Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gina Adams

I am excited to work with Gina Adams for the first time. She is one of four artists in our upcoming show, "Making their Mark in Molten Wax". Her work is beautiful, highly sophisticated in form and content. I would like to share with you snipits from her artist statement as it is heart-felt and informative.

"I am the grand daughter of an Ojibwa Native American and a Lithuanian woman. My grandfather was removed from his White Earth Reservation at age eight and taken to the Carlisle School in Pennsylvania, or, what he referred to as "white man’s training school". He never returned to his reservation, nor saw any of his native family again. As a child, I spent many hours with my grandfather as he recanted to me the "old ways". He had lived a hard, honest life that he was grateful for and it was extremely important to him that I would know who I was and where I came from. When I was seven, my grandfather took me to a stream, tossed in a pebble, and as we watched ripples spread across the water, he told me that the choices I would make would create ripples throughout my life. He taught me that I could embrace my Ojibwe heritage. He taught me that life was best lived by the seven Ojibwe teachings of truth, wisdom, peace, respect, bravery, honesty, and humility. I have always held this knowledge deep within my heart, and because of that deep connection, I’ve worked toward reaching my heritage on a spiritual level through my studio practice."

"My Lace Bead Heritage body of work comes both from the time spent in the studio and from the research and extensive traveling I’ve done for both my Native American Ojibwa and Lithuanian cultures. I have been learning my Ojibwe language for seven years now and was very fortunate to be invited to participate in Language Immersion at Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota, which is a sister reservation to my grandfather’s homeland. To my physical experiences, I add the rich, detailed memories of my youth. My lace beadwork weaves together my grandfather’s oral traditions with the craft that was so lovingly made by hand. My work is process oriented; the intention being to create work that evokes layered possibilities. The beauty that my ancestors made was not about perfection; instead it was meant as a way to honor both what has come before and what may lie ahead. By creating little bits of beauty in my lace beading, I’ve discovered how very similar I am to them."

"Megwitch sa migiwewin nind ki jawendagogiwin tchiwi apagijiwe bekanisid assin pindig nibikang. "

(Ojibwa translation: Thank you for giving me the chance to cast another pebble into the water. )