"Harvey, you're one son of a gun. Feeling powerless with y'all in this storm. Gratefully anticipating powerfulness together in recovery and community."
- Hannah Terry, FAM Houston
The sun has come + the rains have finally stopped, and my head is a bit clearer now on ways I can share for people to join the Harvey Relief efforts of local HTX organizations.
Below are a couple of efforts from local small organizations that have loved the people of Houston well before Harvey came + will be doing so love after the storms departure. I know your money will make a significant impact in the lives of the people they serve. These are organizations that operate with integrity that I trust, support, respect +/or am in partnership with.
If you have questions about the opportunities below or other ways you can support, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Thank you for caring, supporting + joining in the efforts to support thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by the storm waters of Harvey. Together I do believe we all will make a difference. This story has many more lines yet to be written. Let's make them beautiful! 💛
Jerry's Artarama is my art store + very much apart of my work. They are apart of my community + support local HTX artists on the regular.
Here's a to help artists recover once they have their spaces repaired + they are ready to work! 💛
BLMHTX Harvey Relief Efforts Statement:
"As the magnitude of Harvey’s devastation to our city becomes clearer, we know that folks from near and far are looking for ways to aid and assist. BLMHTX, in coalition with other Houston-area grassroots organizations, has established the BLMHTX Harvey Relief Effort to provide both donated items and monetary support to those impacted. We are intentional about conducting this effort with integrity and accountability to our community. Thus, 100% of donations received will be distributed to the most vulnerable communities in the city and surrounding areas. Donations are tax deductible and a record of accounting will be provided to all who donate. The immediate devastation to the city of Houston is traumatic and overwhelming. But we know that when the rain ends and the flood recedes, our real work together begins. Join us on the long road ahead to restoring our communities." #BLMHTXHarveyRelief
Give Online: http://bit.ly/BLMHTXHARVEY through their community partner Project Curate's website (In the note line put "BLMHTX Harvey Relief Efforts"
- The Duck Off Sports Bar - 2727 Murworth, Houston, TX 77054 - Friday, September 1 from 11:00am - 4:00pm, Rhys Caraway will be accepting donations.
**More locations will be added!!
Message from a friend who is a Member of the Yellowstone Academy Team:
Many of you have been asking how you can assist Houston. Here's my answer:
My favorite school, Yellowstone Academy, is waiving tuition for any family that needs it after Harvey. This will create a shortfall in our budget - one that we're hoping our community can come together to make up. I hope you will consider putting your dollars to good use and that you will stand with Yellowstone.
We're still putting our heads together to figure out how we can support our families in other ways - but this seemed like an easy decision. Our parents don't need to worry about whether or not their kid can continue coming to Yellowstone on top of all their other concerns right now. Our students are welcome - when we resume classes on Tuesday, we'll make sure they are warm, safe, dry, and full of good food while their parents work on everything Harvey did to their homes.
Teachers, learners + families need our support in the coming weeks after Hurricane Harvey.
Consider adopting a classroom in need.
Area teachers + you will be connected via email requesting supplies, snacks, books, etc.
I will facilitate delivery and/or needs. 100% of your donations will go the classroom in need with no middle man or fee. Share this google doc and signup.
Contact: Britteny Hawthrone of Listening + Learning, Click HERE to email her.
I've been following the relief efforts of Galveston Central UMC, led by Michael Gienger, since the storm begin. They have opened their doors to people who had to evacuate their homes in Galveston + now are moving around Galveston helping people recover.
Galveston is one of my favorite Texas cities + this church has taken up special space in my heart by the way they love the city, love each other + truly embrace the dignity of all persons. They have embraced the arts + creativity in ways that increases our capacity to hope, imagine + see.
Consider donating to their work. They will be in it for the long haul for sure! https://galvestoncentralchurch.churchcenteronline.com/giving
Many have asked how they can support + help me recover from the damage that the flood waters left behind. My sister has created a way to share my needs + ways you can support.
I'm truly whelmed by all of the love + gracious offerings of support extended my way over the past few days. 💛 The studio has been cleaned out + once the wall work is complete I will begin the process of re-creating the space so I can get back to work.
I'm looking forward to that day.
“Mended ceramics foremost convey a sense of the passage of time. The vicissitudes of existence over time, to which all humans are susceptible, could not be clearer than in the breaks, the knocks, and the shattering to which ceramic ware too is subject. This poignancy or aesthetic of existence has been known in Japan as mono no aware, a compassionate sensitivity . . . It may be perceived in the slow inexorable work of time (sabi) or in a moment of sharp demarcation between pristine or whole and shattered . . . A mirage of ‘before’ suffuses the beauty of mended objects.”
-Barlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics
I first encountered the Japanese philosophy + aesthetic Wabi-Sabi a little over a year ago, + the Japanese art kintsugi a couple of years before that. Both captured my imagination from the first encounter, compelling me to study the philosophies + explore ways of incorporating them into my art practice.
Wabi-Sabi honors the imperfect, the humble, the hand-made + the impermanent. It seeks to embrace the beauty found in the changing of seasons, things, nature + our own lives. Kintsugi is the Japanese art first practiced in the 15th Century of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The work is stunning.
At the end of May, I hosted my second Wabi Sabi + Pottery Art Experience for 12 courageous participants/artists that incorporated kintsugi. The table was full + creativity was in full bloom all over my studio. Each person engaged in abstract intuitive + creative introspective practices designed to encourage them to honor the gift of their intuition through listening deeply, experimenting with various textures + techniques, risk taking, creative play + integrating their "mistakes" in the creation of their art piece.
It was sacred. It was beautiful.
The workshop exceded all of my expectations. Though I didn't make a piece during the workshop, I received my own takeaways from the process while guiding each person. I still find myself leaning into some of the wisdom the process revealed regarding the importance of patience in the mending what has been broken + trusting the creative process. I kept hearing, "Don't be afraid to risk + let go."
A few of the participants graciously shared their takeaways from our time at the table with me + agreed to have excerpts from their reflections anynomously shared with you. You'll find the excerpts, rich with honesty + vulnerability with photographs from our time, below.
Take a read. I think you'll find a takeaway or two and you 'll find that life is worth leaning into as well.
"During the art workshop, I became present to the beauty of brokenness. I began to wonder what else in my life needs to be pulled apart, unraveled and cracked open?
In western culture, there is a stigma associated with brokenness. We are very results driven and like to hide our flaws...
... I saw new things and new ideas through the cracks. As I slowly held the pieces back together with my "magical and golden glue", the creative process became freeing, meditative and calming. No loger relying on myself to create art, I was able to utilize ancient Japanese wisdom, the energy brought forth by the artists around me, and the inspiration that comes from unexpected "mistakes."
Reflection on Easter, 2017
Acrylic, gold leaf, charcoal + ash
6wft x 6 ft on stretched canvas
One of the gifts of my partnership as artist-in-residence with Holy Family HTX is that I have been commissioned to create 9 liturgical paintings for the community over this next year. Each painting is a abstract reflection on a liturgical season of the Church. The only paramenters I have are size + the palatte to an extinct.
This past Saturday, April 15, I offered 2 of the 9 paintings at the Easter Vigil for Holy Family HTX. This painting was one.
For those who have been following the journey + were unable to see the pieces in person, I thought I'd take a view minutes to share the process + inspiration behind the work.
For this piece I used a process of layering + subtracting paint to make sure that every circle on the painting is connected to the whole, that each circle consisted of varied textures + that each circle has gold coming through some part of its composition. Some of the specks of gold are so tiny you may need a magnifying glass to see.
The underpaintings consists of words written in in charcoal and ash from palm branches. There are lines from Mary's Song, traditional words of praise for Easter and the line "I can breathe" a number of times throughout.
The three gold circles, Trinity circles, on the east side of the painting represent the Risen Christ.
In 2005 while living in Leeds, England, it was not unusual to find me in a coffee shop reading + blogging. One day I picked up Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II + did not get to0 far before stumbling upon words that struck me to my very core. They were simply that we are all Divine manifestations-- every single human being.
To be honest, as someone raised in the church all of her life, I'd heard those words articulated differently many times before. It was not really all that new.
BUT for some reason, at that particular time in my history, they had a profound impact upon me + provided a new lens by which to see the world around me. It was surreal actually. On my way home from the coffee shop, every single person I passed was aglow-- seriously.
It was like I was seeing people, but they all looked like candles walking.
It was beautiful.
It was hopeful.
It was empowering.
As I reflected on what the hope of the Resurrection + began working it out on canvas, that transforming moment kept coming to mind + I know I had to figure out a way to point to this beauty in this painting.
You have to get close to the painting to see the details.
In some of the circles the gold is immediately evident to the eye. Others you have to search pretty darn hard to see it.
Some of the circles are strong in composition-- alive.
Others are a bit faded-- representing the saints, whose light still shines.
There are circles that are heavily textured-- full of story, full of a past.
Others are textured just a bit.
All have gold.
All are connected.
Last night I offered the first of nine liturgical paintings as part of a commissioning project with Holy Family HTX UMC. The painting was displayed in the Ash Wednesday services and I had the privilege of sharing with participants about the work and my process for completing it. It was surreal.
All of the liturgical paintings I'm creating as a part of the commissioning will begin with words. The words that served as the foundation for this painting were: "remember you are dust + to dust you shall return". The painting was also inspired by lyrics from music I was listening to, + lines from a Howard Thurman poem about the season of Lent.
The painting was a reflection on the dual encounter that the season emphasizes: our own mortality + the deep need for God's redeeming love and life in Jesus Christ.
The line of color, breaking up the rich layers of purple on top of warm yellows, browns, reds and blacks, represents our mortal lives within the expansivness of eternity.
Music was an important part of my process. There were very few moments, if any at all, in complete silence. The last marks were made to the soundtrack of "Saturn" by Sleeping at Last, which I had on constant repeat. Following are four lines specifically I mediated on as I completed this piece:
You taught me the courage of stars before you left
How light carries on endlessly even after death
With stillness of breath you explain the infinite
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.
The past couple of months have been AMAZING!
One of my favorite things to do in life is to travel. I am happies when on my adventures-- reading the many rich pages of this book that is the world, learning + soaking up all the brilliance of humanity + creation I possibly can. Each trip restores my hope, expands my ability to see + forms the artist I am, as I live, breathe + work to love well each place I enter.
Throughout my travels the past 2 months, from New Orleans to Nashville, Gulfport, NYC, London, and culminating with time Paris where I immersed myself in art, conversations + studies about the black imagination + the great legacy of dreamers + creatives that are a part of my ancestry --
a theme embodied in the work I encountered during a tour of Studio Be in New Orleans continues to resonate with me:
"I am my ancestors wildest dreams."
This theme that has stuck with me, + has its roots in the MBL activist community. Right now I am in the studio working it all in planning my next project.
I've decided that my next collection will be inspired by my attempts to deeply connect with my ancestors as I imagine new worlds that hopefully builds upon + honors their dreams, work, faith + magic.
Below is a glimpse of what's flowing out...
Lanecia A. Rouse