How many people take note throughout their day of a singular ray of light or passing shadow? How often do you suppose such things go unnoticed?
And when such things are noticed, do you think you'd see them the same way as someone else?
If you thought "probably not," then you're probably right.
Everyone's perception is shaped by their experience; every experience helps define the perspective that provides context for our perspectives. And the sharing our perspectives, perceptions and experiences forms the basis of human society and communication.
I reflected upon this briefly in a recent diary:1
History and culture help us define who we are, why we are the way we are, where we came from and - to an extent - where we are going. The human race is vast, wide and sprawling across this planet: we, as a species, are at once both individuals and collectives - we vary from individual to individual, from society to society, in what we understand & share in terms of history, of experiences, of how we live and how our understanding helps to shape our interaction with each other and the world in which we live.It is through sharing our art, our culture and our history that our capacity to learn & grow is nurtured. It is this nurturing that we, as a species, have learned to carry on through a variety of means - written word, painted canvas, carved & shaped sculptures, melodious tunes from voices or a variety of instruments: we can even record ourselves and share these experiences across time and space. And yet, there's still the basic human need to connect - to get to see things directly with our own eyes, to hear them with our own ears, and to gather together to share such experiences when and where possibe. That's why we we build communities in meatspace to complement our online relationships.
It is the exchange and sharing of information, knowledge, history, and perspective that helps us expand our minds, our souls, our appreciation of our fellow travelers and our capacity to reach for the stars. We have the capacity for empathy, and can communicate our individual as well as collective experiences, histories and cultures in ways that help others understand who we are as individuals or within our societies.
Art - whether the work of a master craftsman, musician, painter, photographer, writer or sculptor - is the most powerful way to bridge the past, present and future. It is the most instinctive, yet complex, subtle yet powerful language of all. Through the eyes of the artist, we catch glimpses of our ancestral past, share perspectives that we may not have otherwise conceived or previously understood, and expand our capacity to understand another's sense of what is sacred.
And it is through sharing our art, our souls, our cultures and history that we learn to recognize & nurture our common humanity.
We gather, we share, we learn and we grow. The gatherings strengthen and nurture us; the communities we form in both the physical world and the virtual one are bolstered, and we become stronger together as we interact and unite.
We even help create new opportunities for communities, both online and off, to grow and expand in ways that help share our individual and collective histories, cultures and traditions.
That's a good thing.
Now, here's an opportunity to help build on that.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the oldest capital city in the United States. It is also one of our nation's largest cultural centers, home to artists, writers and craftmen galore.
You may have heard of one writer, in particular - particularly if you've read A Song of Ice and Fire: the author, George R.R. Martin, lives in the area. In fact, he's actively promoting art & culture beyond his own chosen medium by directly investing in it:
In early 2013 he purchased Santa Fe's Jean Cocteau Cinema and Coffee House, which had been closed since 2006. He had the property completely restored, and the Cocteau officially re-opened for business with great fanfare on Friday, August 9, 2013.And that is the very same location that will be hosting the one-man exhibition by our own legendary artist, craftsman, and silversmith Wings.
Beginning Tuesday, April 15, and running through May 11, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico will host a one-man art show by Wings.
The exhibit's theme is Taos Pueblo: Ancestral Places, Sacred Spaces, and it explores the identity of Taos Pueblo from an insider's perspective through Wings's chosen media: photography and sterling silver. The show features ten photographs of Taos Pueblo's classic architecture and iconography, presented in a wholly different way.
Complementing the photography, the show will also feature several of Wings's sterling silver Indian jewelry showpieces, each with its own accompanying narrative.
Please share this news with others - the show starts Tuesday, 15 April 2014. That's two days from now. It will run through May 11, so there's time to get there if you're within striking distance.
It's a wonderful opportunity for Wings, an important cultural opportunity for Native Americans, and an exciting exhibit for the Jean Cocteau Cinema and Coffee House, and both Aji & Wings are very excited & grateful. As Aji notes on her blog:
The Jean Cocteau Cinema is owned by renowned author George R.R. Martin and Parris McBride Martin. We are indebted to them for this honor and this opportunity. We also owe special thanks to Raya Golden and Jeff Berg, and particularly to Sam Haozous, for facilitating this entire project.It's a win-win, for everyone.2
Thank you for reading, and most importantly for sharing. Namaste.
1 I'd written to promote a friend's coming one-man art exhibition; I, among others, sought the help of this community to raise funds to help defray some of the associated costs not provided or covered by the gallery. The community came through with flying colors - I thank you, and am humbled by the generosity & support for our friends Aji & Wings.
2 Folks can still contribute to help ensure that they can defray any unexpected costs, and - with a little luck - have enough to fund the all-important artist's reception before the end of the show in May. For more information, I defer once more to Aji's blog:
in detail here. You can read the venue's official announcement here. And if you know anyone inclined to kick in a few bucks, you can send them to Wings's GoFundMe page here, or hit the PayPal button above.