On foot in my town

What’s a lovely evening? Walking 3 blocks from my art studio to experience culture, music, art, and cuisine.

First I went to the grand opening of the Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, A Latino Cultural Arts and Social Services Program in Half Moon Bay. I met founder and director Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, when artist Ellen Silva and therapist Roberta Gelt invited me to work on a mural for the organization. It was a community building effort at the beginning of the Trump election and his blatant discrimination against Mexicans and undocumented immigrants. Today was a special evening because the mural is now in a permanent home on the walls of the ALAS new office. Hurrah!

“Ayudando Latinos A Soñar, A Latino Cultural Arts and Social
Services Program in Half Moon Bay is dedicated to supporting the youth and families of our beautiful coastal community in Northern California
We are proud of the cultural wealth and strength of the families and
children of our community. Every day we witness youth in our program
rise as leaders and soar above with dreams for a future of achievement.”


Next I went to the Odd Fellows women’s clothing swap. though I was a bit late, I still got a bag ‘O clothes and some cool boots.

Next door, I stuck my head in to hear the smooth live jazz playing at Cafe Society. Everyone looked blissed out with wine glass in hand.

I circled around to go back to the studio and was welcomed by sounds of piano, trumpet, and sax wafting into the parking lot. It’s not every night that one gets greeted by live music.

Later the musicians walked across Highway One to Tres Amigos to fill their bellies and even remembered to bring me back some food – a chili relleno and some left over beef fajitas. I count my blessings I live in Half Moon Bay on this gentle, pleasant evening.

The living and the dead join together

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An atmospheric space in-between worlds is glimpsed in this installation. Fragments of sound from crickets, voices of monks and Japanese instruments envelope Japanese lanterns, womanly silhouettes and floating deteriorating kimonos.  Obake Yashiki or Ghost House, is a dwelling place of spirits that continue to haunt us. They cannot find their peaceful resting place due to tragic occurrences during their lifetimes. The exhibition calls attention to women around the world whose lives have been taken due to earthly disasters and violent human interaction. We honor the spirits who are trapped between life and death in hopes they may find peace and resolution.

This was the statement for Obake Yashiki (Ghost House), A multi-media installation by Amar Chaudhary, Priscilla Otani, and Judy Shintani at Arc Gallery in San Francisco.

At our closing we were graced with the awesome Butoh dancers, Hiroko and koichi Tamano, who brought Butoh performance to the United States in the ’70s.  They performed with their student troupe Earth Child. Their amazing interpretation of our installation created a whole new way of experiencing the space. Time stood still as they took command of the gallery and we all watch, mesmerized.

I have to say it was a dream come true for me to see my kimonos dancing with the Butoh performers and to have the kimono flowers and leaves thrown in the air, releasing them from their altars. I had to smile when I saw people picking up the pieces as souvenirs.

The ultimate collage, made with human bodies!

I’m in awe of photographer Cecelia Webber who came up with the ultimate collage material – the human body!

Webber said, “…I hope to encourage people to think differently about their own bodies.”

Please check out her work. It is amazingly beautiful and innovative. http://ceceliawebber.com/category/butterflies-series/

Celebrating Candlemas

We had a very special gathering recently at Kitsune Art Studio. Candlemas is about honoring the domestic flame, the hearth and the lamp and the candle, the fire under the cooking pot. This day was a celebration of Brigid, a sun goddess whose flame of purification serves her as a fire goddess of hearth and home and those sacred duties – housekeeping, food preparation, and holding fast the center of the clan. In addition, she is a goddess of fertility, patroness of smiths, doctors and poets, and presides over family, childbirth, livestock, creativity and inspiration.

February 2nd also marked the midway point between the Solstice and the Equinox. It’s the time to poke your nose out of the cave and see if it’s time to wake up for spring, or go back to dreaming for six more weeks (Groundhog Day). We acknowledged the journey of Persephone as she joins Demeter to re-enter the world of the living.

Martha Brumbaugh drummed us through a Shamanic journey back from the bones (the underworld). Then we did a candle walk outside to bring the light in our world and blessed our household candles for the new year. Susana van Bezooijen taught us how to whisper our dreams for 2010 into our seeds so we could take them home to nurture them into healthy reality. Lastly I gathered herbs from my garden and provided lovely flowers from Aleana Jean’s in town, to make honoring bundles for brooms and pots and pans.

It was a beautiful way to welcome in the new year with intention in community. I felt honored to have had it at my art studio.

Yemaja offerings on New Year’s Eve day

Susana invited me to a Yemaja ritual today and it was lovely. Yemaja is the sea goddess and she hears your wishes. A group of us came in white and blues and purples, with white flowers and 10 shiny dimes each for offerings. We gathered on Surfer’s Beach in El Granada at 3pm, the low tide. It was a beautiful and expansive way to end the year, to bask in the incredible energy of the Sea itself, to cleanse our auras, our spirits, and to feel the impact of the Sea stretching out to the horizon.

Floating in timelessness

I helped my friend and fellow JFKU artist, Tomoko Murakami, install some of her show today. Boy, everyone is in for a real visual and energetic experience!

MAYURA – Floating in Timelessness

The creative act is, by its nature, a process of movement; inner psychic movement which becomes transformative both for the artist and for the work of art. Murakami’s exhibition “MAYURA – Floating in Timelessness,” is the documentation and presentation of her psyche’s journey through the dynamics of the creative process. The exhibition interweaves the installation of illuminated silk screens, video images and body movement. In the installation, the images in their changing forms trace her inner psychic movement, revealing a symbolic process of “becoming.” Viewers are invited to witness in this dance of the artist’s soul, the movement of not only the physical body but also the psyche.

Underlying this exhibition is Murakami’s belief that everything in the universe, from a particle of sand to a living being, is constantly moving between dualities, while following natural laws. Life is an ongoing process of learning to balance these dualities, such as, life/death, psyche/body, Yin/Yang. For Murakami, the truth of life is not a question of certainty (static) but ambiguity (moving/changing). When we accept this truth and live in the present moment, we open ourselves to eternity and the bliss of being truly alive. Murakami’s multi dimensional installation, Mayura – Floating in Timelessness, embodies this truth by generating a mysterious environment in which the complementary yet elemental dualities of light/dark, movement/stillness, waking/dreaming can meet in harmony as they offer a self-portrait of the artist’s psychic life through the altered reality of her imagination.

Dates: September 5 – 27, 2008
Reception: Saturday, September 6, 6 pm – 9 pm
Exhibition Hours: Monday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm
Saturdays, 12 pm- 5 pm

Arts & Consciousness Gallery
John F. Kennedy University Berkeley Campus

Berkeley Business Center, 2nd Floor
Located on the corner of Ashby and San Pablo Ave
2956 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley CA 94702

Dream spa…

I had a dream last night that my mother had an incredible bathroom. It was more like a wonderful spa with many claw foot bathtubs, steam rooms, hot tubs, showers. The whole place was very misty. When I looked closer, it wasn’t very clean – needed some tidying up. I thought, ” I should have a big party for all my women friends here for a spa, loungy, luxurious afternoon!”