'Daughters of Earth' opens Jan. 7

The New Year opens with "Daughters of Earth: In Our Hands" a show at the Columbia Art Center celebrating wisdom, compassion, courage, resilience, and hope. Five artists have combined their diverse talents to create a collaborative installation that invites the viewer to join international conversations about water and food security, and quality of life.

Opening reception is on Friday, Jan. 7. The public is invited to attend an artist talk in the theater at 5:30 p.m.

Thirteen women were selected to be featured as "Daughters of the Earth" for this show. This selection was made to feature women of all ages, cultures and social classes: Maria Huananay of Peru: Kitchen worker; Peregrina Kusse Viza of Bolivia: educator; Hyun, Ai-Ja of South Korea: orchardist; Vandana Shiva of India: scientist; Helena Norberg Hodge of England (b. Sweden): University professor; Chrissy Swain of Canada: mother, youth leader; Marian Kramer of United States: Social worker; Diana Lopez of United States: Urban Gardener; Jennifer Hall- Massey of United States: bank analyst; Christina Ora of Solomon Islands: high school student; Tsering Dolma Gyaltung of China: Tibetan activist in exile; Eve Bettu Geddec of Ethiopia: farmer; Centolia Maldonado of Mexico: Weaver.

Janet Essley's iconic portraits of 13 women give names and faces to the Daughters of Earth. Designs and landscapes imbedded in the paintings reveal the narrative of their efforts to honor and equitably share the bounty of Mother Earth.

Life-cast artist Peny Wallace brings these global issues into local focus using Gorge residents as models to inspire her sculptures, combining cast hands and objects shown in the paintings, to create a combined narrative of the Daughters of Earth and the Daughters of the Gorge.

The models featured in the castings are: Ben Bracher, Karen Murphy, Peg Wooten, Linda Short, Trish Leighton, Susan Crowley, Suzi Conklin, Judi Kane, Julia Zweerts-Brownsfoot, Janet Essley, Mary Schlick, Lucile Wyers, Teri Schurheck, Dr. Kelley Eden, Corie Lahr, Theresa North and Rory Krehbiel.

Cathy Stever's 13 fused glass artworks evoke the 13 moons of the lunar calendar, giving contemporary meanings to our collective need for healthy and accessible water and food sources.

Sustainability assumes an intergenerational stewardship of Earth. Mother-Daughter artists Julia Zweerts Brownfoot and Judi Kane encourage viewers to take the narratives into the world through their functional art. Zweerts Brownfoot's magical and delicate hand painted bowls depicting the art and culture of the 13 women reminds us of beauty of Earth while we nourish our bodies. Kane commemorates the 13 women by illustrating design and idea through fiber and beads on pad-folios and medicine bags. Use the pad-folios to hold note or drawing pads or tuck your precious mementos securely inside either.

For more information, please call Columbia Center for the Arts at 541-387-8877 during Center hours, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit www.ColumbiaArts.org.

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