Monday, December 8, 2008

Maternal Legends Opening Reception 23 Sandy Gallery

Maternal Legends 23 Sandy Gallery About this Book

"Ice Has A Way Of Melting"

Clay, found objects, displayed on Purple Heart wooden book stand. 19 x 11 x 10 inches.

Artist Statement

Inspired by my relationship with my daughter, Jenni, two trees grow separate yet attached at the roots, that sacred container. The challenges, the love, the richness, the thorns, the pleasure and the pain. The ice has a way of melting and with this comes the water to nourish the tree(s). The light of the fire within, the incubation needed to become. The fire of the feminine. Kuan Yin is the Buddhist Goddess of Compassion and Protection who through great love and sacrifice during life and whose mysterious powers continually produced, sustained, destroyed, and renewed life throughout the universe. The growing together of mother-daughter, a part of each other yet apart from each other. The scars from the thorns begin to fade, the flowers begin to blossom as the two strong women emerge, more connected than before.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thank you from Rubia!

Tashakor Means Thank You

Much appreciation to Mayor Sam Adams, Pollyanne Birge, and Jo Grishman for organizing the Portland, Oregon exhibition of Women Helping Women, Stitch by Stitch.

Women’s Caucus for Art–Rubia Collaborative Quilt Update

This past winter and spring Rubia and the Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA), a national organization for the promotion of women and art, created a collaborative art quilt using Rubia-inspired stitching and imagery. The quilt, Women Helping Women, Stitch by Stitch, presented a unique opportunity for women to connect through their artwork, supporting cross-cultural communication. Since its opening in May, the quilt has been traveling around the US raising awareness for Rubia’s mission and work. November 6th at City Hall in Portland Oregon was the 5th opening for the WCA-Rubia collaborative quilt. The quilt was on display during November in the City Hall. The next showing will be March 2-April 2, 2009 at the Florissant Valley Art Gallery in St. Louis, MO. Accompanying the quilt is a juried exhibition of WCA St. Louis and Philadelphia members entitled, Women and the Environment. To follow the quilt’s tour or to inquire about sponsoring an exhibit please visit or call 603-397-3438.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Start Making A Reader Today

Since the beginning of October I have been working at the Portsmouth Clarendon Elementary School with SMART, Start Making A Reader Today. Now that my own kids are too old to read to, this is a wonderful opportunity to work with children on their reading skills. The two children I work with weekly are a delight and I am not sure who is benefiting more from our sessions, the kids or me!?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Loaves and Fishes this Thanksgiving

Saturday I worked at Whole Foods Grocery asking if patrons would donate $3.68 or more to help provide a Thanksgiving Meal to homebound seniors. Usually I work at one of the Loaves and Fishes center in my neighborhood weekly. The meals are truly accepted with gratefulness. Working at the grocery store however was truly a challenge and a test for me in dealing with anger, resentment and lack of tolerance when faced with the numbers of people who would not participate. I am trying through this, to work on those character challenges I was faced with. All in all when I completed my shift, I still was left with the feeling that in general most of humanity is generous, good, peaceful and compassionate. It is never too late if you wish to donate a meal for Thanksgiving or at anytime of the year to help a senior. Some seniors depend on this as their only meal of the day. This year there were 1,450 volunteers working and together we helped to raise $227,000!! This was a tremendous help in fulfilling the mission that NO SENIOR GOES HUNGRY OR EXPERIENCES SOCIAL ISOLATION. I feel proud to have been a part of this tremendously successful holiday venture especially in difficult economic times.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

P:ear- Project: Education, Art and Recreation

Today I had my first experience volunteering at P:ear, Project: Education, Art and Recreation. P:ear builds positive relationships with homeless and transitional youth, ages 15 to 23, through education, art and recreation to affirm personal worth and create more meaningful and healthier lives. Each year the programs serve more than 350 homeless and transitional young people. I look forward to being able to play an active role in P:ear in the future.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Zimbabwe Artist Project Holiday Sale

I volunteer with The Zimbabe Artist Project. ZAP celebrates the artistry and accomplishments of women from rural Weya in eastern Zimbabwe. Through education, sale of their art in the U.S., and special projects, ZAP helps women become economically self-sufficient. Women of Weya are subsistence farmers, mothers, and householders as well as artists. Most women live on their own, providing for families. This years holiday sale will take place on December 5 4-9 pm & December 6 10-4 at 107 SE Washington St., Suite 162 Portland, OR 97214 (503)232-7057

The Chair Affair

Tonight was the artist party to select our chairs from the Community Warehouse in Portland. We will then be decorating them and they will be auctioned at the Chair Affair. This is the "BEFORE" picture of the chair I chose to recreate. I have big plans for it! The working title is Kicking Back in Portland, but one never knows, that might change. Check back frequently as I document the evolution of my chair which will be a tribute to many of the things that make Portland unique. The Community Warehouse recycles donated furniture and household items. They collect these items and give them back out to local families in need. Community Warehouse works in partnership with over 80 local non-profit and social services agencies. This fundraising effort pays for the cost of serving 25 families a week. I am very excited to be participating in this event for a very worthy cause.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Maternal Legends Exhibit- 23 Sandy Gallery

I am delighted to announce that I had one of my ceramic books accepted into the national juried book exhibit Maternal Legends at the 23 Sandy Gallery. The title of the book is Ice Has a Way of Melting. I am especially excited that this was the book, out of the three submitted that was accepted, since it was inspired by my daughter Jenni! You can now view the online catalogue for the Maternal Legends Exhibit. The First Friday artist reception will be on December 5, 6-9 pm.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Rubia Quilt Exhibit Portland City Hall November 6, 2008

Last night, First Thursday was the opening reception at Portland City Hall for the Rubia Quilt, Stitch By Stitch Women Helping Women. I am so proud of this event. The opening was shared by music education displays and truly amazing art about music, so the place was alive with music and art. I felt privileged to stand by the Rubia Collaborative quilt knowing that it was the only showing of it on the West Coast I am so proud to be the only West Coast artist to not only be a part of the collaboration but to struggle to get it to Portland. I share this honor with the other Women's Caucus for Art artists in the United States who participated, as well as the four women from Afghanistan who created quilt squares. Great thanks to Mayor Sam Adams for his support of the arts and to Pollyanne Birge who without her help and support this event could never have occurred. Thanks also to Molly Crowley who is the creator and organizer of the Rubia Quilt project in Philadelphia, and to the Oregon Chapter of WCA who through their generous support, enabled me to have it shipped to Portland from the East Coast.
Thanks to all the women from the United States to Afghanistan who elevated women's handiwork to supliment the level of vital sustenance in a troubled political, social and economic time as well as creating beauty by joining United State women from coast to coast, to Afghanistan in Peace. Thank you all, I am truly gratefully!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Beginning- Hope, Change, and Peace!

How can I begin to put into words the way I am feeling at this moment? I am finally feeling proud to be an American. I believe our country will no longer be a laughing stock of the world. Through intelligence, compassion, integrity, values that we can all stand by and priorities when it comes to creating peace, emphasizing education as the cornerstone of our children's future, health care for all as not a privilege but a right, and stabilizing our economy, we can truly believe in HOPE CHANGE AND PEACE! It has been a long road fought with the utmost integrity at all times. I respect everything that Barack Obama stands for I have been proud to work on his campaign.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stitch By Stitch- Women Helping Women

I am the only Oregonian to participate in this collaborative project. The goal of this project was to bring new attention and public interest to the art work of women, the current climate of life in Afghanistan and the traditional crafts of Afghan women. Both Rubia and the Women’s Caucus for Art share similar missions and allowed for a great collaboration between artists and craftswomen internationally. In addition, this will be the only opportunity for people to view the quilt on the West Coast.
The WCA-Philadelphia has partnered with Rubia to organize the collaborative project, entitled: “Women Helping Women: Stitch by Stitch.” The project involved the creation of a quilt, which showcases the work of women from Darrai Noor, Afghanistan and over 25 American women artists from the Women’s Caucus for Art and Rubia. Participants include artists from the Philadelphia area and from New Hampshire, Florida, Oregon, Tennessee, Missouri, Montana, California, Louisiana, and Washington, DC.We hope that the quilt will ultimately be exhibited in Darrai Noor, Afghanistan.The goal of this project was to bring new attention and public interest to the art work of women, the current climate of life in Afghanistan and the traditional crafts of Afghan women. Both Rubia and the Women’s Caucus for Art share similar missions and allowed for a great collaboration between artists and craftswomen internationally.
The United States artists observed the embroidered motifs found in Rubia’s handwork, which include the poppy, the peacock, and the swirling sun as found on the Rubia Website

Molly Crowley, Rubia Project Associate who organized the exhibition, says “Bringing women together across the globe through their handwork is a time honored tradition of women’s domestic lives. Taking that work into the public sphere through artistic collaboration, and raising awareness of the persistent problems in Afghanistan and how we can help is an essential objective of Rubia’s mission. The enthusiasm continues to build around this exhibition, and we expect it to be seen by thousands of patrons across America during its traveling tour.”


Current Tour:

Women Helping Women: Stitch by Stitch

June 1st - June 30th, 2008

Grace Episcopal Church-Merchantville Art & Faith Space

7 E Maple Ave, Merchantville, NJ 08109

Also showing Selected Photographs from Afghanistan

August 1 - August 26th, 2008

Exhibited with WCA- Florida member Betsy Bohrer

Arts on the Park Members Gallery, Upstairs Gallery,

Lakeland, Florida

September 1 - September 30th, 2008

Pamplin Gallery at: Bartow Public Library

2150 South Broadway Ave., Bartow, Florida

November 2008

Portland City Hall

Portland Oregon WCA member, Jo Grishman

Portland Oregon

March 2009

St. Louis MO

September 2009

WCA/DC and WCA-Philadelphia Exhibition

Edison Gallery

Washington, DC


WCA-Philadelphia Chapter

WCA-Philadelphia Blog


Jo Grishman


Press Listings:

Art Cast DC Radio Show--Listen to the Podcast: (

Art Daily (

Afghanistan News Center (

KBOO Radio, Portland Oregon

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pacific NW Sculptors exhibit in City Hall

First Thursday, October 2, was the opening reception of the Pacific NW Sculptors exhibit in Portland City Hall. As one meandered through the beautiful historic structure, there was a wonderful sculpture that blended seamlessly into the architecture of the building in every corner. The atrium was filled with wonderful sculpture in every medium imaginable, and it is hard to picture City Hall without them. I had the honor of having two of my sculptures hang on the wall in the office of Mayor Sam Adams. The sculptures will be on view for the remainder of October. Check back in November when I am bringing the Rubia Quilt Project to City Hall. It will be hanging in the Atrium.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Portland CIty Hall to exhibit Project Rubia Quilt in November!

I am delighted to report that I have finally received permission to have the Rubia Quilt "Women Helping Women Stitch By Stitch" quilt that includes both artist quilt blocks from women around the United States, as well as women from Afghanistan, to be brought to Portland to be exhibited in City Hall for the month of November! I am absolutely thrill that after contacting dozens of organization, the woman in charge of exhibits in City Hall saw the importance of exhibiting the quilt in Portland. This will be the first exhibit of the project quilt on the West Coast! I will send updates and invitations to announce the exact dates of the exhibition as they unfold!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Art In The Pearl

Labor Day weekend once again was the time, The Pearl District was the place for the annual showing of Art In The Pearl. This was my first year exhibiting as a part of the Pacific NW Sculptors Guild. I exhibited one of my interactive ceramic books "The Process of Remembering to Forget". As usual, the turnout was wonderful as art lovers danced between raindrops!

Falling Into Ecstacy

As I roll over in bed unfolding into the morning, a smile becomes me. The expectancy of Sunday morning, has quickly become the most anticipated part of my week, filling a place deep within my being that not only did I not know existed, but never realized needed to be filled. As I dress, I begin layering many of my cherished items of clothing that lay neglected and stagnant in my closet, only to have their fabric caressed longingly by me over the years. I long to wear flowing clothes that feel like free wings, as I spin around dancing later this morning. These garments stand in my closet as overlooked facades of a me that long to be. I ask myself why I neglect this place within the core of my being? The transformation begins as I swiftly but lightly gallop to the streetcar that will take me to the Conduit Dance Studio.
"Conduit...a channel for conveying water or other fluid, Latin for bringing together." How perfect; to float in on the music into a sense of abandon, of peace, of self truth; into a sense of belonging to a community that I have never before experience. To become....To become the vessel, the vehicle. I put on my dance shoes, and suddenly the transformation begins as though I were Cinderella, finally slipping into the shoes that truly fit, that make her into her true self.
The music begins to flow like a rushing river of blood bringing life into my being, pulsing, vital, alive. How strange it is that I have never known how it feels to come into myself, to come home to myself. How ironic that the totally unfamiliar, feels so comfortable; like a place I somehow always knew, a place I have always belonged, but never knew how to find. To arrive home to myself brings an indescribable feeling of joy and wholeness that I never knew existed.
I begin to move, stretch and expand like a newly born faun feeling her legs and her world for the first time. The music begins to fill me more, and more, as it crescendos through my muscles to the tips of my fingers and toes. My body yawns, stretches, expands, unfolds, begins to become. I close my eyes and I am alone with the music, yet I am acutely aware of the presence of the other awakening bodies and spirits around me. I feel like a weed that is a flower who has yet to discover its beauty. I am surrounded by a field of colorful flowers that have come into their own, each as unique as snowflakes swaying and expanding around me, as the music builds and the sweat and energy of the room becomes palpable. My fear and self-consciousness begin to flow off of my body along with the sweat that erupts from my pores.
Slowly my mind begins to quiet; a feeling totally foreign to me. Where is the judge and jury that I have become so accustom to in my life? Where is that inner critic who is my constant chaperone, always reminding me that, "I am doing it wrong." What would people say if they saw me moving and expanding in the room to fill my entitled space? I am no longer obliged to have to cower in the corner, so no one will notice what a fool I am making of myself. There is no judge or judged. I am free
I have a place, I belong, my body flows. The music is inside me coexisting with my blood and sweat flow, becoming a life force that rushes throughout my entire mind and body. The judge occasionally rears its oh so familiar dark head, and I let him slide off my wet body along with the sweat that holds within it the memories of childhood dance classes. The classes that I was dismissed from because, "I did not fit in", "I was not doing it right", "I did not belong". The dancer has laid dormant within my body and soul for over forty years. The false sense of comfort, disguising itself as the tightness that has learned to inhabit my body, is at last finding a space to release into.
Through support comes release. There is room....I am learning to accept and allow that I am deserving of this space. The permission has been given to move, to gyrate, to feel my body, to feel my sexuality, my soul; to do anything that feels right and most importantly to be able to identify what feels good, feels right, feels natural. I still hear the voices, and try to allow them to float in and float out, without giving them credence. I trust that they will soon get the hint and take flight. My body was meant to move, expand, express.
How long I have lived not knowing I had permission to do this. That the longer I wait, the tighter I become in my body and in my mind; the more elusive the freedom "to be" becomes. I had no idea I could feel this way, this full, this happy, this alive, this free! I had no idea that I was allowed to move this way, to feel this way, to feel free from my mind and free within my body.
Occasionally, another body brushes past mine and there is slightest almost imperceptible touch. A connection of like minded spirits, joining together for a few moments of contact; the human connection we all crave. Somehow we are all somewhat deprived of, or are depriving ourselves of this connection, in the smallness of the world we create for ourselves. I withdraw momentarily, not quite understanding how I should feel, how I should react. Should I allow another person to enter my space and touch my life? Is it safe? I step outside myself and witness my body creating a shell around it, to protect it, to sequester itself. I see this field emanating from my body sending off vibrations like an invisible fence. Like a fragile, vulnerable newborn who is in actuality more resilient than she knows.
She longs to expand her world, to invite the dance, to allow others in, but she has just entered this new world of wonder. She must learn to become comfortable inside her own new skin, new body, new mind, before she can feel safe enough to open a small portal and allow others to enter, without the fear of being judged, laughed at, rejected, hurt. If this vulnerable baby dancer allowed others to enter this new world and she was hurt, she is afraid she could never dance again. It is so much easier to dance alone, to take no risks. The dance itself is risky enough.
When she is ready to invite the momentary partners into the dance, it will be time. It cannot be rushed or forced. Then the spontaneity that naturally arises from her center will make the dance authentic. It is worth the wait, whether it comes now or in a year. Still the "dance of one" must be danced. It is just as important and valid. It is a vital life force that has now awakened after a long sleep, like Snow White, blossoming and expanding into life.
It is said, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". I trust that more that ever now. With much gratitude, I eagerly await the metamorphosis that I will continue to experience, as I keep falling into the ecstasy of conscious dance.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Zimbabwe Artist Project Opening

The ZAP exhibit opening was a great success. The music of Wood Vibrations was incredibly uplifting and it was hard not to move your hips! There were many sales of wonderful artwork done by truly inspiring artist. Just reading the stories about the people and the project brought tears of sorrow and joy to me. The exhibit will be on display all month so please don't miss the opportunity to be enriched by the faces of the artists and their stories. You will be forever changed! You can view more pictures from the opening and enjoy!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zimbabwe Artists Project

I am honored to be involved in ZAP, the Zimbabwe Artists Project. Tomorrow night marks the opening reception of the exhibit. This will be a great show for a great cause!!!! In conjunction with First Fridays in inner southeast Portland, please join us for the opening reception, Friday, August 1st, 5-9PM. Please stop by if you can to see some amazing art work. The work is very uplifting and very affordable if you are looking for a gift for a special someone (maybe yourself!) The reception will include not only amazing artwork done by some fabulous artists, but the festivities will also include music featuring a seven piece Marimba Band courtesy of Wood Vibrations !

Zimbabwe Artists Project is a non-profit organization committed to assisting women in Zimbabwe in their quest for economic self-reliance. These artists from rural eastern Zimbabwe create beautiful and affordable art, including paintings on boards, appliques, paintings on fabric, and embroideries. You can view an incredibly inspirational short film about the artists on their website as well.

Their work will be on exhibited through the main floor gallery space at the Olympic Mills Commerce Center for the month of August.

Zimbabwe Artists Project
Olympic Mills Commerce Center
107 SE Washington Street, Suite 162
Portland, OR 97214

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Blooms- The Lessons I have learned

I recently came across this amazing piece written by Pearl S. Buck. It so beautifully describes how I feel and how I was feeling when I allowed my creativity to be smothered by my hand injury. I felt victimized and angry! I now have learned many lessons this long year and a half have taught me. These lessons were available all along, but as the Buddhist saying goes, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". I have to quote James Taylor. I finally "looked up from my life". I see the great blessings in the volunteer work I have so passionately become involved in. I see that sculpting and creating are my life, but only part of it. There is room for more. I feel so much more purposeful in my life and less guilty about feeling self absorbed when I was only sculpting. I constantly looked for the greater purpose in my sculpting. My world has expanded and I feel richer for the experience of my hand injury. I have also learned to ask for help, and am still at a beginner's mind when it comes to listening to my body and pacing myself. I am getting better! I would not welcome the injury if I had a choice, but I am embracing the lessons it has brought to my life. Now let me share this poignant Buck piece that I so deeply relate to:

"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To her, a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create-so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, her very breath is cut off from her. She must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency she is not really alive unless she is creating"~Pearl S. Buck

I feel grateful to slowly be creating again!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Spiritual Magic of Creation

When I was creating my sculpture at Hummingbird Studios, I did not remember bringing reference images. My sculpture kept appearing to have an Asian face although I was attempting a Caucasian woman. I kept fighting it and suddenly it was apparent that the serene and peaceful demeanor of the sculpture read as something much more, something with a higher presence. Once I accepted that, things became clear to me. The only face that I had packed with me long before my trip, one which I had forgotten to look at in the studio for reference, was that of a Buddha. In addition the book I chose to bring on this trip was The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama! Once I surrendered to the sculpture, things began to magically fall into place. It was even suggested to me that she resembled Kuan Yin, the Buddhist Goddess of Protection and Compassion. Kuan Yin is who first brought me into my house in Portland since she is the sentinel on my front lawn. I also surround myself with images and statues of her throughout my home. I have been exploring the path of Buddhism lately and how it fits into my life, so I guess this is in me in a more spiritual cellular level. It seems to rise to the surface through my fingers without me being conscious of it. It continues to amaze me that our subconscious is so aware of things before our consciousness catches up. Therein lies the magic, the mystery, the spiritual aspect of creation for me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Weekend at Hummingbird Studios

Last weekend I had a great opportunity to take a sculpting workshop at Leslie Lee and Dennis Meiners wonderful self constructed Hummingbird residence/studio/gallery,made out of straw bale/adobe , in Jacksonville, Oregon. We managed to remain relatively comfortable studying with Beverly Mayeri despite the almost 100 degree temperatures. Thanks goodness for adobe! This was basically my first attempt at sculpting since my wrist surgery 3 1/2 months ago so I entered into this weekend with a natural sense of trepidation. We worked on understanding the human head which was quite a challenge for me to "see" realistically rather than "imagine" what a head feels like in my mind. I know once I practice this technique I will be able to create my own balance between realism that is very cerebral and abstract which for me is a meditation. This is my first try in progress.Don't judge it too harshly yet as I will show you the magical outcome and share the story check back!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hope, Change and Barack Obama

If you look closely (just kidding!) among the 75,000 people that rallied to see Barack Obama, you can see my smiling face, hear my cheering and see my hands raised up in peace signs(not kidding!) I believe in hope and change! We are down to the wire and it is looking very hopeful if Oregon was any indication! Keep the faith!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blipfoto- Blink of a Moment

Today is the first day that I will be participating in Blipfoto- The Daily Journal. The concept behind this project is to take one photograph a day and post it to your on line journal. I love the concept and it is a way to create some discipline as well as see the preciousness of a moment as a work of art in our daily lives. The photograph must be posted on the day it is taken. Anyone can participate. Just go to to register if you are interested to begin your own journal. It's great because you get lots of feedback and connection from other photographers. The first photo that I am choosing to post is Creativity in Bloom.

This is a sculpture I did of my hand a while back. I have chosen to place it in my garden for this photograph. It seemed like an appropriate way to begin this photo journey since my hand surgery. It speaks to me as a celebration of Spring's new beginnings, hope and healing that will enable me to be sculpting again soon. It also celebrates the creative outlets that still exist for me!

You can continue to follow my photo journal entitled Blink of a Moment at

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Women Helping Women Stitch by Stitch Exhibit

Women Helping Women Stitch by Stitch reception.
Friday, May 2nd was the first opening event at The Louis Redding Gallery, City/County Building, 800 N. French Street, Wilmington Delaware . The Quilt was exhibited as part of a larger show entitled Environmental Distress, by the Philadelphia Women's caucus. Rubia products were displayed and on sale, and there were examples of fine Uzbek suzani embroidery from Afghan Women's Fund. I am proud to be included in a project that truly spans the world and touches women's lives by connecting us with a thread of peace that cannot be broken. For more information about the Rubia Project you can visit their website at

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Word On The Street Photographs

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"

~ Martin Luther King Jr.~

I am honored to have a number of my photographs of the peace march included in the Portland section of Word On The Street, among photographs taken by people from around the world in response to the climate of war that pervades our generation's lives. You can view my photographs by scrolling the top of the link to Portland.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Rubia Quilt Project Sneak Peek

Women Helping Women, Stitch by Stitch

Presented by Rubia and The Women's Caucus for Art, Philadelphia Chapter

Opening Night : May 2, 2008 @ The City Government Building, Wilmington DE

Quilt assembly began on March 19th. There were 32 participating artists from the United States! We are thrilled at the response to this project and anxiously await the future journey of the Stitch by Stitch piece. Many Thanks to all of our volunteers,Rubia, the WCA-Philadelphia, the National WCA, Afghan Women's Fund, and the support of all of the individual artists.

Objective: To create a larger exposure for Rubia's grassroots project. To emphasize a collective notion of Women's Art or domestic art. To show that beautiful things can come from a war-torn region. To emphasize interconnectedness of all actions.

To monitor the progress of the quilt and its exhibition travels, please check the website often and click on "Sneak Peek" to view the quilt to date!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Portland Peace March 2008

I cannot believe that another year has gone by and we are still at war in Iraq, tragically our five year anniversary. Like-minded thinkers joined together again in solidarity to march for peace on Sunday in Portland. In the little over an hour that we marched it was sunny, it rained, it hailed, it rained and it was sunny and blue skies once again as my pictures reflect, but so goes Portland! There was a tremendous turnout once again and let us all put our intentions together in the hopes of a peaceful future and that we will not have to join again together next year.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Portland Peace Rally 2007

March 18, 20007 I participated in a peace march that marked four long senseless years fighting the war in Iraq, a war that was disguised as a fight for national security but was in fact a war about power, oil and revenge. You can view some of my photos from that rally that are included in under the link for Portland. This website includes photographs taken by humanitarians from around the world marching in the name of peace.
This Saturday will be the five year anniversary with horrifically no end in sight. I will once again join like minded peace seekers in solidarity to rally against the war in downtown Portland. Please join me at 2 p.m. at the South Park Blocks, SW Madison and Park, for a WORLD WITHOUT WAR A DAY OF RESISTANCE AND HOPE TO STOP THE WAR AND BRING TROOPS HOME NOW! I will be there camera in hand to attempt to capture the essence of the humanitarian response to the war in Iraq.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Portland State University Iraq Body Count Installation

As I walked on Broadway toward Portland State University, my destination the International Women's Day Fair, I was somehow drawn to take a detour onto Park. As I approached the South Park Blocks, I was overcome by a vision in the distance of fields and fields of what seemed to be red and white tulips. I was astounded by these colorful flowers, that seemed to emerge from the ground over night. As I got closer and closer, I realized that these were not flowers but in fact small red and white flags. Crouched on the ground were a dozen people "planting" these small flags. As I approached, a voice from the ground asked me if I would like to "honor the dead" and I was handed a "bouquet" of white flags on rusty stems. I too crouched in prayer as I quietly and meditatively planted flags to memorialize those Iraqis killed in the war to date. Each white flag represented 5 Iraqis killed and each red flag represented 5 Americans killed. Since 2003, 655,000 Iraqis and 3,972 Americans have been killed in this senseless war. The contrast was astounding. As I complete my planting I rose and thanked the woman for inviting me to participate in this moving installation. I felt so deeply overwhelmed and touched to the core of my being as I gazed into my blood-like rust covered palms. I felt ashamed to be a part of an American people that beyond my control has chosen war, yet I felt honored and empowered that I choose to be a humanitarian that lives with peace in her heart and in her actions. Somehow I believe that acts that honor peace have a far reaching impact on humanity and in the world. I continued on to the Women's fair forever changed.

Let Your Voice be Heard

Congress needs to know what you think of the Iraq War. Please take five minutes to call or write a letter today!

There is much dissagreement about what should be done about the war in Iraq, but the most important thing is that your congressperson hears from you. Call or write their offices weekly, or as often as you feel the need.

To contact your U.S. Senators, go here.

To Contact your U.S. Representatives, go here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Remarkable Women at Janovec Gallery

To celebrate Women’s History Month,
the Oregon chapter of the Women’s Caucus exhibit members art focused on the REMARKABLE WOMEN in their lives. Famous, infamous, personal, or nationally known, women have influenced our lives and our art. This show will highlight these connections. The show is dedicated to the new mural in N Portland on Interstate Avenue, “Women Making History in Portland will”. Women who worked on the mural will be at the opening, and photos of the mural and its history will also be displayed. This exhibit will include one of my sculptures "Fertile Ground" inspired by my interest and connection to the mythological Greek earth mother Goddess Gai and the Buddhist Goddess of compassion and protection Kaun Yin. It will also include photos that I took of the women honored on the Women Making History in Portland mural that I was honored to be able to put my mark on as well. The Opening reception will be tonight March 7 during First Friday Art Quest at Janovec Gallery at 4504 SE Milwaukie @ SE Holgate and will be on exhibit throughout the month of March.

My Inspiration for the sculpture "Fertile Ground" was Gaia and Kuan Yin

Gaia Spirit: Earth, Sea and Sky ~
Kuan Yin: Goddess of compassion and protection

Gaia or Gaea, known as Earth or Mother Earth (the Greek common noun for "land" is ge or ga). She was an early earth goddess and it is written that Gaia was born from Chaos, the great void of emptiness within the universe. She gave birth to Pontus (the Sea) and Uranus (the Sky).

To protect her children Gaia hid them all within herself.

“Gaia the eternal, prehistoric earth mother goddess, is fertility incarnate, moist, mysterious and strong. She is life energy itself; everything that lives, overflows with her life. She is the earth and all the powers of the earth. As a goddess of the soul, she reminds us that the soul develops in dark places and that ultimately soul must be rooted in body, in earth”-Michael Babcock reflecting on the paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet.

Like Gaia, the divine female Kuan Yin, is the beloved Buddhist goddess of over a billion people the world over. Her name too signifies her compassionate nature, literally meaning

'One who hears the cries of the world'

When a child plays on her lap, or children at her feet, they symbolize not only newborn and/or spiritual life, but also Mother Nature whose mysterious powers continually produce, sustain, destroy, and renew life throughout the universe. One of the several stories surrounding Kuan Yin is that she was a Buddhist who through great love and sacrifice during life, had earned the right to enter Nirvana after death.

Let us remember, there cannot be sunlight without shadow.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Chronic Chronicle Online Zine

I recently had an essay and picture of the accompanying sculpture included in The Chronic Chronicle Online Zine edited by fellow OWCA member Katie Simpson. Check out my contribution which will also be included in the printed version of the Zine!-

Destination: Migraine, Colorado

Living in the valley, I arrive a day early to acclimate my body. The summer is hot and dry; the air is thin. I walk and my body feels heavy, like in a bad dream. I walk through the thick, opaque cloud. I remember last time, feeling as if I was drowning in the desert. I know I have to create the river inside. I begin to drink water like a thirsty puppy after a hike. I have looked forward to this week all year with a feeling of overwhelming excitement and dread. When I sculpt in clay, I find myself by losing myself in the dense, cool, moist wonderful chocolate. The moment I open the virgin bag and touch its smooth surface, my insides release. I stop thinking about the heat, the thirst, the rules, and the outside world. Fifty pound heads is the daunting challenge; two heavy 25 Lb. bags of luscious clay. I dive into the darkness. Day three and I can no longer see clearly. The once tolerable altitude now becomes so oppressive that I can no longer function. So much for hydrating myself. I continue to sculpt so I won’t lose any of the precious week. I can’t bear to lose a moment. The more I panic the more I hurt. The sounds of the dining hall are too much to hear. My ears, my eyes and my brain become so sensitive to every stimulus that it is unbearable. My classmates keep a safe distance as they can see me fading. I feel like I am falling off this mountain near Aspen and am being crushed by the chair lift that continues to operate over the dry mountain. I build and I sculpt and I carve and I refine and I feel like I am going to die. I just want it to end. I can’t run from it, so I surrender to the clay. I take every pill I have to no avail. I concede and go back to my room and try to rest my head on the pillow that has somehow transformed itself into a cement block covered in thorns. So I return to the studio determined to work through the pain. Ben Harper’s lyrics ring in my ears. He says, "They say that time kills the pain, I say pain kills all time”. My head begins to feel as if it has now become 50 Lbs. as well. I look at my sculpture and I cannot see, yet I trust that it is being created. Clay is my solace, the only time I feel whole. The day and night finally end. The fog lifts; the vice that once owned my head has fallen away. I prepare to meet the sculpture I could not see the day before. The head and I work together for the next two days until the collaboration feels complete and the workshop has ended. She spends the next day drying and then she takes her proper place amongst the other heads in the kiln. I wait for her to finish becoming. She finally reveals herself to me as she emerges from the fire. I am able to see how my pain has somehow been transmuted into a woman of tremendous power and strength. I aptly entitle her "Time Doesn't Kill the Pain, Pain Kills My Time. We return home together to the valley forever transformed.----------Jo Grishm

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A mosaic of postcards in the "Sustaining Our Environment" Postcard Show

365 postcards received for "Sustaining Our Environment" was displayed in two venues: the WCA booth at the CAA Convention and at the Janette Kennedy Gallery. Both shows were a great success, visitors were amazed at the beauty and variety of submissions. The card auction raised $1,100 for the UN. I was proud to have my submission included in this exhibit! You can view my postcard in the sixth row, eight postcard from the right!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Contribution to the Rubia Project

I call my square "Thread by thread, Peace by piece". I am honored to be a part of such a powerful project such as Rubia.
I chose to incorporate and embroider my husband's grandmother Ruth's handkerchief which is almost 100 years old, to bring the energy of a past generation of an Eastern European woman to the quilt.
I chose to use the image of the Endless Knot because it represents unending love, peace, good fortune and the interconnectedness of all beings. It is an ancient symbol found in many cultures worldwide but the Tibetans were the first to recognize the sacred geometry of the endless knot symbol. The endless knot is an important symbol of our time in the midst of turmoil and this powerful symbol opens the heart chakra and is said to allow the healing energy of the heart to guide us to peace.
The image of the butterfly is very important to me because,
"What the caterpillar thinks is the end of the world...the butterfly knows is only the beginning!"

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Rubia Project: Women Helping Women Stitch By Stitch

I am proud to be currently working on creating my fabric square to be included in the collaborative quilt project organized by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art and the Rubia Project. The project will begin to come together in February.
Fabric artwork embroidered by the Afghan women will be joined (quilt style) with squares created by WCA members, to create an impressive larger tapestry piece. News of our project has reached Afghanistan, and there is much support for this collaboration.It is the goal for this piece to travel to other chapters, to other venues, The completed piece will ultimately travel to Darrai Noor,
Afghanistan. I will keep you updated on the progress of this important project.
Opening Night : May 2, 2008 @ The City Government Building, Wilmington DE

Rubia is a project of Social & Environmental Entrepeneurs (SEE), a registered 501(c) [3], which provides non-profit status. Rubia serves women in Afghanistan, offering education, skills training and income opportunities through the promotion of their traditional handwork. Rubia is committed to building sustainable business in a fragile environment,empowering women while respecting traditional ways, reviving and preserving traditional crafts.

New Rubia/WCA website coming soon! Look for it soon at

Saturday, January 5, 2008


First Friday February 1, will mark the opening of "Crimson" at the Janovec Gallery/Studio at 4504 Milwaukee at Holgate. My painting, "Jenni Unfolding" is included in the exhibit. The current Winter/Spring 2008 issue of the Oregon Literary Review is now online at, and features the work of "12 artists from the Oregon Chapter of the Womens Caucus for Art ". My sculptures were also featured in the Summer/Fall 2007 issue of the Oregon Literary Review in the Art/Sculpture section.

Friday, January 4, 2008

WCA Artwaves International Postcard Exhibit

You can currently view my postcard submission to the WCA Artwaves International. This is an exhibit of postcards done by women from around the country using recycled materials entitled "Sustaining Our Environment". It calls attention to our ever growing environmental concerns and how we can personally impact our world by recycling and reusing material. My submission "Soothe The Soul" was posted on wcaartwavesinternational.blogspot on December 14, 2007 and utilizes used Yogi tea tags that have messages of wisdom on them. They are sewn onto my postcard and then tea stained. In addition to the web exhibit, the postcards will be on exhibit at the 2008 WCA and College Art Association (CAA) annual conferences at Ft. Worth-Dallas, Texas. At the exhibition, works will be auctioned to benefit the United Nations.