Social Arts with Melanie Schambach
Engaging individuals, communities, and institutions
in creating public art working collaboratively through
different participatory formats on specific social issues.
‘E Ala E´
Acrylic on Canvas, 2021.
Last spring and summer, a 24-foot-long totem pole carved around seven visions by Master Carver Jewell James of the Lummi Nation in Washington State, was taken on a 20,000-mile epic journey across the United States (www.redroadtodc.org). This historic journey brought attention to the need to protect gravely imperiled Native American sacred sites, lands and waters across the United States. The journey began in Bellingham, Washington and ended over three months later on the Capitol Mall in Washington, DC, where the totem pole, its vision, and its message were received in person by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
Over the course of the journey, thousands of people from all walks and ways of life, came to events in tribal communities, on sacred lands, and in towns and cities across the United States. At every event, people were also invited to participate in the creation of a sixteen-by-sixteen-foot commemorative mural. This creative process engaged hundreds of participants who expressed in their images our ancient love affair with—and sacred obligation to—Mother Earth.
Participants created images representing rituals, customs, sacred practices, beliefs, visions, ancestral knowledge, and images from nature that express a connectivity with the Oneness of the world that is, at one time, within and around us. This magnificent, majestic, and magical mural encourages and enchants, inspiring action from a place of hope, creative compassion, and connectivity that is needed in a time of difficult truths.
Check the 'Art In Hard Times' VIRTUAL SITE HERE.
The title of the painting "E Ala E!" means "each rising of the sun gives us an opportunity to make better decisions, todo what is right for our people and to do what is right for our land," says Anela Joy Gutierrez, Hawaiian.