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!?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
I am a collaborator with nature, often using found objects in my clay sculpture. My greatest inspiration is my motherhood and nature. Working with clay is a tactile, spiritual interaction. It's a dance as the image emerges and takes on a life form of it's own. The story gradually reveals itself and not always upon completion of the piece. It is a gradual unfolding.... "What the caterpillar thinks is the end of the world...the butterfly knows is only the beginning!"
I keep my spirit vitalized by creating mixed media sculpture, sculptural drawings, exploring narrative photography, writing, participating in collaborative art projects, volunteering for various Portland organizations, walking in the woods and along the Oregon coast collecting the next sculpture inspiration that nature offers me, enjoying the solitude of the Lake in Washington, kayaking, camping, snorkeling in Hawaii, making my voice heard as a quiet activist for various humanitarian issues, appreciating live theater and music in Portland and enjoying the vastly rich life that Oregon has to offer me, but especially spending time with my family. I am savoring my new journey as I explore the middle road of Buddhism. I try to live an "intentional life" every day with "Jo Y"! I feel like a square peg who has finally found her square hole!
I am an artist/partner of The AIR Gallery