Decades ago, I stood among mis-matched pews inside the bombed out church and sang. A bird flew in the broken window - like a prayer - or the answer to a prayer - or the embellishment of a prayer. The moment elevated my heart. I was seventeen. The church was in East German behind The Wall. Last weekend another such magical moment etched my heart with vibrant love when the parent of a Cheyenne student began our gathering at the gallery with a heartfelt prayer spoken in his native tongue. We were bonded in spirit, humbled in his sincerity and respect for all that is “made with the hand.” What an honor to participate in the meaningful collaboration between musicians from The Silk Road Ensemble, Stapleton Gallery and students from the Lame Deer Reservation.
On the evening of Saturday, May 11th, we will open our doors to celebrate the PROMISE of Native American youth arts. Join us to view the work of Northern Cheyenne students alongside the work of Stapleton Gallery artists in a powerful showcase of art--the culmination of an academic year that produced beautifully printed fabrics, pottery, sculpture, linoleum block cuts, metalwork, and music. From collaborating with artist Ben Pease, sculpting with Jennifer Li, and ending with a week spent with members of the Grammy Award-winning Silk Road Ensemble (who's annual work with these Northern Cheyenne students inspired our own artists)--this will be a gathering to remember.
Join us to see various representations and interpretations of the Morning Star--the most iconic symbol of the Northern Cheyenne people. As one student put it, "The Morning Star is a sign of hope. It tells us not to give up and to keep going no mater what." Join us to be surprised and delighted by these kids' art, and to make a meaningful contribution to a student art fund. Enjoy good music and good food. This show is a cultural exchange, giving voice to these students, and relationship-building that promises to give hope for all concerned. We invite you to come see, hear, and find PROMISE.
My contribution to the Teslow Birdhouse fundraiser. The iconic grain elevator was saved by destruction thanks to the efforts of a few passionate locals. Basic birdhouses constructed by reclaimed Teslow wood were embellished by a dozen or so local artists. Hand carved walnut wood trout with metallic copper patina, gold leaf and 100 year old barbwire went into my creation to be auctioned off this Friday.
Photo taken by Audrey Hall
Two years ago I "doodled up" this skateboard by painting it and adding golden carved leaves. A furious bidding war took place and the piece raised a good sum of $$ to build McNair Skate Park. Last year Raymond stepped in and decorated two wonderful skate boards since the project for the king of Bhutan left little time for me. I've just two weeks to figure out what to create with a new blank board for what has become an annual fundraiser.
One morning several years ago I found myself wondering just what I'd gotten myself into?!!
Image after image of baby eagles were spread across my largest workbench and they were......ugly...! Lordy I had no idea that baby eagles were not only homely and gawky but they had "angry bird" eyes (just think of the heavy eyebrows on adult eagles). My intention was to create a totally irresistible sculpture to speak to the attitude I witnessed in youth and people at Eaglemount. Near and dear to my heart the non-profit Eagle Mount is committed to provide quality therapeutic recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and young people with cancer, and to provide support for families of participants. I'd been a volunteer in their ski program for several winters until caring for my mother in her battle with her Alzheimer's took priority in my life. I leveraged "artistic license" to create a palm size sculpture for Eagle Mount who reaped the benefit of 100% profits from the edition. Inspired, they even began selling chocolate sculptures molded from the original baby eagle which they named "Soren - the little eagle that could."
Last week the former director of Eagle Mount joined me in the foundry spray booth to oversee the patina of a new BIG little eaglet. The bugger will be installed at the Eagle Mount playground. I love knowing the brand new shiny patina is destined to be worn off with hugs and love from the children who will enjoy the “Little Eagle who Could.”
Passionate locals rallied to save the old Teslow grain elevator that is part of our town's history and landscape. Several birdhouses were made in the shape of the grain elevator using wood taken from the Teslow during the restoration process. Artists were asked to embellish the birdhouses which are currently around town collecting donations before they are raffled off.