Title: It Takes a Village
Media: collage & acrylic
Bio: A number of years ago I was asked the question, "When do you feel most alive?" My immediate response was, "When I am creatively engaged and doing art work, for this is when I feel most deeply connected to spirit, and to the universe. It is soul food for me."
Creative work also provided my livelihood (body food as well as s oul food...a good thing!) for 30 years while I taught art to adults at Pendle Hill (A Quaker study and retreat center near Philadelphia) and the St. Benedict Center in Madison, WI. Those were dream jobs in many ways., for these were institutions and communities that did not offer credits or degrees, and so did not rquire grades or evaluations. My job was to provide a wealth of materials, inspiration and lots of encouragement, and to watch people blossom and flourish as they discovered the amazing creativity and joy within their own beings. What a gift then, to watch some of them share what they had learned as they returned to their own communities, worked with prisoners, developed art studios in the inner city neighborhoods, potterys in villages in Africa, or went on to study art more formally and become "professional" artists and teachers.
I am a newcomer in Yellow Springs, having moved here in July 2008. Two of the things that attracted me to this amazing little village were the Knit Knot Tree and the ChamberPot Gallery. Zany, inclusive, community building invitational art. This is my kind of place I thought, and furthermore, people are friendly and caring and engaged. What blessings. I am so grateful to live here.
When I retired in 2006, I traveled around the world...living in New Zealand for four months teaching workshops, and offerieng a workshop in australia before heading off to Bali, Hong Kong and home again. In Bali, art is fully integrated into the culture. It is a way of life, and beautiful to behold. It made me think of a story I once heard about a little girl who asked her mother (who was a University Art professor) what she did when she went to work. The girl's mother answered "I teach my students how to paint," to which the little girl replied incredulously, "you mean they forgot?"
I am primarily a potter. I have also taught weaving and book arts, creative movement and dabblied in printmaking, painting papermaking, rug braiding, chair caning and basketry. I have taken a few unviersity pottery courses, but most of my training has been onthe job, or in workshops, and I am forever indebted to some incredible mentors.....particularly Paulus Berensohn and M.C. Richards.