Sunday, July 29, 2012

Coming to a close

It's hard to believe, but the end is near for the Bearing Witness Art Show, the first art show of it's kind, featuring visual, written and musical works from 32 artists exploring the experience of pregnancy loss and infertility using the creative process. It has been an profound experience, one that artists and visitors will likely not forget.


Friday night I went to the gallery with my dear friend and together we sat looking at the artwork, sharing tears and moments of reflection on this emotional journey. For me, and perhaps others, this show gave me the opportunity to connect with a greater community of individuals and feel less isolated in my experience with loss, all the while bringing my community together to share each of our powerful stories. For my friend, she opened herself up to the grief and loss that she has not experienced, nor could she imagine trying to comprehend this experience for myself and others. We came together, each of us from different places in the experience, each of us changed.

Please join my fellow artists and me for the Closing Reception, where we will gather together one last time to honor these creative expressions of loss.

Closing Reception
Sunday, July 29th
4:00-6:00 pm

Marylhurst University
Streff Gallery- Located in the Shoen Libary
17600 Pacific Highway, Hwy 43
Marylhurst, Oregon

Thank you!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Artist Updates!

I have had the great pleasure of collaborating with 31 artists from all over the country (and Wales too!) This talented group of men and women have amazed me with their creativity, stories and celebration of life after loss.

Take a look at some of their new projects and celebrations!

Laurinda Reddig recently won the grand prize at the Vogue Crochet Design contest! She exhbited her Rowan Tree Vest, a beautiful crocheted piece that is a new addition to the July exhibit at Marylhurst University.

Abby Lazerow recently launched her brand new website. Meet Abby and view her amazing body of work and figurative paintings, including her Elise series under the Grief and Loss section.

Katie Rose Alexander recently published her piece of writing from the show, Of the Water, in the Summer 2012 Squat Birth Journal!

Nikki McClure will have a solo exhibit, Cutting her Own Path; 1996-2012, at the Bellevue Arts Museum this coming November 2012-February 2013. This is a must see exhibit if you missed it in Portland!

Monday, July 2, 2012

An open letter


Over the last few months I have spent some of my quiet moments in guided meditation to let openness in. Openness in rekindling friendships that I have let lapse, openness in the possibility that my body is able to carry a baby to full term, openness to spending time with women who are ripe with belly, openness that I can and will be a good mother, someday, somehow and that no matter what happens in my life, I will be okay.

I have been amazed at how this meditation, support networks, sunshine, along with time and energy spent grieving and creating in the face of loss and has led me to this point. Right now, I feel pretty good.

I am proud that I have helped create an art show where women, men and families have come to share their stories of loss with mine. Throughout this whole experience I asked myself what I was looking for during this time of loss, reflection and creation. I was looking for many things, but one aspect of my journey has always been that I wanted the opportunity to tell my story and for others to tell theirs. I wanted people to listen to and look at the stories. Not analyze, give advice, provide a sense of false hope, or minimize the pain that is and was- just listen, look and empathize.
To some, our stories of loss, death, blood and tears are awful to consider, fathom or think about, especially for those who have never experienced the magnitude of the death of a child, a fetus or the inability for one’s body to support or conceive a life. We know these stories are awful and heart wrenching, we lived them.

Several years ago I talked to a woman with dementia and asked her to tell me about herself. She couldn’t remember where she lived. She couldn’t remember what she had done for a living. She remembered to tell me that she had six miscarriages.

I will never forget that moment. This woman may never have told her story to anyone else. What if she had always wanted to talk about her losses, but never had the opportunity to do so?
For myself and others in this art show, we know that letting people in and expressing emotion about our losses can help us. It might not help everyone to talk about and expose their pain to their communities, but for some of us, this is the path towards healing, acceptance and even happy endings.

Of course happy endings are just one part of someone’s life story. To be open to knowing the whole story and the suffering that some must endure is a powerful way to understand your fellow human beings.

The final exhibit for the Bearing Witness Art Show will be up for the month of July at Marylhurst University in the Streff Gallery located in the library. 32 artists from all over the country (and one from abroad) have joined together to show their work and share their stories. It is truly a powerful and beautiful exhibit. If you have not seen it yet, please consider making the trip.

http://www.marylhurst.edu/arts-and-events/streff-gallery/

You are also invited to join us for the closing reception on Sunday, July 29th from 4:00-6:00 pm. Details to follow.

Thank you for opening up your hearts and minds and supporting this project.

Kristen









Thursday, June 21, 2012

Artist Profiles 9

Chistiane Crosby created a piece of artwork to honor and remember all of her babies in one place. After 10 pregnancies in 10 years, which included miscarriages, stillborns and the live birth of her daughter at 26 weeks, Christiane has appreciated the opportunity to create a piece of art to share both the grief and the hope she experienced when she and her husband tried to start a family.



Kelly Martin, an artist and teacher, has always found that the creation of art can lead to healing, understanding and clarity when we are faced with challenges in our lives. Kelly and her husband have struggled with unexplained infertility over the last two and a half years and still hold hope that one day they will be able to start a family. The creation and sharing of Kelly's artwork has been a powerful experience given infertility can be such a silent struggle.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

About last night...

Last night was an amazing experience. The opening reception at the Peace House was filled with so much. Artists found one another and connected through shared experiences. Friends, families and community members looked at powerful artwork together. Writings honoring loss and ritual were spoken. Music and song of celebration and pain filled the room.

The Peace House, a private residence, graciously opened up their beautiful home for this exhibit. The house was a place where people could see powerful artwork in a setting that was comforting and real. I cannot thank the residents of the Peace House enough.

The show is still up at the Peace House today only.

Saturday, May 12th from 10:00-6:00 pm.

If you have a moment, please stop by and take a look.

The Peace House
2116 NE 18th Avenue
Portland, Oregon

If you are unable to see the show this weekend, it will be up the month of July at Marylhurst University. Details to follow.

Thank You to the artists, the volunteers who helped hang the show, the friends and family who donated time and energy in helping put this show together, to Pat and everyone at the Peace House, for all they have done to welcome the show into their home.  

Thank you.

Kristen

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Opening Reception: May 11, 2012

 Opening Reception

Friday, May 11th from 5:00-9:00 pm.  
Musical performances and readings will take place at 7:00.

          The Peace House
          2116 NE 18th Avenue
          Portland, OR

 Viewing Hours:

Saturday, May 12th from 10:00-6:00, artwork will be on display and open to to public.


*Children are welcome if you feel comfortable bringing them to the event.