“Art has a unique capacity to engage and inspire us to action.”
These words not only express one of my own foundational beliefs, they also express the convictions of Fran Dubrowski. Forty years as an environmental lawyer and educator, she has directed many pioneering projects implementing strategies for sustainability. She is the director of Honoring the Future, their mission statement:
“to harness the power of art to educate, empower and engage the public on climate change.”
We had the pleasure of meeting recently. I was inspired. Art as a voice, sustainability the conversation.
Women of Action
Fran Dubrowski and Honoring the Future will be presenting a Sustainability Award this year in conjunction with The Smithsonian Craft Show 2016. The award is in recognition of an artist whose work “educates the public about climate change or inspires models of a sustainable response to climate change.” According to Fran, the award serves three purposes:
Showcases pioneering artists
Challenges us to rethink consumer choices
Invites craft show visitors to discuss sustainability with creative artists
The Sustainability Award will be presented through a partnership with Honoring the Future and The Smithsonian Women’s Committee. The Smithsonian Women’s Committee produces the craft show annually to generate funds for education, outreach and research. They serve nineteen museums and galleries, nine research facilities, twenty libraries and the National Zoo.
As a fan of those who take action to better the world for all beings, thank you for your collaboration.
Mindfulness and Sustainability
We can see that our Earth is suffering. Overuse and innumerable destructive practices have compounded over time. I once again reflect on my moment-to-moment choices, the small acts that make up a day. I am reminded of the power and practice of mindfulness in all areas of life. From sourcing our food in support of sustainable and earth friendly practices to the mode we use to get about. Do we need a car? Do we need to take the car? Use that much water? Have those lights on? When we say, “throw it away”, where is away?
Do we know if our local government supports sustainability practices? Organizations and events we are involved with? Do our schools and our businesses? Can we encourage more action?
I often ask myself how I can reduce my negative impact on the environment. How can my life and my work express my beliefs? What do my choices say about my relationship with the world and those with whom I share its resources? What is my consciousness around sustainability in support of a healthy planet?
As a general practice I like small efficient spaces, keeping my environmental footprint low. More and more of my food is sourced from sustainable farming practices. I find recycling, repurposing and reusing a creative and inspiring choice. I even traded my full size pickup for a small hatchback and I am exploring the use of flex fuel. I aspire to own a Tesla. In my studio, I have moved away from the use of harsh chemicals and I operate as energy efficiently as possible. Recently, I have begun to covet old rusty things and scraps of wood, imagining the inspiring story these reclaimed pieces will one day tell. I continue to raise my awareness and welcome conversations that inspire new action. .
There is a collective impact from our choices. Small acts add up to big things. Choices about how we will impact our environment come up everyday. Present and aware, what choices will we make?
Please visit Goldenstein Gallery to talk with other artists about their sustainability choices.
In our busy, fast paced world, a Pocket Peace Garden offers us a place to pause; an invitation to center in our heart, creating space in our minds. As we breathe in deeply, we fill ourselves with Compassionate Intention. As we breathe out we wish that all beings know happiness. This state of mindfulness leads us along the path to Peace; Peace in our Hearts, Peace in our World.
The focal point of this intentional space is the Wheel of Compassion. This kinetic bronze sculpture is filled with sacred words, aspirations for a more peaceful and compassionate world. This unique, artistic piece is modeled after ancient sacred sculptures, alive with intention, a source of blessings over centuries. Legend has it that long ago, a great spiritual master created a profound experiment. Setting sacred words in motion, he observed that for those nearby the experience was likened to that of viewing a fine painting, listening to a beautiful piece of music or watching an awe inspiring sunset. The experience uplifted and inspired.
Interaction with the Wheel of Compassion brings an inner calmness that emanates outward. As we spin The Wheel of Compassion, we give rise to compassion in our minds. Setting this energy in motion, we are uplifted; our hands and our thoughts igniting our hearts. While reflecting on the power of Compassion, we are reminded of the small things that add up to great change; acts of Kindness, of Patience, of Generosity, creating positive change in our lives and the lives of others.
As the wheel turns, silent blessings of Compassion are generated, a calming and healing influence spreading in the world.
Designed for private, corporate or community garden spaces, these sculptures offer a perfect moment to pause. Reflecting on the power of Compassion, we then step back into our day; hearts open, load lighter, one step closer to Peace. Peace in our Hearts, Peace in our World.
Created as a Limited Edition Bronze Edition of 21.
My world as energy, alive, pulsating, ever constant change. I am dot and dot maker at once. Wand in hand, paint to canvas, I am color alive, energy centers activated. Grounding vibration of reds, fire, heat of transformation. Greens call heart awareness, purples-recognition, remembering ~ all at once and not at all. Dimensions unlimited, layers unfolding … I am being beyond form. I am symbol created. Intention and Surrender dance. Seeds planted with each breath.
“Flower Offerings: Compassionate Intention Ceremony” L’Auberge de Sedona 1/2016*
“I have come to believe that we can create a world motivated by Compassion and Loving Kindness, a world where Love is our primary guiding principle.
I believe the power lies in our own hands, in the small choices we make in each moment; acts of kindness, patience, generosity and gratitude.
Our beliefs inform our thoughts, our thoughts inspire our words and our actions. These actions produce the results we see in our world.
It begins with small acts, grounded in Compassion … Believe with me.”
-from Small Acts of Immeasurable Benefit: Setting Our Intentions for the New Year” with Goldenstein Gallery at L’Auberge de Sedona 1/2016
How do we stay connected to the deeper places in our being? Our lives are busy, our world changing quickly, how do we keep the transformative energies of Love and Compassion in focus? How do you?
I am an artist. You may know by now, I paint with little tiny dots. I love my dots. From opening a pot of paint, to dipping and shaping the brush, to applying it to the canvas … each dot sourced from pure color, a delight to the eye. Laid next to the other, one after the other, a vibrant display unfolds.
Each dot presents me with a clear, defined moment, an intersection of time and space, a moment of creation. As I engage in this physical act:
What is my mind doing?
What motivates this motion through space and time?
Where is my heart?
Imagine with me for a moment a radiant dot of color: brilliant blue, fiery red, a green that glows like an emerald. Looking into the dot, imagine countless universes within, suns & moons, planets & stars, each one of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, rare and precious treasures of Mother Earth.
Vast as the mind can imagine, a mandala of jewels, offered freely into space, a request for blessings to shower the world, to bring an end to suffering for all beings.
This simple dot provides a point of focus, filled with intention, a wish for the needs of all beings to be served. This simple act, this motion through space and time, expands to fill the world with blessings.
Offerings as vast as space … May all beings be happy …
Where else are these moments of potential ?
They are everywhere.
Come with me again into the vast space of your mind:
We are shopping in the grocery store … picking up the perfect pepper or a juicy piece of fruit, we add it to our basket. Maybe you have picked up your very favorite treat, we can already see ourselves enjoying it,
Let us imagine a vast ocean of perfect peppers or apples, oranges or special treats, imagine them filling all space setting the intention that all beings may have nourishment in whatever form is needed.
Or maybe this:
As we drink a glass of water, imagine all beings with access to clear, clean drinking water.
As the water bathes us clean, imagine all the sufferings of the world being washed away.
As we drive our my car, set an intention: may all beings be carried safely to their destination.
May all beings be brought to a place of happiness.
There are endless opportunities in our day to day lives to open our hearts and set compassion in motion. How would you engage this practice? Please share your ideas below …
*On January 2, 2016 a group gathered at L’Auberge de Sedona to mindfully set our intentions for the coming year. Together we reflected on the positive memories of 2015, we celebrated the goodness we saw in our world and in ourselves. With a relaxed mind and an open heart we turned our thoughts to the year to come.
Symbols are evocative. They can hold personal meaning or evoke particular states of mind. They can represent ideals or hold space for our dreams. Symbols can be an exploration of mysticism or imagination, tell stories or remind us of the people we are committed to being. I love the language of the symbol.
I have been described as an artist of intention. What is intention in art? For this artist, it is art created with a purpose. Imagery or form meant to remind us of the qualities we wish to embrace. Paintings, sculpture and jewelry meant to bring beauty alive, to help us to know our beautiful from the inside out.
What thoughts are inspired by my interaction with this piece? What energy do I want to connect with? What thoughts or ideas do I want to nurture? Or do I simply want to sparkle today 😉
The Emissary stands tall … messenger of peace and possibility
Along the length of the spiraling ribbon are inscribed the words “May We Know Peace.” As this sculpture turns, the ribbon appears to spiral upwards, the dragonfly taking flight, carrying forth aspirations for Peace. Peace in our hearts, Peace in the world.
Dragonflies … keepers of Dreams.
They remind us that anything is possible … What are you Dreaming of?