Tag Archives: United States

change in a time of transition

I recently moved to Vancouver.  

It’s a pretty big transition!  As my friend and amazing artist Karlee Dawn Weisgerber says “When one door closes, another opens. But meanwhile – it’s hell in the hallway!”  If you want to see a bit of the landscape I left behind, visit Karlee’s website  — she captures the prairie skies with an open heart!

I left behind a lovely life to make a new one in a strange city.  I know a few great people. I am doing yoga (click on the link to see an video called ’80’s week: the yoga terminator. just for a second! just for a laugh!). And walking, reading, and felting.  Oh and the beach!  It is nice too!  I joined the Community Arts Council of Vancouver to see what the community arts scene is all about – lots of neat things happening.

Making art can really help to work through and just be okay with transition.  At this point, my art supplies have not yet arrived and I don’t even seem to have any pencils or pens with me  – but I have so many ideas for new paintings and projects!  Images keep floating through my mind and I can’t wait to put them to canvas and really get into wet-felting.

Meanwhile, I find inspiration in these projects:

 Art for Refugees in Transition : “helps rebuild individual and community identity for refugees worldwide. Drawing upon the indigenous art forms of each community, A.R.T.’s programs are designed to enable the elders of a culture to educate and incorporate the younger generation in their cultural traditions. By developing self-sustaining curricula and training programs, A.R.T. engages children and adults in visual, performing and creative arts drawn from their own cultures. These activities provide local and international relief institutions with tools to help refugee communities cope with the trauma, terror and dislocation of war and natural disaster.” Started in 1999. Happens in places like Thailand, Colombia, and the USA.  Not sure if it is still happening.

Before I Die:  With help from friends and neighbors, I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard to invite people to share what is important to them. Before I Die transforms a neglected space into a constructive one where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. If you’re in New Orleans, stop by the corner of Marigny and Burgundy (900 Marigny Street) to add your thoughts to the wall and discover what matters most to your neighbors. It’s a question that changed me over the last year after I lost someone I loved very much. I also believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what’s important to us as residents and as human beings.” A project by artist Candy Chang and the community of New Orleans.

There seems to be this comment that gets thrown at me every few months — “art is just for the rich. If you are poor, what do you care about art? You are (or should be) more concerned with survival”.  To me, this argument ignores the joyful and creative spirit that resides in each of us.  It censors self-expression by tying it to capitalist ideals. I never know quite what to say.

But the projects I post on this blog are a testament to this fact: people find a way to make art no matter where they are and no matter what others think they should or shouldn’t be doing with their time/energy.  And I am grateful for their heart-felt work in my time of transition.

Expect a few blog posts throughout the summer but I will mostly be settling in and exploring. I will be back in September with all kinds of gloriousness and probably a bit of a focus on art therapy as I will be studying it for the next 15 months!

Peace out, 



music to my ears

This post is all about music …

Appalachian Media Institute …a part of Appalshop, a  multi-media arts and cultural organization, AMI is a training program for youth located in Whitesburg, Kentucky.  It was started to help youth learn media production skills and focuses on community-based issues.

The video is made by three young people and focuses on one girl’s struggle to play the banjo – an instrument that runs deep in the family.  The video is all about belonging, identity, loss, and grief  – her father died and she has a deep desire to “know where she came from” and “know her father” through the music and the community he left behind.  Check out this site for lots of youth-created videos about common concerns like – local business, teen moms, environment, and more.  And the Appalachian music and accent is just lovely!

I can’t seem to post it but you can find it on vimeo –  just put in ‘banjo pickin girl’ 🙂

Instead here is another video called banjo pickin girl .. just a song and nothin like the above video!

Playing for Change  – some great music from around the world .. this Foundation is dedicated to the fundamental idea that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music.  Amazing music and I found a new favourite group …Tinariwen ..?

A group “band of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali, formed in 1979” .. so says Wikipedia... I can’t seem to find an active website for the group!

Just listen to the beauty, sadness, and hope in this song …  Imidiwan Afrik Tendam | Playing For Change …

Enjoy the song in your heart however it feels …

peace out,


some love, some peace, some poetry

These boys know how to say it …  political, personal .. they picked up my spirits and i hope they do it for you too

“The Peace Poets are a community based arts collective from New York City.

Their mission is to create safe spaces for inner-city youth to express themselves artistically and discover their true potential as community members and leaders.

They aim to create fresh art that reflects love, loss, and life.”

A bit of peace and love and sexual healin on this snowy, freezing day in Saskatchewan ..

And if you want something that fires you up….

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