Native authors featured in “California Wall” at Joann’s Fabric in Los Angeles

The original artwork of Beauty & Love authors Corine Pearce (Redwood Valley Pomo) and Stewart Wilburn (Pomo/Wailaki/Tolowa/Wintu) is featured in a new national exhibit at the JoAnn Fabric’s flagship store in Los Angeles.

The JoAnn Fabric and Craft store on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California, has installed a “History Wall” dedicated to California artists and makers. Corine and Stewart’s art is accompanied by works done by noteworthy ceramicists, painters, sculptors, and textile, paper, and collage artists.

Over a year in the making, the installation was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The floor-to-ceiling exhibit, running along one side of the immense store, consists of a series of gallery boxes with artwork nestled within each box. Explanatory text is printed next to each set of boxes.

Stewart made a beaded deerskin vest specifically commissioned by Joann’s Fabrics for the exhibit. His vest is alongside the panel box featuring Corine’s original woven baskets, both positioned in the first section of the exhibit. Corine’s testimony, photos, and video footage of her weaving and gathering plants are included in the film made by Joann’s featuring the artists.

Beauty & Love is excited to see our artists-authors making waves in communities far from their homesteads. When it feels safe to do so, we encourage everyone to make a trip to Southern California to see this beautiful exhibit.

Beauty & Love indigenous author wins two national prizes!

Master basketweaver and Redwood Valley resident Corine Pearce, recently featured in the PBS special Craft in America: California & Visionaries has won two prestigious national wards. In addition to being one of five 2020 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit awardees, an honor established by the South Dakota-based First Peoples Fund, Corine has been awarded a 2020 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship, a joint effort between the First Nations Development Institute and the Henry Luce Foundation.

The Jennifer Easton Community Spirit awards recognize Native artists who promote the creative practices and cultural values of their people. Honorees are people engaged in traditional or modern arts (or a combination of both) making a difference in their communities. A member of the Redwood Valley Rancheria Little River Band of Pomo, Corine keeps her culture alive by cultivating native basket and medicinal plants, weaving award-winning cradle, twine, and “fancy” baskets, teaching basketweaving classes at tribal offices and museums, and working with the Ukiah Unified School District to create new curriculum focusing on Native Pomo culture.

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The Luce Indigenous Fellowship was created in 2019 to honor and support intellectual leaders in Native communities who are actively working to generate, perpetuate and disseminate indigenous knowledge. “We are honored to partner with the Henry Luce Foundation to support this talented cohort of fellows who are working to advance Indigenous knowledge across Native communities,” said Michael E. Roberts, President and CEO of First Nations. “Historically, Indigenous knowledge systems were dismissed, devalued and attacked. This fellowship demonstrates that Indigenous people do possess valuable knowledge that can transform communities. These talented individuals demonstrate the ingenuity and genius present in Native communities.”

Sean T. Buffington, Vice President of the Luce Foundation, praised the newly-named fellows: “These knowledge makers and knowledge keepers are exemplary leaders, serving their communities by sharing their insight and understanding. The Luce Foundation is proud to support their work and to invest in the ongoing, millennia-old project of Indigenous knowledge-making.”

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For the past twenty years, through her dedicated work, Corine has inspired Pomo families in Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma counties to restore ancestral traditions and revitalize their cultural practices by working closely with tribal councils to offer weaving classes and maintain community basketry and medicine gardens. In addition to breathing new life into a cherished intergenerational tradition with her focus on Pomo cradle baskets, Corine [re]creates cultural landscapes by tending her own gathering sites and helping people restore native plants and ecological balance to areas impacted by the wildfires. Two print runs of her book Pomo Cradle Baskets: An Introduction (Beauty & Love Publishing 2018 www.beautyandlove.org) have sold out: a new, expanded version is planned for 2020.

To hear more about Corine’s work, listen to the January 16, 2020 hour-long podcast, Native America Calling (www.nativeamericacalling.com) where Corine joins two other Community Spirit awardees, beader Roberta Joy Kirk (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) and sculptor Virgil “Smoker” Marchand (Arrow Lake Band, Colville Tribes).

Choices

choices
Businessman looking at arrows pointed in different directions

The best way to lose choices is to think we don’t have any, or convince ourselves we don’t have enough.

Every day we make thousands of choices.

Ergo, by the time we’ve hit puberty, we’ve already made millions upon millions of choices. By middle age, it’s billions.

(Didn’t realize we were all billionaires, huh?)

So. Going forward, how are we going to choose, each day, to spend our millions upon millions?

 

Beauty & Love Publishing Debut!

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A celebration of traditional culture. Each book features a different aspect of biocultural diversity. These books are only available through direct order on this website (the prices include $3 for shipping via USPS Media Mail) or – if they haven’t sold out yet! – at select bookstores in Mendocino, Sonoma, and Lake Counties.

Waterdog & the Love Charm, a delightfully mischievous tale told by Dry Creek Pomo Elizabeth “Belle” Lozinto Cordova Dollar (and edited by her great-niece Sherri Smith-Ferri) illustrates the close ties between nature and culture.

In Pomo Cradle Baskets: An Introduction, Redwood Valley Pomo master weaver Corine Pearce describes the history, wild-crafting, distinct styles and contemporary use of traditional cradle baskets.

The Beadwork of Stewart Wilburn commemorates fifty years of stunning artistry by a renowned Wailaki/Tolowa/Pomo/Wintu elder whose work honors and represents the people and wildlife of Northern California.

 

Waterdog & the Love Charm

A 72-page, full-color storybook.

$19.00

 

Pomo Cradle Baskets: An Introduction

A 32-page, full color manual.

$25.00

 

The Beadwork of Stewart Wilburn

A full-color, 24-page photo essay.

$18.00

Author events can be scheduled by contacting Dr. Jeanine Pfeiffer.

 

Loving Life

Whenever one of the rangers at the park hosting the Champion (my tiny-home-in-a-converted-bus) is asked how he’s doing, he replies, “as long as I’m above ground, it’s a good day.”

Well. OK, and. As much as we might appreciate that sentiment, can’t we raise the bar a little higher?

Years ago when I experimented with an online dating site, my byline was “I wake up happy.

When I realized this Waking Up Happy thing was occuring, I was pleasantly surprised. Yet I didn’t take it for granted, because I suffer from chronic low-level depression. This whole happiness thing is something I need to actively tend to, not take for granted.

Loving life can be our “automatic” setting.

To kick-start the concept we can use a little trick I learned many years ago. I call it a Happiness List – an inventory of things or actions that, added up, lean us towards happy.

For example, here’s a peek at part of my list:

  1. Reaching out to friends
  2. Being surrounded by greenery + wildlife
  3. Enough quiet time to read (or journal, or write)
  4. Hugs! More hugs!
  5. Home cooked meals
  6. Exercise! More exercise!
  7. Artwork (mine or someone else’s)
  8. Music (listening or practicing my harp)

I could go on – I think you get the picture. Isn’t it interesting that nothing on my Happiness List involves money, material goods, or electronic devices?

Hmmmmmmmm.

What’s on your Happiness List? Wanna share?

A Little Bit About Me

IMG_4852I began living in beauty three years ago.

In truth, I began living in beautiful locales in 2009, when I moved to Mendocino county and rotated through remote coastal and inland settings. Depending on where I set up my household, my backyard contained whales, seals, sea or mountain lions, bobcats, bears, coyote, fox, deer, and several hundred other mammalian, avian, amphibian, and reptilian species – never mind the tremendous diversity of plant life.

Yet living in a beautiful locale does not equal living in beauty. (Especially when your landlords or housemates or neighbors are unhappy creatures.)

It took mold, a house fire, a water deficit, and a funereal atmosphere (four different dwellings, four distinctly intractable issues) to bring me to the point where I said enough. No more of this. Nada mas. I wanted More Better, and I wanted it on my own terms.

But how to afford my own place on a part-time university lecturer’s salary? The solution I engineered, and the means by which I became a homeowner living in a converted bus where I wake up happy every day, is a story I’d like to share. Because I’m guessing there are many others who find themselves stuck in Less-Than situations.

To me, living in beauty means being able to see untamed nature out of every window. It means breathing in the sweet tang of unpolluted air, and of hearing mostly quiet punctuated with bird calls, ocean waves, or both. It means being content with my choices and living in close alignment with my deeply held principles.

Living in beauty implies creating a space ample enough to grow our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual sides: whether that is expressed in craftsmanship, gardening, music, community meals, or other inspirational endeavors.

Living in love means that I treat each week as if it were my last week on earth: and prioritize what I do accordingly. When the most important things are always at the top of my list, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time anymore. Because I’ve been doing this for many decades now, I’ve completed several versions of my “bucket list” – and yet, there is always something else, something good, to be done.

Yes, Living in Beauty & Love is an ongoing endeavor: I’m not done yet. But the joy factor is going up, with every act of beauty, and of love, that we are blessed to carry out.

 

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