First I want to clarify – this is not a political post but a post about a secret dream of mine being realized – to have a piece of my art shown in New York City.
The art piece, Seeds (2017), inspired by a Mexican proverb, could be considered political as it is a banner from the Women’s March. But let’s put all this aside and let me share this moment with my blogging community, no matter what your political views.
Seeds is showing as part of the exhibit Still They Persistfrom the FemFour at the LMAKgallery on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City from October 17, 2018 – November 3, 2018.
What I did not realize until today, when I discovered it on social media, is that the exhibit had opened in New York City!
I am originally from New York and for me as a native New Yorker (well semi-native, I was actually born in Pittsburgh, PA) it seems that one of the ultimate achievement as an artist would be to show a piece in a major city such as New York City (or Paris, or London, or Tokyo, or Melbourne, etc.).
Although my piece of art is a banner I made for a protest march, I am going to embrace this moment as a realization of a secret dream!
Below is my piece in the center in a promotional photo of the exhibit on the LMAKgallery’s facebook page.
Thanks for sharing this moment with me!
This is a quick follow-up to the 10/12/18 post Impromptu Quilt Gifting. My colleague’s daughter received the quilt earlier this week and she sent me a picture of her daughter snuggled under the quilt.
The best thing is my colleague stated “The quilt is amazing, she has been sleeping with it since it arrived!” I cannot put into words how happy I am that a quilt I made will keep a child warm and cozy during her ongoing hospitalizations.
It’s time to continue my ongoing series, The Library Stack, sharing my stack of borrowed books from my beloved local public library.
I’ve finished most of the stack and enjoyed flipping through the books with a couple pots of tea. I’m still finishing up one book that I wanted to spend extra time on: How to be a Craftivist: The art of gentle protest by Sarah Corbett.
As the author asks in the book: “If we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair, shouldn’t our activism be beautiful, kind and fair?”
This book is by the founder of the Craftivist Collective and provides an alternative to responding to injustice with apathy or aggression – responding instead with gentle, effective protest.
The back cover summary provides as excellent overview of the book so I am going to just quote it: “Quiet action can sometimes speak as powerfully as the loudest voice. With thoughtful principles, practical examples and honest stories from her own experience as a once burnt-out activist, Corbett shows how activism through craft can produce long-lasting positive change.”
If you are interested in Craftivism (using craft as a form of activism according to the author), I highly recommend you borrow this book from your library or pick up a copy at a local bookstore (or online).
The author shares a Craftivist’s Manifesto and I’ve listed her ten (10) actions below but I refer you to the book for more details and explanations:
Be the tortoise
Craft is our tool
Solidarity not sympathy
Find comfort in contemplation
Empathy never points fingers
Small and beautiful
Humility holds the key
Provoke don’t preach
Make the change you wish to see
The book is peppered with powerful quotes by great thinkers and activists and below are several examples, which are explored deeply in the book:
There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out-of-the-river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. – Desmond Tutu
Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart. – Rumi
An unexamined life is not worth living .- Socrates
We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove. A tough mind and tender heart. – Martin Luther King
If you want to go quickly go alone. If you want to go far, go together. – African Proverb
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world,. Today and I am wise so I am changing myself. – Rumi
Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up. – Mahatma Gandhi
Handle them carefully for words have more power than atom bombs. – Pearl Stracha Hurd
Evil flourishes when good people do nothing. – Edmund Burke
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.. – Winston Churchill
There are several TED Talks by the author, here is one of her awesome TED Talks:
NOTE: Being sensitive to the fact that my American blog readers may have differing political views in regards to the current U.S. President and protest events such as the Women’s March, please be thoughtful in any comments you make in the “Thoughts” section of this post about these topics.
My Craftivist Future
A couple of weeks ago I had a wonderful conversation with my sister who challenged me on what direction I want to take my art.
I already plan to continue by series Stories My Father Told Me (see post Creative Inspiration: Stories My Father Told Me ) which is focused on sharing positive stories through textile art of how my father overcame the challenges of discrimination, segregation, and racism. However after talking to my sister, I am starting to explore other series that will have a “Craftivist” flavor.
Ultimately I would love to make art that inspires dialogue. I am still early in my artistic journey and finding my voice.
Of course I also want to make pretty/visually pleasing traditional and art quilts in the future too as well as many other types of textile crafts. Now to just plan to win the lottery so I can devote all my time to my art! (Oh wait, do you have to play the lottery to win?)
Speaking of “winning the lottery”, I had one of those awesome early morning walk experiences last Friday (or maybe it was Saturday) that felt like a mini-lottery win.
I’ve been trying start each morning with a 2 miles walk around 6:00 am before it gets hot.
The Balloons Over Bend Hot Air Ballon Festival was in progress (July 27 – 29) and much to my surprise during my morning walk I noticed hot air balloons floating over my neighborhood at a fairly low altitude. One of them dipped so low for a moment that I thought it was going to land in my neighborhood park!
It did not land however and took back off up into the sky.
It was 60 degree Fahrenheit with a slight breeze and absolutely crystal clear blue skies. Seeing the hot air balloons float by was an exquisite experience and the moment made me pause and realize that life is filled with many wonderful little sweet surprising moments!
In the mornings before work and before it gets too warm outside I try to go on a bike ride and listen to a podcast (no worries, I ride my bike in a safe low traffic section of my neighborhood and always watch for cars).
Recently I have discovered The RobCast by Rob Bell (robbell.com), a former pastor turned author, coach, speaker. His podcasts focuses on minimalism, spirituality and quality of life. I discovered him through The Minimalists.
There are to date 157 episodes of his podcast, and I started with episode #1 after hearing him speak on an episode of The Minimalists Podcast. Although his message is based on his spiritual beliefs and he does share biblical quotes, the topics discussed in his podcast are not limited to/designed to appeal only to those with Judeo-Christian beliefs.
In my opinion they would appeal any spiritual belief whether what you consider “The Divine” is based on a higher being(s), a prophet, nature, science, or what lies within you. He discusses what I feel are universal truths that he makes accessible sharing the kind of real life situations and challenges we all face. There is no “bible-thumping” in this podcast (which personally would turn me off immediately).
The RobCast is now part of my morning bike ride routine and I today listened to Episode #3 in which Rob Bell explores being grateful for having employment to feed yourself/your family; and discusses the idea of an inedible seed turning into something that nurtures you:
“(A) seed contains within it the potentiality to keep you alive. It contains latent life-force, present but unrealized possibilities…you place a seed in the earth and you bury it and it somehow become something else…as it arises from the earth in a new form it is from that particular new form…provides you with what you need to live.
A seed only becomes the thing it could become…its potentials are only realized when it is buried…it is in the dark..it is under the earth, it appears lost to your sight…it is in the moment in which the seed is most gone that is actually when it is undergoing the most radical necessary transformation for it to be something that could give you life…” – Rob Bell, The RobCast, Episode 3|Receipts
Listening to the passage above got me thinking about something I created but have not shared on blog that has to do with SEEDS.
But let’s back up for a moment…
As a general rule I stay away from politics and religion as topics of discussion on my blog. I want to always respect my readers that may have different views on these very sensitive subjects. These are very personal types of beliefs.
I do however make a point to have people in my life who have different spiritual and political beliefs than I do. I like to be exposed to ideas and viewpoints that differ from mine. It is a basic requirement though to be my friend that you do have same general values about treating others with respect (sorry raging misanthropes we cannot be friends, ha!).
It is for this reason (staying away from politics) that I have not shared something I created for a certain march on issues that are meaningful to me as a Woman and as a Person of Color. I am feeling inspired to now share and here a banner I created, all about seeds:
I think what Rob Bell says about seeds in his RobCast #3 and the general theme of my banner, could translate to any situation in which you feel buried, without hope and things are the darkest. If you have planted seeds, although it is dark, there might be a period of incredible transformation happening underground that and will eventually bloom into something beautiful.
Speaking of seeds and thus nature, I am definitely taking a cue from nature as I slowly work on hand stitching the letters on my Lao Tzu quotes themed wallhanging. As I shared in yesterday’s post, The Backstitch and the End of TangledFloss, I am finishing up a wallhanging from an appliqué class I took in 2016.
I am in the process of stitching:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu
And it is obvious I am not hurrying (ha) but I have completed THREE WORDS (a significant improvement from TWO LETTERS I shared yesterday!
It is a peaceful meditative process to carefully stitch on words, I like it! I plan to knock out another word or two this evening.
(Which will happen first: the acorn will turn into the oak tree or I will finish stitching the saying onto the quilt?)