Coulumbia Art Gallery show aims to sustain

Jan. 8, 2011

Thirteen is a number often associated with bad luck. But, in the case of the new art show opening at the Columbia Center for the Arts "Daughters of Earth: In Our Hands," 13 represents a powerfully positive force.

The show, opening Jan. 7 and running through Jan. 30, will begin with a public reception Friday, from 6-8 p.m.

Five women artists from the Gorge symbolically celebrate wisdom, compassion, courage, resilience and hope through the collaborative installation, which reflects upon portraits of 13 women from around the world created by Janet Essley, show organizer.

Essley's portraits and narratives highlight women who, whether young or old, educated or not, represent active stewardship of the earth. In unique and disparate ways the featured women's stories illustrate equitable sharing of earth's bounty and protection of water and food resources.

"This show is the result of women committing to incredible amounts of work in honor of Mother Earth," said Essley.

"It is a great way to begin a new year. We're highlighting the many people around the world and in the Gorge who are doing the right work of keeping our food and water secure."

The remaining four artists in the show have undertaken to create their own interpretations in differing media, of these 13 women's stories and the positive force they represent.

Giving contemporary meaning to the universal need for healthy and accessible water and food, Cathy Stever's 13 fused glass artworks evoke the 13 moons of the lunar calendar, and the cycle of resource rejuvenation inherent in seasonal change.

Life-cast artist Peny Wallace, using Gorge residents as models for sculpture, combines cast hands and objects shown in the paintings to create a connection between the Daughters of Earth and the Daughters of the Gorge.

Mother-daughter artists Julia Zweerts Brownfoot and Judi Kane literally and artistically represent a shared responsibility for intergenerational stewardship of our planet.

Zweerts Brownfoot's intricate hand-painted bowls depicting the art and culture of the women, remind us of Earth's delicate web while we nourish our bodies.

Kane commemorates the women through fiber and beads on pad-folios and medicine bags, easily symbolizing the importance of memory gathering and healing to maintain healthy connections to the earth.

Art purchased during the show will support the concept of "contribution" exemplified through "In Our Hands." Each artist has agreed to donate 40 percent of sales to support the art center and five percent to organizations connected to the Daughters of Earth.

An artist talk will take place at 5:30, on Jan. 7 prior to the opening reception. The talk will focus on the artworks in the show, and on the participating artists' exploration of the earth's future held within our hands.

Featured women and their respective contributions to the sustanance of the earth are:

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 and youth leader; Marian Kramer of the U.S., social worker; Diana Lopez of the U.S., urban gardener; Jennifer Hall-Massey of the U.S., 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.


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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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