Art Shows at Historic Mills & Buildings
While shows like this take place across the nation, few take advantage of them. This year, for the first time members of the Native American Church of Virginia participated in the non-profit Burwell-Morgan Mill "Art at the Mill" exhibit held May-June, and encourages others to next year.
Chris (Comeswithclouds) White church CEO and René White (Feather) church president both participated in the show targeting historical preservation and art education. Chris submitted a traditional Native American drum and natural stone relief. René submitted several dried gourd designs including this fish set.
A portion of the sales goes to preserve the historical mill and to an annual scholarship given to a Clarke County student majoring in the arts.
"428 pieces of art in this show sold," said Laura Christiansen, CCHA Director.
Each year, the Burwell-Morgan Mill in the quaint village of Millwood, Virginia, becomes an extraordinary art gallery. Art at the Mill has become one of the premier art shows in the mid-Atlantic region, attracting artists and buyers from more than a dozen states.
In a letter, speaking to René, Chris and the other artists who participated, Laura said, "Congratulations and thank you very much for your participation, excellent work, and support of the Art at the Mill. We owe our success to you!"
Those interested in participating next year, entries for the 2015 are mailed in January and downloadable from the Art at the Mill web site.
Art Internships & Grants Available Now
René said she benefited from an art internship in college and recommends high school and college under-grad and graduate students check out these resources for internships and grants:
Stippling is dotting and creates a pattern using varying degrees of solid or shaped dots. Stippling is also a natural pattern found on Virginia’s fresh water rainbow trout, along with it natural scales, array of colors and rosy band.
About these Fish Gourds.
These are naturally dried gourds, burned, carved then enhanced using water-based inks: pine-tree green, chartreuse, apple, turquoise, pink and blazing blue; heat set and sprayed using gallery conservation varnish; and accented with fishing line and buzzard feathers.
These are most likely siphon or bottle neck gourds. However, to René they can only be fish gourds.
"From the moment I laid eyes on this particular gourd shape, now all I can see is fish," she said."I am not a fisherman, but I just love watching them and their colors, shapes and textures."
The other two gourd fish on this string represent food, she said. Trout feed on aquatic and terrestrial life. One gourd contains a lady bug, bee, moth and butterfly, but the other gourd contains words.
"We, like the trout, feed on aquatic and terrestrial life as human food. Yet, 'The Word' sustains our souls," she added.
Closeup photos show the words carved and burned into the gourd.
Native American Church credits Art Internship as influence for these recent gourd designs.
Like the Fish, We are all Related.
Chris, her husband gave René the title, “Fish of a kind school with one mind” for this set of fish gourds. It is similar to “Birds of a feather flock together.”
When you see a school of fish, they will turn immediately with ever threat," Chris said. "Flocks of birds do it too. What is it? Instinct? Inner knowing? Trusting your gut?"
"As fish and birds are similar, we are similar," Chris said. "Some think, 'we are all different.' Some think, 'no one thinks like I do,' that, 'someone has to be right, and you must be wrong.' But, we are all related."
We have much to learn from each other and the animal kingdom; as nature intended.
As you walk, fly or swim, may you always be in balance with self and others. As you flow in life, may you flow with a sense of purpose that cannot be thwarted by external negative forces. And as you are, my you always be reminded to listen to the words of the still voice within you.
René White (Feather) is indigenous to the Eastern Lumbee Tribe. Art in Nature® at the Sanctuary on the Trail® is a Native American Church of Virginia faith-based initiative she and her husband lead.
Proceeds for purchasing Chris and René's art are tax deductible and helps fund Art in Nature ® classes René teaches at her non-profit, faith-based church and helps preserve and protect a sacred Paleo-Indian grounds they found on their property.