<![CDATA[Native American Church of Virginia - Art in Nature]]>Sat, 02 Dec 2017 04:31:40 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Clarke County Native American Indian Vet Creates Ornament for Virginia Governor’s Holiday Tree]]>Tue, 01 Nov 2016 07:00:00 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/clarke-county-native-american-indian-vet-creates-ornament-for-virginia-governors-holiday-treeLuminary Gourd “Our Land is Our Legacy”
Honors Native American Indian Culture and Art in Nature
By Clarke County Office
of Economic Development and Tourism

Lumbee Indian artist René Locklear White spent plenty of time in Washington D.C, with her 22-year career in the Air Force, now as a retired Lieutenant Colonel she wears boots for humanity bringing recognition to Native American Indians’ contributions to Virginia and beyond.

Recently, the 52-year-old Clarke County Va. resident carved and painted a dried gourd for the Executive Mansion holiday tree in Virginia’s state capital.

The governor’s official residence worked with the Virginia Association of Counties and Virginia Municipal League to collect local artisan-made, handcrafted ornaments from Virginia’s localities using the theme, Home for the Holidays.” The deadline to submit ornaments was Nov. 1.

Virginia’s Clarke County officials searched for an artisan who could fashion an image suitable to represent their county. 
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Close up of the oval-shaped dried gourd 3” x 5 ½” with ink-dyed, carved, burned and painted local plants and wild life from Clarke County, Virginia. This Luminary gourd holiday ornament titled, “Our Land is Our Legacy” by René Locklear White gourd is Clarke County’s submission for the Executive Mansion holiday tree in Virginia’s state capital.
They chose René who is a military veteran, Lumbee Native American Indian and nature artist. She describes her mission as “cultural rescue” where she volunteers as president of Sanctuary on the Trail™ a non-profit Native American Indian church that helps leaders and brings recognition to contributions of indigenous to reduce suffering.

Her ornament is an oval-shaped dried gourd 3” x 5 ½.” She ink-dyed, carved, burned and painted local plants and wild life on to the gourd to honor Clarke County’s historical motto, “Our Land is Our Legacy.”

Clarke County is a planned open space community rich with forest cover, wetlands, unspoiled countryside, wild uncultivated areas plus locally grown foods and wines located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountain complete with Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah River.
A main feature on the ornament is a local phenomenon in Clarke County, the colors of autumn; depicted by fall leaves circling the gourd.

Blues and greens blend around the leaves to symbolize the state’s scenic Shenandoah River that flows through Clarke County like an oasis in the valley. Under the floating leaves are two small Sun Fish (also called Pumpkinseed Fish or Perch), added to represent fish indigenous people caught hundreds and hundreds of years ago in Clarke County using fishing weirs or ancient stone fish traps which are still existent here today. 

René said gourds are nature’s canvas. She prefers to work outside and all her work is done free hand with no pencil marks or stencils and a lot of fun power tools.
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Close up of the oval-shaped dried gourd 3” x 5 ½” with ink-dyed, carved, burned and painted local plants and wild life from Clarke County, Virginia. This Luminary gourd holiday ornament titled, “Our Land is Our Legacy” by René Locklear White gourd is Clarke County’s submission for the Executive Mansion holiday tree in Virginia’s state capital.
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Early stage of the top with Clarke County forming in the green with Shenandoah River and Blue Ridge mountain made using fall leaves.
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“When I begin to work on a gourd I listen to the Spirit within me to guide me and then I watch nature. Amazing things simply happen. For example, after I painted ‘red’ lady bugs, within a few minutes I was surrounded by ‘yellow’ lady bugs.”

Close to 100 hours artist hours spent
​to complete this project.

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Rene's husband Chris enhanced a tobacco box with local leaves including two tobacco leaves on top of the lid to hold Rene’s ornament. The box can hang as an ornament with the actual ornament packed inside.
“When I begin to work on a gourd I listen to the Spirit within me to guide me and then I watch nature. Amazing things simply happen. For example, after I painted ‘red’ lady bugs, within a few minutes I was surrounded by ‘yellow’ lady bugs (also called Squash Beetles). So I added a yellow lady bug.”

René said when she finished painting the butterflies on top she began burning a bee on the steam to represent the dramatic die-off of local bees. But, as she was listening to music with Native American eagle-bone flute on her deck, she heard a piercing shrill above and looked up to see two bald eagles flying over her head. So, on top of the gourd in the center she burned a majestic eagle flying over Clarke County. Clarke is ink dyed various greens in the background behind the eagle. 
On the bottom, a carved hole carries a twinkle light inserted in a recycled K-cup illuminates through carved holes. Like stars over the mountain river valley these lights also represent “Shenandoah” which from Native American Indian legion means “daughter of the stars.” Lit in the dark these carved facets resemble the Blue Ridge Mountain that runs along Clarke County’s border.

For this county, this ornament is more than a luminary gourd or artificial light source.

According to Len Capelli Clarke County director of tourism, “This luminary gourd represents Clarke County as a place that inspires and influences, especially in the realm of art and farming.”

“Clarke County is the Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley for Metropolitan Washington DC and Northern Virginia,” he added talking about Clarke County where he also lives and works. “Clarke County offers artists like René natural spaces to create and call home.” 
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This photo inspired René’s gourd design. She took this photograph on her Sanctuary on the Trail™ property as she was searching for inspiration.
On top of the gourd a fishing-lore swivel suspends and spins the ornament for hanging on the Governor’s tree.

The gourd is signed and numbered with a certificate of authenticity.

Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society (VLGS) Treasurer Angela Mohr donated this raw gourd to René for this project. René wishes to thank Angela and the VLGS president Janice Kiehl for being her gourd mentors and friends. 

FOR MORE INFO 

Mansion Tours. The Capitol Holiday Tree ornaments are available for viewing during the open house. For dates and tour times visit the Executive Mansion’s web site at www.executivemansion.virginia.gov.

About the Artist.  To learn more about this artist or her cultural rescue project visit www.SanctuaryontheTrail.org or email her at info4TheGathering@gmail.com.

Growing Gourds. For gourd growing tips and events visit the Virginia Lovers’ Gourd Society web site at www.vlgs.org.

About Clarke County. Clarke County has become an oasis for the Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia traveler. We are just 60 miles west of D.C., 12 miles from Hollywood Casino and Race Track and 16 miles from historic Harpers Ferry. 


About the Artists

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Artists: Chris and Rene' White. Photo by Chris Anderson
René’s personal goals are to be a VLGS life member, earn a Virginia fine art fellowship, create a gourd worthy of display by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and farm and grow her own gourd varieties.

René became a VLGS member in 2013 after entering her first gourd into the local Clarke County Fair. She received a blue ribbon and the VLGS Gail Smith Memorial award, in memory of deceased gourd artist Gail Smith a devoted VLGS member and active Clarke County resident. VLGS is Virginia’s official Delta chapter of the American Gourd Society.

Now, René’s mission of “cultural rescue” spans three counties Clarke, Loudoun and Frederick.
She said, “There are no lines on the ground that separate our counties no more than there are lines that separate us in humanity.”

René’s vision is to change common misconceptions about Native Americans and raise awareness concerning Native American Indian culture, especially among students and teachers.

According to Indian Country Today Media Network, “a staggering 87 percent of references to American Indians in all 50 states’ academic standards portray them in a pre-1900 context.” That means students are graduating from high school without even basic knowledge of contemporary Native challenges or culture. 
In Clarke County René leads a biennial (every two years) Native American Indian harvest festival called The Gathering. More than 5,000 people attended The Gathering in 2015. René along with a close-knit team of volunteers are planning for The Gathering 2017 to be twice as big. The Gathering is an educational celebration of agri-Culture. René also teaches art to (Rose Hill) senior living center residents.

Recently, in Loudoun County René painted a wine barrel called “Listen,” that highlights sights and sounds Indians gave Loudoun County, that raised $600 for Purcellville. She and her husband Chris also helped teach children at the Village Montessori School at Bluemont how to build an Indian Village, attended by more than 5,000 people during the Bluemont Fair.

In Frederick County René leads Native American Indian activities during Winchester’s spring Kidz Fest. Last year, more than 800 children stopped at her non-profit booth to ask and Indian a question, learn an Indian dance or hear a Native American Indian story.
According to
Indian Country Today Media Network, “a staggering 87 percent of references to American Indians in all 50 states’ academic standards portray them
​in a pre-1900 context.”
That means students are graduating from high school without even basic knowledge of contemporary
Native challenges or culture. 

GOURDS

Thanks to counties like Clarke and modern seed-savers, we can continue to cultivate a variety of gourds.  

Gourds like this ornament, pumpkins and squash are members of an enormously diverse family of over 700 species called “Cucurbita.” Gourds are squash and vice versa. Squash are divided up into two categories: tender summer squash and hard-skinned winter squash.

Hard shell gourds like this one can last many life times.

Archaeological sites date gourds as early as 13,000 B.C. People around the globe used gourds for storage and carrying, for mixing bowls, pottery and dippers.
Gourds are still prevalent in Native American Indian culture today as rattles and drums in ceremonies and dance. In fact, one sacred group of Native American Indian dancers is called the “Gourd Dancers.” The Navajo modern-day squash blossom necklace originates from squash blossoms as they begin to open.
VIRGINIA INDIANS

Before contact, there were millions of Native American Indians living in present day United States. They were divided into more than 1,000 different tribes or kinship groups. Here in Northern Virginia they left us local words like: Sycolin Creek, Hunger Run, Conoy Island, Seneca Falls, Rappahannock River, Catoctin Mountain River, Massanutten and Shenandoah, as well as many artifacts and sites scattered across Clarke County.

Like René and Chris, there are many Native Americans Indian individuals living in Virginia from various groups across the North America. However, today there are only 11 Native American Indian tribes that call Virginia home: Cheroenhaka Nottoway, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Mattaponi, Monacan Indian Nation, Nasemond, Nottoway of Virginia, Pamunkey, Patawomeck, Rappahannock, and Upper Mattaponi. Just last year (2015), the U.S. government finally granted federal recognition to Virginia’s first Tribe: Pocahontas’ tribe, the Pamunkey. Virginia has two state-recognized Indian reservations the Mattaponi Reservation on the Mattaponi River which is on the opposite side of King William County from the Pumunkey Reservation on the Pamunkey River.
VIRGINIA’S 11 TRIBES AND LOCATIONS
  1. Cheroenhaka Nottoway – Courtland/Southampton County
  2. Chickahominy – Charles City County
  3. Eastern Chickahominy – New Kent County
  4. Mattaponi – Mattaponi River/King William County
  5. Monacan Indian Nation – Bear Mountain/Amherst County
  6. Nasemond – Cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake
  7. Nottoway of Virginia – Capron/Southampton County
  8. Pamunkey – Pamunkey River/King William County
  9. Patawomeck – Stafford County
  10. Rappahannock – Indian Neck/King & Queen County
  11. Upper Mattaponi – King William Count

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<![CDATA[Before & After - Progress on Gourd Art]]>Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:25:10 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/before-after-progress-on-gourd-art
Sanctuary on the Trail Featured Artist. 

Exhibition Oct. 1-2.  
Everyone is invited to Clarke County's Art Tour this weekend rain or shine 10 am - 5 pm featuring 30 local artists and their work at 22 different stops. 

Artist. Sanctuary on the Trail is stop #1 with Lumbee gourd artist Rene' Locklear White (Feather's) at 1183 Ebenezer Road Bluemont VA 20135. Click on the map for a full artist listing (Map).

Rene's Art Benefits. Rene donates 100% of sales from her gourds to help provide Art Scholarships to military veterans and Native American Indian artisans. 

Authentic Native American Art. The item listed here meet the “Authentic Indian Arts and Crafts” and “Indian Product” criteria and is labeled appropriately as authentic in accordance 36 CFR 51, Authentic Native Handicrafts.
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<![CDATA[Art Tour Oct. 1-2 at Sanctuary on the Trail - Benefits Scholarships for Vets and Native American Artists]]>Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:50:14 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/art-tour-oct-1-2-at-sanctuary-on-the-trail-benefits-scholarships-for-vets-and-native-american-artists
Sanctuary on the Trail Featured Artist. 

Exhibition Oct. 1-2.  
Everyone is invited to Clarke County's Art Tour this weekend rain or shine 10 am - 5 pm featuring 30 local artists and their work at 22 different stops. 

Artist. Sanctuary on the Trail is stop #1 with Lumbee gourd artist Rene' Locklear White (Feather's) at 1183 Ebenezer Road Bluemont VA 20135. Click on the map for a full artist listing (Map).

Rene's Art Benefits. Rene donates 100% of sales from her gourds to help provide Art Scholarships to military veterans and Native American Indian artisans. 

Authentic Native American Art. The item listed here meet the “Authentic Indian Arts and Crafts” and “Indian Product” criteria and is labeled appropriately as authentic in accordance 36 CFR 51, Authentic Native Handicrafts.

Rene's Memberships include:
Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society
Virginia's Artisan Trail Network
Top of Virginia Artisan Trail
Life Member, VFW Post 9760
American Legion Berryville VA
American Legion Women's Auxiliary VA
Lumbee Warriors Association
Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem
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By Lumbee gourd artist Rene' Locklear White (Feather)
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MEMBER Artisan Trail Network of Virginia
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MEMBER Virginia Lovers' Gourd Society
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<![CDATA[30 Painted Wine Barrels Unveiled]]>Fri, 03 Jun 2016 20:41:28 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/30-painted-wine-barrels-unveiledImages of Rene' Locklear White's painted wine barrel at: LINK.
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<![CDATA[White Complete - Wine Barrel Art Highlights Contributions Native American Indian Made to Northern Virginia and the Globe]]>Sat, 28 May 2016 05:06:22 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/white-complete-wine-barrel-art-highlights-contributions-native-american-indian-made-to-northern-virginia-and-the-globe
BLUEMONT VA - White represents plant medicines and has popcorn, peanuts and cotton -  all grown by Native Americans first.
    Have you ever really looked at pop corn closely? For me, it was the hardest thing to paint on this four-directional wine barrel.
   The fish is walleye and swims in the local rivers.

BIG REVIEW
"Big Review" of 32 wine barrels painted by local artists is scheduled for Saturday June 4th 9 AM to 1 PM at the Grand Opening of the Farmers Market located at the Shops at Maple and Main in Purcellville, Va. 
    This four-directional art barrel, by a Lumbee Indian, shows contributions Native American Indians make to the Northern Virginia area. 
    Please if you can stop by and see all the barrels and meet the artists on June 4th. 
    Then, the barrels will be placed at their sponsors location between June 4th - 10th. They will remain at the sponsors location through the fall. 
    Barrels are for auction at The Bush Tabernacle (aka Skating Rink) November 12th 7 PM. Huge event!! And night to remember. 

Point of Contact: Michael Oaks Painted Barrel Coordinator, Purcellville EDAC Member
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<![CDATA[On Top of the Wine Barrel is the Tree of Peace]]>Sun, 15 May 2016 21:04:33 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/on-top-of-the-wine-barrel-is-the-tree-of-peace    The top or "head" of the barrel where branding goes, has a red, yellow, black and white tree of peace reaching out into the four directions. I got this tree design from my friend Jason Rios who is a Cherokee medicine man. 
    Once this barrel was filled to capacity with wine, now, it carries the weight of as much culture I could paint onto it within this limited time frame. Below are the words carved into the top of the wine barrel.
​     FULL STORY.
​Listen
See
Feel
Keep
Things Sacred
Silence between the beats
Vibration
In a Mirror
Four Directions
Red Yellow Black White
All Precious in His Sight
Reflection
Yet More
Native American Indian Contributions
Loudoun County and Beyond
Foods Pharmacopeia Ecology Names
Sanctuary of Peace
Cultural Rescue
Symbolism
Mirrors Release Light from Within
Just Be
See James 1
See 1 Corinthians 13
Just Do
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love
The greatest is love
Love Your Neighbor as if They were Yourself
Listen to Heart
Awaken to Being
Part of CommUNITY
We are All Related
Awaken.
 
By Native American Church of Virginia Sanctuary on the Trail™
Rene’ Locklear White (Feather) 2016 Lumbee Indian 
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<![CDATA[Thanks Loudoun Times-Mirror for Sharing our Wine Barrel "Listen"]]>Sun, 15 May 2016 04:54:30 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/thanks-loudoun-times-mirror-for-sharing-our-wine-barrel-listen​     Thank you for sharing this story. Loudoun Times-Mirror, your “Mirror” is the source from which we learned about the “Painted Wine Barrels Around Purcellville.” 
     To the staff of the “Loudoun Times Mirror,” you are responsible for more than newspapers. Your mirror reflects the light of our community.  The words and pictures on your pages reflect off your “Mirror” at an angle of reflection equal to or greater to the energy put into it by your writers, editors, photographers and readers.  You are more than a plane mirror, you help us magnify, admire, see, transparency, fabrication, refract, perspective. You are accountable for helping us see ourselves and others. 
FULL ARTICLE
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<![CDATA[Black Side of the Wine Barrel: West Introspection/Death]]>Wed, 11 May 2016 16:38:43 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/black-side-of-the-wine-barrel-west-introspectiondeathNative American Indian Contributions
     On the black side I stained it a dark walnut color and painted black walnut trees, nuts, stone tools, black berries, mulberries, poke-weed, walleye fish and butterflies.
     Walnut trees are the last to get leaves and first to lose their leaves. Their leaves are yellow just before they fall. 
     This is part of a red, yellow, black and white four-directional wine barrel I am working on for the Loudoun County wine barrel challenge.
     The design is a Native American medicine wheel shape representing: east, south, west and north with things Native American Indians first grew and contributed to this area and the world.
     The black side of the wine barrel represents the West and "introspection/death."
     One of my mother's favorite foods is black walnuts. She can no longer eat solid food. She has dementia and is slowing entering into the West.
      I believe in death there exists the possibility I will see my mom there one day, and my father and brother. 
     I was always taught, if you share a butterfly with someone, it means you want to spend eternity with that person. This side of the barrel has lots of butterflies representing hope for eternal life for us all with our loved ones.
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<![CDATA[Next is Yellow: Loudoun Co. Wine Barrel  Art Challenge]]>Tue, 10 May 2016 16:36:23 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/next-is-yellow-loudoun-co-wine-barrel-art-challengeNative American Indian Contributions
​     With red berries and tomatoes complete, on the yellow side are corn, sun chokes, sunflower seed, squash, beans and melons etc - all grown by Native American Indians first.
     Near the bottom I painted a Sun Perch fish. I love painting fish! These perch swim in our local rivers and lakes here. Years ago, Indians used fishing weirs (rock formations) to capture fish like these at single points in the river.
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Painting the bottom of a wine barrel is hard to get at. I ended up putting it on a table so I could sit in a chair and work on it.
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Sometimes I have to paint at night. This barrel is too large to come through my front door. But we figured a way to get it in the house so I can work at nights.
​     On the barrel’s upper and lower "staves" I painted local words like, Sycolin Creek, Wankopion Branch, Hunger Run, Conoy Island, Seneca Falls, Rappahannock River, Catoctin Mountain River, Massanutten and Shenandoah – names Native American Indians used to describe what is now our streets, schools and homes.
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Painting corn makes me think of family and home.
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Painting sunflowers is relaxing. You should try it.
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My husband suggested the sun perch. To the top right you can see the sun chokes These are great roots to cook for diabetics. Sun chokes have yellow flowers.
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<![CDATA[Getting Started:  Loudoun Co. Wine Barrel Art Challenge]]>Mon, 09 May 2016 23:27:56 GMThttp://sanctuaryonthetrail.org/art-in-nature/getting-started-loudoun-co-wine-barrel-art-challengeI don't have much time, so I have to paint everything directly on the barrel. No time to draw it out. 
     ​From the beginning it was clear to me I was supposed to create a red, yellow, black and white four-directional design for this art challenge. It is a popular Native American Indian medicine wheel shape representing: east, south, west and north.  
     The original title was, "Sights and Sounds Indians Gave Loudoun County," an accurate historical reflection of local contributions by Native American ancestors. But how can I leave out my own Clarke County? There are no lines on the ground that separate our counties no more than there are lines that separate us in humanity.
GETTING STARTED
     The first paint is for red tomatoes. I think most people think of Italian food when they think of tomatoes, not that Indians grew them first. Actually, some say Indigenous peoples of the Americas contributed 62% percent of all food that the entire world eats today.
     On the front of the wine barrel I painted red raspberries. The front is where the plug or "bung hole," still wafts of fermented wine from Maggie Malick Wine Caves in Purcellville. 
     ​Berries make good wine; and Indians contributed all kinds of berries. This marks the East where the sun rises beginning this visual 360 ecological and historical tour. 
     More later ...
"LISTEN"
wine barrel art by Rene' Locklear White (Feather)
​May 2016
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It is hard to keep a wine barrel from rolling when you are trying to paint on it
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