To Restore our Dreams
Last summer, inundated by fears, triggered by all the news of mistreated children, the horrendous fate of migrants across the world, and the conflicting views everyone had as to what brought on this international conflagration, I went into a depression. I could not express myself. Words, always my comfort and friend, were unavailable to me. Generally, one who sneaks by on minimal sleep, I needed daily naps, faded and got into bed before seven each evening.
I turned to the one outlet available to me, clay. I went out to Reitz Ranch daily. I stayed, rarely speaking to anyone, for hours, forming faces and heads, primarily of women. I was not intentionally sculpting these images. It felt like my fingers took on a life of their own. The faces of the people I created were contorted by pain. It felt as if my own disbelief of the world around me was transferred into these pieces.
This period lasted for about six weeks. Three or four sculptures crumbled in the drying process, seven survived. My days were a blur as I molded the clay, carved out their contorted features. Not until I was ready to travel East to visit my son in September did I really look at what I created. I, who rarely cry, burst into tears, moved by the images of pain, disbelief and horror I created.
Deeply believing these pieces moved through me, I knew I had to share them with others. It has taken them three or four months to move them through the firing process. Only this week have I completed the final two masks in the set. The first time I laid them all out together, I, again, was moved to tears.
The power of the seemingly senseless pain depicted in these sculptures feels too deep for me to be able lay them out, invite people to see them and provide a bit of music. I needed to find an outlet for their discomfort, a way to at least begin to address the issue. I turned to The Coalition to End Human Trafficking. This chapter, based in Northern Arizona, raises funds to provide education and awareness of human trafficking to a variety of community groups.
My show will be a fund-raiser for the Coalition to End Human Trafficking, scheduled on January 12, from 2 to 5 p.m. In addition to asking for donations for this group, I will give them twenty percent of all proceeds from the sales of my art. We will serve snacks. Dave Rentz will play music.
I do not believe in coincidences. It turns out January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The Northern Arizona chapter had already lined up Nick Lembo, a highly regarded speaker, to speak to two religious affiliated groups the following day. We can work together on January 12 and 13 to raise awareness of human trafficking. Maybe this can be an initial step in restoring dreams to more than 100,000 exploited Americans, and too many more around the world.
See you at Adrift (423 S. 5th St. in Cottonwood) on January 12 between 2 and 5. To Restore Our Dreams.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"