Elsewhere is a living museum, studio and school set within a former thrift store.
VISIT: 606 S Elm St Greensboro, NC 27406
OPEN: Wed - Sat 1-10pm (March - November)
WEB: goelsewhere.org
Install Theme

The Last Great Winter at Elsewhere is coming, don’t get left out in the cold, we’ve got coats! Join us on October 11 and celebrate a winter wonderland elsewhere. Tickets available at http://bit.ly/1n08RAq

house question, greenspaces!

house question, greenspaces!


Last month the House(pitality) team paired with the Education Curator to enter a cooking contest at NC A&T University’s Annual Tomato Festival. After selecting the finest Piedmont tomatoes and a collaborative bake-off in Elsewhere’s Kitchen Commons, the team submitted their Too Many Tomatoes Tomato Cake. Their re-imagined, depression era Campbell’s soup recipe won 1st place in the dessert category!

This victory kicked off The Year of Contests, but it also marked the beginning of Chris’s farewell week at Elsewhere. The Communications Curator sent him off with a proper graduation and he has since moved to Brooklyn to teach at the renowned Pratt Institute…

Good luck in New York Chris, we will see you in October to submit our petite flower arrangement to the State Fair!

Whats your favorite tomato recipe?  here is ours!

CAKE AND ICING RECIPEMakes 12 servings

 ”During the Great Depression, tomato soup cakes were widely advertised for their thriftiness and mystery. After trying the cake, many people were surprised to hear it was made from such simple, savory ingredients due to the fact that it didn’t taste anything like tomato soup! I altered the original recipe found on the soup cans themselves to incorporate green or ripe tomatoes, so that you can actually taste them, as well as other spices.” 


1 c dark-brown sugar

1/2 c butter

2 eggs

3 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 tsp fresh nutmeg

1/3 tsp cardamon

1/3 tsp allspice

2 tsp boiled bay leaf, rosemary, sage, clove, ginger

1 tsp salt

3 c fresh tomatoes

1/2 c fine chopped pecans   

1/3 c pureed dates

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 13x9-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter and mix until creamy. Add the eggs, beating after each. In a separate bowl, combine the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry spices, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and stir to blend. Add the tomatoes pushed through a sieve & liquid spices, pureed dates  and  chopped pecans. Stir thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool.


1/2 cc (1 stick) butter, softened

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp fresh vanilla beans

1 package (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar

milk, as needed

In a large bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and mix until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar & vanilla beans. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a little milk. Frost when the cake is cool.


There were a lot of firsts this past Saturday at Elsewhere. It was intense. There was a horse in the museum. Two horses actually. Forrest Gump visited.  And we had a strangely patriotic ceremony around lit sterno canisters from World War II.

A snippet of conversation recounting the day’s events:

Emily- Wait can come somebody please tell me what the fck?

Us - He came to see it with Andy.

Emily - See what with Andy?

Us - Elsewhere.

Emily - Andy who?

Us - Andy our neighbor.

Emily - What! I wish was here! 

Us - You were in a meeting.

Emily - I can’t believe i missed Forest Gump! I love that movie.

Us - He was the older guy.  He was really happy about stuff.

It was such an intense day..we should read a horoscope…It was a really intense day.

There were a number of firsts. The morning began with the arrival of two horses, Gus and another horse [editor’s note: Deuce]. Gus had a poker face. I was told I shouldn’t play poker against Gus–long face, doesn’t give any hints. He didn’t let on what he was thinking, but he seemed to move comfortably and curiously throughout the museum. The other horse had a thing for two stuffed dolls, Elmo and Alf.  He protected and defended them jealously when Gus tried to play. They were siblings apparently, together inside the museum.

Southern Constellations Fellow and artist-in-residence Lee Deigard envisioned bringing horses to Elsewhere for her residency project. Some think the horses were pretty nonchalant about the whole experiment of bringing horses inside the museum. We were interested in how they would nose around, kick at the toy mandala on the floor, mess up some art, maybe play with a toy–you know, horse around. As a sign of grace we prepared them a “horse(pitality)” platter with sweet potato roots and carrots and assorted stems and husks of food. The horses were welcomed right to the table to have a treat.  

What is curious about horses in a museum is how their vision works.  They see both behind them and in front with monocular and binocular vision.  They sense with their mouth and whiskers, with their nose, and their ears.  We had to be especially careful not to spook them, and yet, their extreme temperament and ambivalent behavior is also something trained into them.

At the same time as this tour was taking place downstairs, I was giving a gentleman named Jimbo a tour upstairs. Jimbo was full of ideas, light, and marvel, about everything in the museum.  But his ocular degeneration made him mostly blind. He told me he was increasingly attuned to atmosphere.  I kept hand him things in the museum and exclaiming how he felt like he’d walked back into another world.  He’d hold something and look at it, move it around in his hands.  I handed him a piece of paper and he said it felt just like a piece of paper.

He was and is a boat builder, so his interest in the wood library, the old banisters of cut wood, table tops and legs, tool workshop and saws fascinating to him. He delighted in the ghost room and we found him with his head poking out the window onto Elm Street.

For horse and friends alike, Saturday was a sensory adventure through the museum. The general feeling of being in a space, surrounded by things, reaching out, holding, recognizing, playing, touching, smelling, being placed into a different time by remembering, and reminding oneself or one’s horse’s self…everyone was in this frame of mind.  But with the heat and the numbers of people, and the publics, and the half a dozen narratives taking place it felt intense. Half of the day was totally coordinated and scheduled and the other half were totally uncoordinated and spontaneous.  It just kept coming at us and we were amongst and amidst.

As it turns out, Jimbo, who lives in Alabama, was the inspiration for Forrest Gump. Forest Gump shook my hand today and told me he’d never forget it [Elsewhere].  Wow.

Then Saturday evening happened. We played taps in the back yard and lit old WWII sternos and told about our family members who had been in the service.  We used about 36 sterno canisters and burned them for about 2 hours in an arrow formation in the yard.  This is apparently a formation used for flairs to support air raids.  First we listened to the three sequences of taps–a tune for the morning, afternoon, and at death.  Three phases of the day and three phases of a life.  We sat in the grass among the flames and everyone kindly allowed me to read my Uncle Frederick O’ Scheer’s WWII escape story.  It was appropriate, I think, because rather than being a dramatic war story it was a fairly undramatic one.  It simply chronicled the three or four times he wandered away from his camp and back to the American front with a few minor setbacks along the way.  The evening was relaxed, and again, in the dark, people sat sensing and listening. Then quietly when it was done, everyone shared their piece and tale.

In all, this was a day of summertime atmospherics. The air was hot, the day was full of new intensities, and both animals and aged explored the extra perceptual outlines of what is usually referred to as a visually overwhelming place.  Instead the “Elsewhere Spirit” was carried to the center of the day’s imagination.  It is not what is in the space that matters but the space that we are among, and who we are among it with—some very special people and a horse. 

Conversations and Constellations | Interview with Martha Whittington (Atlanta, GA)

Martha Whittington’s constructed environments speak to the tenderness and innocence of the human spirit as it faces the harshness and treachery of life and labor. By recreating the history of significant objects and ideas such as manual tools, antique devices, and life experiences of laborers, she builds an immersive experience. This new view of life and labor asks the audience to re-examine concepts, archetypal associations and connotations.

Whittington is a Southern Constellations fellow at Elsewhere, where she spent 5 weeks working on the installation, The Flannery Bunker.


Below is our conversation about the piece and its influences.  

Q: The work on The Flannery Bunker builds off of a previous artists work surrounding army surplus goods. Can you describe your process and work a little bit?

A: When I first started working on the room I claimed it as my own piece and reorganized the stacks of army surplus goods. At Elsewhere it is encouraged that you build onto someone else’s installation over time so each installation like the museum itself is a living piece, it is meant to grow in other directions. So the former military surplus room, now The Flannery Bunker, is the oldest installation at Elsewhere. It had not had any care in 10 or 15 years. People had pilfered from it for other installations. I contacted the artist that originally installed it, Joseph, and he sent me pictures of its first incarnation. I recreated his floor plan, his walls he had built out of military surplus and stayed true to that because I thought it was an architectural element much like the building itself. So that part was more a restorative process, like restoring a building or kitchen. As I was working on it, the task became more about bringing to life individuals with this sameness. So the installation’s set up now is more like you’re going into a military history museum. The first room feels like this is Flannery’s living space. There is a man’s toiletry bag set up there, with some personal items. Everything is very particularly displayed, with tabletop-scapes. As you move through the space I created, one wall shows just the mess kit lids, so that is a little more museum like. As you move deeper through the instillation you walk past foot lockers with the lids propped open and lit from the inside. I was trying to create conversations through the interaction of objects that told a story of Flannery. Eventually you come into a really darkened room that has a reflective tent that I made out of material that I found here. Most of the material in the space that is stacked are tent halves folded up to make walls. The reason I made the reflective tent comes from when I was polishing the mess kits. You started to see yourself in it (the reflective surface)  and you became part of it, and it also reflected its own environment.The reflective quality disappears but it also takes you in. The tent is in the back because it represents shelter and a sanctuary.

Q: Why was the decision made to set the installation up that way?

A: It originally had decaying evidence that there was a tent in there. I also was thinking about that space being protective, very isolated, very much about one person in the space, and thinking about if I stayed in this space where would I feel most comfortable. I think the tactics of someone who is a soldier plays into it as well. If they are going to rest, its going to be somewhere that’s very discreet.

Q: In some of your other pieces you focus on workers and the downfalls of industrialized labor. Did you stick to this theme in your work at Elsewhere?

A: In a sense I did because I feel that I was paying tribute to these anonymous soldiers, these workers. As I was working on the piece and going through all the army surplus from another installation I discovered the mess kits had been personalized by WWI and WWII soldiers. As I found out it is a whole genre of art called trench art so while these soldiers were in the trenches of war in between bombing and shelling they would write their names on them, they would draw pin up girls…they would record all the places they had been. For me in that thinking about the anonymous workers (soldiers) and thinking about how its not about the individual soldier (workers) in the platoon, its about the whole. So they are not really individual soldiers they are working in units like the industrial worker. So I feel like there was this tenderness and loving bringing back to life some of these aluminum mess tins by polishing them like they were fine silver. Right now I am building a display box that is almost like if your family heirloom of silver plate comes in a beautiful mahogany box that is velvet lined. I’m making a small foot locker but out of more museum like material, plexiglass specifically. The artifacts from The Flannery Bunker will be displayed inside. I am calling it The Flannery Bunker now because one of the mess kits just had the name “Flannery” on it. This is the strange thing, when I was working on the mess kits I started developing relationships with them and it’s like wondering what this person looked like, what he was thinking, and at times I would be polishing one and I would look over at another favorite of mine, his name was Rosie believe it or not, and I’d go “Rosie, I’m going to work on you soon! I’m bringing you back.” So that was kind of interesting.

Martha is also presenting on her work at Elsewhere on Saturday August 16 at 8:30 PM.


farewell Lyric The Great Intern, may you fly home on the backs of a million shorks

farewell Lyric The Great Intern, may you fly home on the backs of a million shorks


Here at Elsewhere we keep a closed system: none of the objects or parts of the building discovered in 2003 can ever leave, nor can non-collection thrift be brought in. As a result we have created a culture of reuse and resourcefulness. We like to model this in all parts of the Museum- even in our common areas like the kitchen, garden and studios!

Today we’re sharing the process we use to extend the life of one item we bring into Elsewhere: citrus fruits. 

WHOLE: Slice your citrus up for a pretty presentation to add to any meal or drink. Take advantage of the bright colors and transparency of the fruits!

SEEDS & PITHS: These can be dried and used to create pectin for jellies and jams.

JUICE: Use your lemon juice to create some sweet refreshing lemonade or savory tangy dressing for salads and meats. Or, try experimenting with lemon juice as a cleaning agent. The acid works great to remove dirt and rust, and adding a bit of salt creates a toxin-free scouring paste for tougher stains.

SKINS: If you plan on eating your next lemon and throwing the skin in the trash, think again! The possibilities are endless. 

            -Boil them down and whip up some marmalade — we suggest orange!

            -Pickle them to use later in pastas, salsas, or salads.

            -Create ­­­your very own dried tea or salt, sugar and dry seasoning blends.

            -Dry and infuse them with essential oils for close-to-free potpourri.

            -Seal a jar of liquor with a few lemon skins for 3-5 days for a limoncello-like treat.

            -Place a few skins in water and freeze overnight for gorgeous and tasty infused ice cubes.

               -Dry and grind into a powder to be used as a natural garden pesticide.

               -Make into candy

               -Use as a fire starter

               -Pour cake batter into a empty skin and cook to create a citrus flavored dessert


What are your lemony secrets?


Our House Intern, Katie Shlon, has been making drawings of house and garden spaces with hopes to turn some of these images into wallpaper for Elsewhere’s common areas. Here’s what she had to say about the pieces:

"I made these drawings during some quiet weekends at Elsewhere. They’re fun to do and a great way to stay engaged in active looking.The drawings are little snippets of our surroundings, things that I look at everyday and think are interesting. We’re surrounded by tons of stuff at Elsewhere so it’s nice to just focus in on small parts of the environment. The drawings themselves take into account the energy of each object and reflect my own perception of the character."

Check out more of Katie’s amazing work at http://www.kshlon.com/
house question, cats or dogs? I’m biased.

house question, cats or dogs? I’m biased.

"Our Building Curator and Intern recently made this handy dandy pulley laundry rack. Before, our laundry line cut straight across our alley way— making the garden feel closed-off and cluttered. Now, this rope and 2x4 system makes it easy to get the clothes out of our community space and up into an underutilized over hang. It took a day to make and was constructed from simple materials that cost nearly nothing. You can see in the video the House intern loves it- thank you Building Department!

What are your laundry tips and tricks? “

Interview with Fionn Duffy | Artist in Residence


Fionn Duffy is currently an artist in residence at Elsewhere. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland and currently lives and works between Brighton, London and Glasgow. She is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice involves the curation of exhibitions and events, often choosing to work collaboratively with other artists, musicians, dancers and composers. She is especially concerned with the point where the transient nature of performance and the materiality of sculpture meet, questioning the duality of “here and there,” “now and then,” “you and me” and exploring the possibilities of these elements existing simultaneously as a whole. With an interest in improvisation and participation, each piece of work initiates a dialogue between the artist, performer and viewer, at times allowing roles to fluctuate and overlap. Her current project at Elsewhere involves the creation of whistles and the playful interrogation of them as instruments and as way to interact with the surrounding environment.


Elsewhere: So your whistles are basically a form of place based creative inquiry, allowing people to interact with the environment around them…can you tell me a little more about that?

Fionn: When I first got to Elsewhere I was really overwhelmed with the amount of stuff and how it built up over time. I have also never lived near a railroad before. The sounds of the trains coming past felt really present in this space…I kind of felt like the museum was its own type of transport. I started to see this museum, this building as transporting you to another place. Also the fact that nothing leaves or comes into this collection means its almost like a freight train traveling through time rather than space while meanwhile those trains, the sound of them, comes into the space.

So I started by trying to find out their schedules because I was really interested in how they interrupted life here. It is so loud you have to stop talking, you kind of wait for the noise to pass. I started recording the sounds of the trains going past and I found that they were really beautiful. I found them like musical cords and so I started listening back to the recordings I made and making them into chords so I’ve got a score of the chords.  And then from that I was interested again in the individual people and things in this space and how I could kind of see them as individuals but also as a group and so I started off wanting to record everyone singing individually and have those playing throughout the museum.

I was really excited by all the pieces of wood in the wood library because they are collection as well, they’re seen as special objects, but in any other workshop they would be seen as junk and so I liked the idea again of the museum singing and of lots of different people being able to interact with them. So I got to the point where I was making whistles and yea, now I’m just kind of experimenting with how people enjoy playing them, playing them together and they work on lots of different levels…they play chromatic scales so you can make up something but you could also just enjoy the different shapes and different sounds they make.

Elsewhere: So where do you think you’re going to go next with this project? How do you hope to continue?

Fionn: Well I’m very influenced by music, classical music. I was classically trained when I was young and decided to pursue art after that so I would really like to make a score, a piece of music that is maybe in 3 movements so its like a sonata or that kind of thing. So I want to have a document that looks like a normal musical score and have maybe the first movement being a response to the trains every time you hear them and the second movement being replaying that first weeks cords on the same days and that’s kind of an interesting kind of synchronicity between the sounds in real life and the sounds I heard back then and then replaying them and listening to the trains at the same time. I was really interested in the fact that Elizabeth Cotton’s song Freight Train, is from North Carolina.

Also I want to explore the actual music making part of these whistles because they are instruments even though they are art objects or whatever you want to call them. So I’m planning on getting a group of people together to stage a performance of that using the whistles and singing. So that would be the third movement and I feel like that’s a good way to round everything up and bring it together but still leave it open and stilling having the whistles here for people to play with them if they want.

Fionn Duffy will wrap up her project in the next two weeks but the whistles will remain at Elsewhere. The public is always invited to come play with them.


house question! sharin’ skillz

house question! sharin’ skillz

Looking for a way to store and label dry goods that’s both creative and efficient? Our House(pitality) Curator and Intern Katie have come up with a system that we’re super excited to share. Try making small banners (wood works well because it won’t get dirty or water-warped like a paper label) with elastic loops. On the front, label each jar’s contents. On the back, write simple instructions for preparation. That way, you’re not constantly running to Google and putting your oil-covered-dinner-prep fingers all over that MacBook. The elastic slips right over the rim of a mason jar, and VOILA — you have a rustic, eco-friendly, reusable storage option.

Do you have a system for storing and labeling dry goods? Send us a photo!

House Question: how do we keep ourselves (and Elsewhere!) cool in this nutso North Carolina heat?

House Question: how do we keep ourselves (and Elsewhere!) cool in this nutso North Carolina heat?


Ever wondered what life is like Elsewhere? We’re planning to give some behind-the-scene peeks into our living museum’s land of house(pitality) — the kitchen, garden, and other common spaces.  Our house(pitality) curator, Emily Ensminger (pictured above), uses her skills as an artist to find creative solutions to  develop and care for these common spaces … which we’ll be sharing with YOU!

The Kitchen Commons is one of Elsewhere’s most complex living installations. The space was designed collaboratively in 2011 by artist J. Morgan Puett and Building Curator Ian Montgomery; the two of them imagined a space that was functional, aesthetically pleasing, and resourceful. While Elsewhereians cook and converse in this space, museum guests are invited to wander through or even join us for meals. By paying in, cooking, eating, cleaning and caring collectively our food co-op is able to purchase the majority of ingredients from sustainable local sources.

Elsewhereians come together for a community meal every Wednesday-Saturday at 7:00 p.m. We’d love for you to join us! Dinner costs $5 a night for members, and $10 a night for non-members. You can expect to be dished up a high-quality vegetarian plate prepared by our very own artists, curators and interns! please email kitchen@goelsewhere.org to make a reservation. 24hr notice required. Include any food restrictions. We will be in touch if we are unable to accommodate.