Scholarship Fundraiser for Buddha’s Smile School

It was an overwhelmingly successful month. Dozens of you contributed close to $8,000!! The school, the students, and I thank you so much for all the support.
Details to come when I return from India next spring.brooklyncommunegrouphoto_


The Goal: To provide scholarships to 8 students of Buddhas Smile School: Paro, Vishal, Ravi, Khusboo, Rekha, Sunita, Brijesh, and Pooja.

Each scholarship of 25,000 Rupees (about $500) covers costs for school supplies, books, clothing, first aid, meals, and transportation for one year.

These are children previously holding down full-time jobs, mostly as garbage collectors and recyclers on the streets of Varanasi. For most of them, Buddhas Smile School, a non-denominational, non-profit school, is their first experience with education and with someone taking an interest in their well-being.

Here’s how you can participate:

All proceeds of any purchase on my Etsy site from now until November 20th will be contributed to the fund.
In partnership with the lovely Brooklyn Commune Cafe in Windsor Terrace, a print sale of my collages and drawings is running until November 27th.
All proceeds go towards the fund. Prints are 20 bucks. 25 prints= 1 scholarship.
If you would like to create a full or partial scholarship either by purchase or donation in your name, or in the name of your family, school, organization, press or label, I will make a one-of-a-kind certificate and present it to the school when I visit in January. Just think of it!

As always, thank you so much for your support.
If you have already contributed, your generosity is greatly appreciated!
Erica, Shannon, and Rajan (founder of Buddhas Smile School)

Residency in Gujarat, India

This December I will be returning to India.craft_

Chhaap Printmaking Studio in Baroda, Gujarat, has invited me for a one month residency. I will be hosting workshops, exhibiting my work, and experimenting with new media in their studio. Outside of their gallery, Chhaap is also facilitating mini-shows in unlikely places such as ice cream parlors and restaurants. This is something new for the art scene in India, and I look forward to participating.newmedia_goats_
Thanks to your generous support, I met my fundraising goal for this year’s India & Etsy Fundraiser!! From now through November 15th, all proceeds from any purchase made on my Etsy site will support a scholarship fund for Buddhas Smile School in Varanasi, India.
And thanks again to all of you who made the last India & Etsy fundraiser such a huge success. You can see photos of some of the projects you made possible HERE.
I look forward to sharing new art and experiences in Gujarat with you when I return.rickshaw_

Exhibit Opens Oct 1st at the Brooklyn Creative League

The big and beautiful Brooklyn Creative League hosts this group show of paintings and collages. Opens this Saturday, Oct. 1 at 6pm and runs through February. NEWMESSAGES_
One of the participating artists, Henrietta Mantooth, says of her work:
My painting can be described as “witnessing”. The work is often based on images and stories in the news, people who look out at us every day from the printed page and television screen but who are usually nameless — refugees, rebels, farmers, men and women who tend and defend their land, homes, children, animals and ideas. My intention is that they speak out from the paintings: “HERE WE ARE”.
I lived in Latin America for 18 years, learned Spanish and Portuguese, traveling to out of way places: Indian settlements and ancient ruins, Baroque villages and areas where Afro culture and rituals flourish, in Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Guatemala. I accompanied rustic pilgrimages where people rode for days in the back of trucks, on horse and mule back and in ox carts in biblical fashion to make offerings, sell their wares and livestock, buy salt and other supplies, marry and baptize their children in group ceremonies.
These experiences still have a strong impact on my paintings and connect with my own raw upbringing in Missouri which varied from the pop culture of Kansas City streets, reflecting jazz, corrupt politics and racial inequality, and where my earliest visual and artistic influences were in the dime stores; to the Missouri farmland where my mother’s people raised grapes and apples and where my sister and I fashioned our toys and dolls from mud and sticks, hollyhocks, corn cobs and corn silk, concocting our paints from mulberries, beets, boiled onions, grasses and laundry blueing, and where gypsies parked their wagons along the oiled road in front of our small house. I was aware of the poverty and prejudice of those depression years, of the dust wrecked farm land, the losses and foreclosures, the stunted lives and lack of education, the Black ghettos and segregation. This early background still gives intensity and vision to my artistic endeavors and affects my approach to materials and techniques.
Painting is about bravery. For both artist and viewer. Art is emergency both in the sense of urgency and coming forth. Accept the unexpected and the surprise of the accidental and choose discovery over perfection every time. Rely on your hand to know what it is doing and respect your own process. It will be different from everyone else’s. This is my advice to myself.

Henrietta contemplating her own advice in her studio:

Songs of Wonder cd composed by Basya Schecter

Songs of Wonder is a collection of yiddish poems written by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in his youth. The poetry explores the philosophical, spiritual and mystical dimensions of love, nature and how to be of service to the world. Composed by Basya Schechter (from Pharaoh’s Daughter), arranged by Uri Sharlin (piano, accordion, glockenshpiel), and additionally performed and interpreted by Megan Weeder (violin) and Yoed Nir (cello).

To be released on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records in the fall.songsofwonder_basya_info_songsofwonder_detail_

‘Good Work’ exhibit at the Textile Arts Center

‘Good Work’ runs from April 29th to June 12th
Opening reception: Friday, April 29th 7-10pm
The Textile Arts Center, 505 Carroll St. between 3rd and 4th Ave in Brooklyn


I am pleased to be participating in this group show about labor, justice, gender, fair trade, immigration, community, and craftsmanship. Artists include:  El Hombre Sobre La Tierra in collaboration with Global Goods Partners, and Maya Valladeres, (image below from her Malleability of Memories series).


Cover illustration- American Tensions: Literature of Identity and the Search for Social Justice

The Lives We’re Given, The Lives We Make | That Which Holds Us Together, That Which Pulls Us Apart | Landscape With Figures: Human Experience in the Natural World

These are the three sections of American Tensions, an incredible collection of fiction, poetry, and essays edited by William Reichard. He writes: This Anthology is full of threads and knots. If you enjoy discovering what connects each of us, the threads of experience and insight that translate across time, place, and culture, then you’ll likely enjoy the work you encounter here.

Published by New Village Press.AmericanTensions

Featured in American Craft Magazine

The April/May issue of American Craft Magazine pairs my illustration with the article Craftier Than Thou by Glenn Adamson.americancraft
Writing about the idea of corporations using the concept of craft to sell their wares, Adamson refers to a Jeep Cherokee commercial, which states: The Things We Make, Make Us.
I felt a sense of duty to represent some of the people and places the commercial forgot to mention, the casualties of the Auto-man Empire. One page was not enough room to fit the story of Manaus and the Rubber Boom, The Cherokee themselves, the various landscapes of industrial ruins, and all the individuals in dozens of countries whose jobs and land were turned to scrap in the name of corporate craftsmanship. We forge ahead embracing debris and

2011 Collage

Abigail Washburn’s City of Refuge cd

Abigail Washburn’s amazingly beautiful City of Refuge cd has been released.

This album is quilted from scraps of Nashville, China, a cello banjo, Mongolian throat singing, a fiddle, a choir, some talk about plagues, the future of tradition, the drive for global collaboration, the wonder of human connection, and an homage to the folks who came before us.

She talks about some of those things in this great little video.

It is my honor and pleasure to have contributed the artwork for the cover, website and tour…abbyposter_abigailwashburn_

Cutting out some shelter and staining a mass of humanity for the poster…unpaintedrealestatepaintedhumanity

Adding my grandparents, a monk, anonymous mid-century people doing good work, a doily from a cookie box of Katherine Holman’s (cookies recreated from Aunt Violet’s original recipes) and a rabbit for good luck…grandparents_detail

And an ominous incident over a mantle woven from Crescent Lake, Broken Bow, Bikando, Yangchow, Soochow, Ogallala, North Platte, Kyoto, Chinan, Kumos, Wuch’ang, Alma-Ata, Fengyuan, Keriya, Baba Hatim, Bon Aqua, Abiff, Lyles, Graham, Vernon, Only, Hurricane Mills, Scobell Island, Lucy Point, Kodak, Knoxville, Melville, Cuba Landing, Sugar Tree, Holladay, Yuma, Juno, Alberton, Coxburg, Lexington, Kimball, Sterling, Brush, Big Springs, Wildersville, Springcreek, Beech Bluff, Jackson, Oakfield, Coalfield, Windrock, Oliver Springs, Byington, Wartburg, the bends of Clinch, Bemis, Kamakura, Gomdu, Ndele, Gamane, Beri, Bimba, Jaunde, Jengone, Dancyville, Keeling, Denmark, Laconia, Germantown, Daylight, Campaign, Rock Island, Noah, Kuerhlo, Kara Shahr, Turfan, Telli,  Bulun Tokh, Ulughchat, Kashgar, Zaysan, Crab Orchard, Guma, Kobdo, Ulaan Uul, White Earth, Marylebone Point, Frogue, Zula, Susie, Alpha, Gartok, Chandigarh, Meerut, Moradabad, Jaipur, Agra, kanpuro, Lucknow, Varanasi, Katmandu, Montezuma, Finger, Milledgeville, Selmer, Serles, Pocahontas, Chewalla, Swift, Gillises Mills, Olivehill, Martins Mills, Lutts, Pickwick Lake, Cypress Inn, Gatliff, Moscow, Murtea, Mienyang and other places nearby.mantle

Exhibit at Sideshow Gallery

IT’S ALL GOOD, apocalypse now – a very large group show
January 8th- February 20th
Opening: Saturday, January 8th  6-9pm
at Sideshow Gallery, 319 Bedford Avenue btw. S 2nd & S 3rd in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Murals with New York City Kids

Urban Beautification with kindergarten-2nd graders at P.S. 74 Future Leaders Elementary School in Staten Island, NY, 20111ps74

Our neighborhood: New Dorp Lane with the 3rd grade class of PS 41, Staten Island, 2011
Action Word Wall with 3rd-5th graders at PS 261 in Brooklyn, 2008ps261_ps261_1ps261_5ps261_6ps261_2ps261_3ps261_8ps261_9ps261_10ps261_11

The History of Staten Island with the 4th grade class at PS 41 in Staten Island, 2009ps41_2009