💀 "Skulls and Roses" Closing Reception and Art Walk
Friday November 12, 5–8pm
When I've shared this piece with others I was surprised to discover how many people didn't know any of the names I carefully pressed into the clay one letter at a time. I've been asked to explain. It is painful. Yet, I am grateful for this moment to share the story of why I created "Baby Names 1955-2020 - New Era Series".When shelter-in-place began I was motivated to take advantage of previously desired, now abundant, time. I completed three clay sculptures from March-May. That’s a lot! I felt tethered to our small, sheltered world and grieved those dying from COVID-19. When George Floyd was murdered, I was completely untethered, emotionally and creatively. I couldn’t continue on the same path. I wanted to hit the streets in protest, but having reached age 70, COVID-19 held me back. I mused... and woke one morning with a full vision of a new piece, memorializing victims, my grief, inspirations from BLM, and my previous work.
I researched lists on different sites: Black Lives Matter, press, wikipedia, universities, etc. I was moved when I found the home page of the Baby Names website had posted an extensive list of people unjustly murdered. All somebody’s baby.
The 44 names on the piece begin with Emmett Till whose 1955 murder sparked the civil rights movement. Each of these people are victims of unnecessary, often intentional police killings or white supremacist violence. They are all people of color, across the spectrum of age, gender and sexual orientation. Some struggled with mental health others were simply going about their daily lives. The 44th victim is George Floyd. My palette is primarily white because I was moved by the statement his family made by wearing white to his funeral saying, “This is NOT an end, but a New Era."
I chose the yellow of the cautionary canary, still alerting us. DNA is inscribed on the blooming rose, telling the story that this genetic code of molecules is evidence of the shared ancestry of all living things.
Tragically, many more black and brown lives have been taken. Yes, white people have also been unjustly murdered by police but black and brown people are disproportionally targeted. Historically we have been and are systematically divided by race. None of us are free until we are all free.
I have linked each person’s name to articles and sites that detail the end of their lives. You, of course, may choose not to click on these links.
I hope you will at least be moved to honor them by Saying Their Names…
Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Ahmaud Arbery, Stephon Clark, Aiyana Jones, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Clifford Glover, Sandra Bland, Bettie Jones, Walter Scott, Rekia Boyd, Claude Reese, Randy Evans, John Crawford, Meagan Hockaday, Alton Sterling, Jordan Edwards, Tony McDade, Pamela Turner
Oscar Grant, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Andy Lopez, Randy Lopez, Randy Evans, Amadou Diallo, Keith Scott, Jordan Davis, Corey Jones, Freddie Gray, Nina Popp, Ezell Ford, India Kager, Mary Truxillo, Janet Wilson, Eric Reason, Alteria Woods, Renisha McBride, Willam Green, Timothy Thomas, Mya Hall, George Floyd
currently showing in
Yosemite Renaissance 36 at Madera Arts Council
November 11 - January 14, 2022
When we reached Little Pete Meadow in the high sierras, we were gifted with Huckleberries~ one of our simple native delights that stirs us to defend what we stand on…! We mixed them with Bisquick making one giant blueberry biscuit over our campfire. My father actually carried a small cast-iron skillet for this purpose. Yes, crazy.
This “cup” and its huckleberries are made entirely of ceramic, simulating granite. The blueberry stems and handle are hand-worked wire. The plinth is an actual granite stone.
. . .
This is a time of year for family gatherings. To create new and continue old traditions together. I am not thankful for the traditional lies of Thanksgiving, hiding the genocide of the native people of this land, in order to claim it as the United States of America.
I am thankful for the gathering of family to cook together, to eat together, to remember together. To love, laugh, dance and play music. And, yes, even to argue together!
It can be a healing time.
I wish you and yours love and joy on your paths,