It's just a name. But a name is everything, right? It's your brand. I came up with the concept during my vision quest and immediately reserved the web site name "groundrounds.biz". I was not happy with it as it was way too close for comfort to the restaurant, The Ground Round, particularly for someone with a largely plant-based diet. Also, having grown up with the name Chuck Rounds, I heard my share of name-related meat jokes. I was unable to secure my name, as another site with that name existed, a Las Vegas entertainment reporter.
On January 25 2014, I was alerted that the domain name chuckrounds.com was available and tah, dah, a few weeks later I built and published this web site. But, the site name groundrounds had grown on me and it seemed to fit. My vision for being art in the world was bigger than one individual's name, bigger than a gallery of my art, my web presence needed to encompass the many aspects of my vision, living my life, being art in the world.
First, the site is a portfolio gallery, actually, a couple of nested thematic galleries:
The site also reflects the more action-oriented, community-engaged side of being art beyond the recording of images or the making of objects. It's a portal to:
The New Seminary @Burkittsville, an arts-based, spirit-infused, human potential, environmental protection, and community-development charitable organization; and
Woven Waters, a sustainable textile development company for fashion and interior design, the profits beyond which are required to sustain the company will be directed toward water-related rights and conservation as well as disaster response.
Coming soon there will be a point-of-sale portal, Prints & Takes.
That is my vision for the site; and my life being art in the world. Again, WTW, why groundrounds? And again, the answer is simply in the two words of the name. Ground is a reference to the Earth's surface, its soil. I have always been attracted to landscape as an object of and inspiration for art-making. It's important to me not to be too flighty, to be "grounded" in reality. Home is my touchstone. This site's home page will be a portal to my various endeavors. Electricians use it to refer to electricity neutralizing elements connected to the Earth. As a shaman I view myself as an axis mundi grounding psychic energy between dimenions.
Proving grounds are military sites of experimentation with new technology. In the law, a ground, is a rational motive, for a belief, for an action taken. This site will similarly be a proving ground, a place for me to share my shamanic journeys and artistic path, what I experience and see, the conversation I have with it. All which serve as the ground for my beliefs, my "m.o.". Ground zero is the center point, often of an explosion. This site is an explosion of things; hopefully the scatter pattern is readable. Nature. Spirit. Community. Art. The idea of "holy ground" always intrigued me; as have pilgrimages to holy lands, sacred sites. You are my ground. I am a walker, of streets, fields, woods, and labyrinth. I am a wanderer between worlds. Much of my art-making and personal spiritual meaning-making is Earth inspired. I travel to its holy sites as called; I recognize holy sites when out for a mosey.
I "make the rounds". For g-d's sake, my last name is Rounds. I make art serially revisiting a theme. I believe in reincarnation, that we return again, and again, repeating the cycle, like singing childhood songs, the "rounds" of "Row Your Boat" or "99 Bottles", until we outgrow our karma. The seasons' rounds guide much of my life. Doctor's in training participate in "grand rounds", patient-based teaching/learning opportunities. I am a practicing shaman. I travel to the underworld and other worlds of shamanic reality and return with visions to share. My art is spiritual map-making. and I hope perceived as liminal space, a place for a conversation. a meditative portal, an invitation to play through a few rounds. And, here it is, all rounded up and ground together, the site, the vision and the man.
I have opened it. Welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org
wE ARE ARTISTS, AUTHOR'S OF A SINGULAR LIFE, CO-CREATORS IN a LARGER REALITY OF LIMITLESS PLAY AND POSSIBILITY.
ART IS RELATIONAL. ART EXISTS IN COMMUNION; is a gift to be shared, TO BE OF SERVICE. aRT ADDRESSES "BIG" QUESTIONS.
The Path is the temple. wE ARE BEINGS OF LIGHT, PART OF AN INFINITE CONSCIOUSNESS. wE ARE HERE TO LEARN, GROW... FLY.
tHIS IS THE GARDEN. wE ARE ITS STEWARDS. tHE tREES OF kNOWLEDGE AND lIFE, TWINE ROOTED WITHIN, SUSTAIN US.
VISION QUEST 2013
Early December 2011, we broke ground. starting a "six-month" project of new construction to connect the house and studio as well as a major renovation of the studio,
I usually close the studio each winter to conserve energy and reduce operating costs. I outline in advance smaller-scale, portable projects. I pursue my genealogical research and other studies.
As a shaman, I try to be aware of the connections between all things and I see story and metaphor everywhere. I knew the construction project would ripple through my life in fascinating unforeseen ways.
For my 2012 Winter Project, I had planned some shamanic journey work to Antarctica. I was excited to stretch my meditative reach, strength and endurance. A series of digital prints emerged during those entranced experiences, Diving Lake Vostok (see preview in Shaman's Journey Digital gallery).
Winter progressed, however, our contractor and his team struggled.
Each month brought mistakes and delays. Winter passed and so did Spring. The studio remained shuttered. March turned to June. I was yet to open it. The cycle of fits and starts continued for the rest of the year.
Post-MFA. 2008-2012, I had devoted myself to a daily meditation practice, to live my life as divine art. I accepted that we are divine co-creators of this life. We are all dharma artists. I practiced traditional ecstatic shamanic techniques as an entry point to my art making. My life was largely that of a monk. I had planned 2012 was to be a year of reflection. and envisioning.
I had planned my efforts for 2012, to critically review my large body of work, to develop a five-year plan for 2013-2017. I had planned to be doing that in the comfort of my lovely renovated studio and new garden room, while painting and entertaining studio visitors.
I did not plan for our contracted project to lurch and stall until I asked them to leave in March 2013, 16 months after the start,
If you would like to see more recent works, browse my Portfolio.
I met new guides, shamanic and earthly. My shamanic studies advanced to a higher level. I made opportunities to paint midst the chaos. I painted with bleach on black paper, on ceiling and walls with LED lights. I found poetic images in plastic construction drapery. With a camera focused, I "drowned" in a hot tub shamanic journey. I have opened it.
My personal renovation in 2012, as it happens was great training for my vision quest 2013, in which I received much. Here is what I have to give. ground rounds is a portal to my evolving journeyed vision: Chuck Rounds "being art in the world". I have opened myself.
In Dec 2012 I read, upon his deathbed, allegedly, awakening from a long coma, Tennyson loudly proclaimed "I have opened it." and fell dead Having the studio closed for so long, evoked a "dark night of the soul". His quote resonated. An "ah, ha" moment, it became my mantra for 2013 forward, lighting my way. It became a deep truth.
As a shaman, the storyteller in me, used the metaphor of renovation for a personal soul retrieval and renewal process. I started. as earlier noted, diving in a sub-glacial lake feeling a bit like a hero at the beginning of a journey, a classic tale. Adventures, compelled me. I have opened it.
2007-present - Technician of Ecstatic Arts, Creative Director.