September 03, 2017

Natural Elements

By Raven Makes
Natural Elements

Hopi Polychrome Bowl, by Garret Maho

The recent weeks in Central Oregon have reminded us how connected we really are to the natural order, be it celestial, or weather-related.  Fire and flood and their impacts are certainly front and center in our minds and hearts. When we consider our deep connections many of us have to the outdoors and animals, the rhythms of day and night, the shifting seasons, we are reminded of our of impacts on our surroundings, and vice versa. Natural sights and sounds improve our well being and relieve high levels of stress.  When we step into our inside world, the decor and art we choose can have a most positive effect on our psychological states. 

Native American art, in particular, often reflects a complex and creative connection with natural elements.  Certainly, Nature inspired the earliest artists, from Paleolithic cave painters and stone carvers embellishing their tools.  Before photography, art often reflected an attempt to recreate something profound in the natural world.

Today, a Navajo basket of desert willow starts with the respectful harvesting of an honored plant.  Delicate Pueblo pottery begins with the gathering of particular clay from local banks and riverbeds.  Earth pigments are gently extracted for paintings, and the natural geometry from Earth and Sky inspire an image. The wool from a beloved sheep is sheared, cleaned and carded for spinning and weaving a valuable textile. Precious stones are cut, fitted and arranged to reflect harmony and balance in a stunning piece of American Indian jewelry.

These tasks are done with quiet and respectful anticipation of what lies ahead for the American Indian artist; a creation that challenges the curious collector or buyer to appreciate the process and connection to the natural, even ceremonial order that is often inherent in indigenous art.  

Raven Makes Gallery is honored to represent First Nations and Native American artists who reflect deep traditional connections to their families, art, craft and homelands.  New art work and jewelry from the studios and jewelers' benches is on display, and we look forward to a new season to celebrate the harvest, hunt, and creative connection to natural order.

Note: During the month of August, our excellent and vivacious employee Hannah, went back to college for her sophomore year. Chris stayed at the Gallery and ran things here for the entire month. LaRita headed Southwest, first to attend the Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest annual Native American Art Show of the year, held annually the third week of August.  Old friends were seen; new ones were made.  After Market, LaRita spent time on the Zuni, Navajo, and Hopi homelands reconnecting with our artists, jewelers, and weavers. She’s back, we’re inventorying, and the ‘new treasures’ are making their way to the gallery floor.  Stop by to see all the lovely new works, particularly the pottery and exquisite new jewelry selections.