Lilla Jewel Fund For Women Artist Award Winner


Mirror, Mirror...There I Am!
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I Am Human...We Are Whole!
This is the song I wrote to accompany "Mirror, Mirror, There I Am!"
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In awarding me one of three Lilla Jewel Fund For Women Artists, awards, McKenzie River Gathering Foundation commissioned me to create a piece that speaks to Social Justice. My creation, "Mirror, Mirror ... There I Am!" was unveiled at "Justice Within Reach," April 10, 2010.

My mission with my art is to unite all people in joy.

With my exuberantly colorful, intuitive artworks, starring brown characters, I bring to the forefront, with candor and humor, the truth that we all, no matter our color or culture, are the same – inherently human – entitled to, love, peace, equal treatment and joy.

I aim to give voice, visibility and a leading role in the pictures, and on the stage of “the theatre of humanity and life,” to the dark-skinned among us, whom are so often omitted from any positive, joyful, energetic and life-giving “productions.” These ideas are central in "Mirror, Mirror ... There I Am!"

Social Justice, I believe begins, and ends, with being able to see oneself everywhere, in the sun, the moon, the birds, the bees, the sea, the trees, and especially in all humans of every hue, but especially the dark, melanistic peoples.

Social justice, to me, starts with the ability to be comfortable and confident in who I am, to understand and know, we all are one, with each other and every living thing. The mirrors in “Mirror, Mirror … There I Am!” with each glimpse, “reflect the I in me, so I may see, the me in you, and every living being” of each and every person who peeks at the piece.

Creating art in a variety of media – fabric collage, paint, words, nature, metals and music, I aim to unite all people in joy, to touch you with truth and make you smile.

We often forget, in these our modern, increasingly stratified, multicultural times, the healing power of a simple smile. When we smile we are so much more open to everything!

In addition to emceeing the "Justice Within Reach" Fundraiser and art unveiling, I was invited to open the program with something of my choosing. I wrote a song entitled "I Am Human...We Are Whole!" as accompaniment to my art piece. I sang this song and accommpanied myself on my late father's red guitar.

photo by Aaron Rogosin

Lilla Jewel Fund for Women Artists
The Lilla Jewel Fund for Women Artists promotes the work of women artists, particularly women of color and queer women, and increases MRG grantees’ use of art as an effective organizing tool. Redesigned in 2009, the goal of this fund is to provide another critical tool for grantees as they work to create a just and joyful world. Commission three women artists for Justice within Reach is the beginning of a new and powerful Lilla Jewel Fund for Women Artists.

About Lilla Jewel
Lilla Jewel was an artist, a mother and a suffragist. She was a radical during the wave of feminism that took place at the turn of the twentieth century. She fought for the rights of women, and was a founding member of the National Women’s Party.

Art and Organizing for Justice
MRG’s grantees are organizing to build power in Oregon’s most marginalized communities so they can change the world. However, to achieve even greater success our grantees need more organizing tools in their tool chests. MRG believes that art can be a powerful tool for social change
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