joan Baron, with poet & essayist, Rashaad Thomas,
welcome you to experience our multi-dimensional, interactive installation.

Our collaboration began over tea & quickly expanded into conversations around our mutual appreciation for jazz & how sound can deliver & evoke emotion. This led us to John Coltrane, composer & saxophone, & Alice Coltrane, composer, pianist & harpist. Gifted “Forces of Attraction”, Rashaad shared his original poetry reading inspired by the composition Coltrane wrote – A Love Supreme. Sound, tone & pitch become sculptural, through Rashaad’s dramatic interpretation. Both John & Alice Coltranes music evokes healing & transformation to a place that can uplift & soothe. Other poetry readings were performed on opening night March 11, 2022. “Call and Response” was the style we used to recite these original compositions.

Please enjoy reading our call and response pieces – “The Pledge” and “In the Stillness of Being Tree Bark on the Way Home“. Also see below a short poem by Joan titled, “Illuminations” which is the title of the work pictured right.

The “Forces of Attraction” theme also led us to conversations around family. Our devotion & unconditional love are collaged together in family portraits. Joan with her husband Anthony and stepson Elan on the right, and on the left, Rashaad with his wife Nancy and daughter Jade. Vibrations of love travel through their eyes. The photographic concept was developed & created by photographer Nancy Thomas.

The Pledge

a call & response reading revisioning the Pledge of Allegiance for the 21st century

I pledge allegiance to the world

And to all the sentient & non sentient beings within

And to the planet

For which we share

One Vision


With Dignity



And a Sustainable World Community for All


joan baron

I pledge supreme love

children alike

our heartbeats home, Turtle Island

lands who breathe spirits

We Bleed, we who stand

One People

One Liberty

One Justice

One Love



rashaad thomas

Forces of Attraction also celebrates the resilience & intelligent relationship of trees & the fungi/mushroom world….a very active network of communication. The mixed-media floor & wall installation by Joan Baron explores the mysterious & magical world of fungi & their symbiotic bonding to trees. Fallen timbers, tree roots, bark & soil provide the perfect environment for mushrooms to grow. In return, fungi provide nutrients to the trees. Many species of mushrooms grow on trees & bark…some like truffles, grow underground. Ceramic vessels are informed by the shapes and textures of mushrooms. Salvaged tree branches & bark, mulch, flashlights & sound recordings of mushrooms in nature activate the installation.

listen to Amanita: Mushroom Music by Tarun Nayar | Modern Biology
listen on Spotify and YouTube
Tarun taps into nature, specifically mushrooms in the forests, to compose with their frequencies and sounds

Artlink Gala 2022, Rashaad Thomas process rehearsing John Coltrane installation/projection


there is a world just under our feet
where radical acceptance lives
a magical alchemy
trees, fallen lumber, fungi, earth, moisture…
deep intelligence
intimate compassion
nourishing…then illuminating
then sustaining,
each other’s existence


joan baron

Artlink video credit: Zee Peralta