The series of Social Justice tarps created for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) Plate Partners began a second season in November 2016 with the tarpage for C.A.T.C.H. (Charitable Assistance for The Community’s Homeless), above.
Family Medical Center – Refugee Clinic, December 2016
BUUF Partner Church in Meszko, Romania, January 2017
Learning Lab – Literacy Skills for Refugees, February 2017
This tarpage, “Great Circle of Life,” was inspired by the fevered vision Black Elk had as a 9 year old boy. He saw spirit horses galloping from the four sacred directions — from the west snorting lighting, from the north swirling in snow, from the east glowing like morning at dawn with starry eyes, and from the south with manes flowing like prairie grasses. As the horses vanished a firey rainbow arced above him and he saw six ancient grandfathers who gave him gifts of power — a wooden cup of water with the power to give life, a bow and arrow with the power to destroy, a red stick which sprouted four green leaves representing the tree of life — which would flower if all people shared the vision. Black Elk was just a little boy when he had this vision and it took a long time for him to have the courage to share it with his people. When he finally was able to share it, a ceremonial tipi was set up and images from his vision were painted on it.
Imagine this tarpage is like the material that tipi was made from, and the images on it are like those which were painted on that tipi. And the eyes? Black Elk’s. Mine. Yours. May we all share the vision.
I know I’ve mentioned more than once the difficulty of living your life, and at the same time blogging or Instagraming or Facebooking about it. It’s like you have to be you, and a reporter/photographer who is constantly documenting yourself. It’s a little tricky.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed out on documenting something I’ve done because I’ve been too busy doing whatever it was. Of course it’s summer which means I’ve spent a fair amount of time doing this,…
Which has felt like a bit of a slump. Between episodes of sunning and cloud watching however, I have managed to get a little work done.
Just today I got to install the tarpestry I made for Owyhee Elementary School. They are the “Jets” (I think because the school is so close to the Boise Airport) and their values are Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Dignity, and Team Work.
This tarpestry was the largest I’ve created in my “new” studio, (one of those things I was too busy “doing” to docmument) which I set up as soon as we returned from New Orleans:
It’s really nice not to have to work on the floor anymore. And to have a table big enough to accommodate at least an 8′ X 8′ tarpestry, like the Owyhee Jets’.
As you know, I also managed to complete the last social justice tarpestries for 2015-2016. The one for Idaho Head Start is hanging for the month of August at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
And any day now (she said, eyeing the sun-lit patio), I will begin 9 new social justice tarpestries for 2016-2017. But, the most exciting thing right now, is soon I will have a second book featuring my tarpestries available for purchase. This time with the first 12 social justice tarpestries accompanied by 12 wonderful poems by Dena Duke. It’s called “From You I Recieve, To You I Give” and you’ll be able to buy a copy through this website. I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and I need to soak up all the Vitamin D I can before this summer has flown.
As you know if you follow me on Instagram (@sasiwasi) and Facebook, I have been working on a series of tarpestries for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) which are given to the Social Justice “plate partners” along with the funds which the church raises for each organization during the month they are featured. I wrote about those tarpestries I completed before we left for New Orleans in a previous post.
There were four remaining to be created once we got back to Boise, and this month’s, “Boise Autism Mom’s,” will be on display at BUUF until the end of July.
There will be three more to follow, through October, and then we’ll see what happens after that. The tarpestry for August will be “Head Start of Idaho.”
In September “Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN)” will be featured.
And in October, the last in this series will be the “BUUF Pay it Forward Fund.”
You can see all 12 of the social justice tarpestries on my Portfolio page. I am starting to work on another book like the one I produced for my “Tarpestries” exhibition (Tarpestry The Evolution of an Art Form). This book will be extra special because it will open with a forward by Debra Smith about the BUUF Social Justice ministry, and each of the photos of the tarpestries will be accompanied by a poem penned by Dena Duke. It’ll be awesome, I promise.
The latest in my series of tarpestries for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowhip Social Justice Plate Partners (man is that a mouthful!) will be on view for the fist time at BUUF on July 7th. It’s for the group known as BAM! the Boise Autism Moms!
This tarpestry in particular felt very personal because I too am an Autism Mom, (Woot woot, Logan!! #aspieson). When Logan was growing up there wasn’t anything like this group available as a support system.
(That’s Logan, his dad, and a cutie photo bomber at Logan’s 26.5 Merry Unbirthday on June 25th.)
There were other Autism Moms out there though, and we would find each other in our pediatrician’s waiting room, or outside the nursery at church, or in the school hallway outside the resource teachers’ classroom, or waiting in the school office to speak to the Principal about our kid’s behavior. And over the years, through our various experiences with Health & Welfare, Katie Beckett, Social Security, various out patient groups with different psychiatrists, and school counsellors, we would share with each other what we knew, or were learning, about negotiating the system, and dealing with meltdowns, discrimination, bullying, separation anxiety, anger management, sensory overload, medications, and behavioral issues.
Our lives and our conversations were filled with acronyms, the understanding of which separated us from the “Neuro-typical” Moms…ASD, ODD, BD, DD, OCD, TSC, SIB-R, IEP, ISP, ADD, ADHD, SSI…OMG…WTF? I’ve got all those, and more written into the background of the Boise Autism Mom’s tarpestry — even the last two, because sometimes you have nothing left but to laugh. LOL.
I think BAM is such a great resource for all the mom’s out there who more than anything need to know they aren’t going it alone. Keep it up! You’re helping your kids, you’re helping each other, and you’re helping yourselves. Everybody wins.
And by the way, I know there are a ton of awesome Dads out there too who need to know they are not alone either. Maybe one of them will start a group. They could call themselves BAD-ASD or Bad-Ass Dads for short! I’m already designing their Tarpestry in my mind!