Our Careful Tending: A project for Art in the Heart funded by the City of Asheville

I am incredibly honored to have been selected as one of 11 artists to bring creative healing work to the former Vance Monument area in downtown Asheville. The goal of this work being created for ‘Art in the Heart’ is to “unite, heal, and strengthen the community” to usher in a new era beyond the irreparable harm held by a monument that embodied a harmful history of slavery and systemic racism. Please take a moment to view all of the Artists and projects involved HERE and make time to interact and engage with them as they are brought to life in downtown Asheville, N.C.

My project, Our Careful Tending, is a poetic healing ritual that will circle the former Vance Monument area with words of healing and faces of ancient wisdom and grace. Myself and the incredible Street Creature Puppet Collective will circle this area in black dress carrying masks made of paper mache, beeswax, crepe myrtle, and clay while reading the words in a mantra-like meditation. I had hoped that Word on the Street would also contribute healing words from their young writers yet their plates are full so if you have ideas of other ways to incorporate healing words from young writers of color please reach out).

The mask in this photo is one of two that will be in the ceremony. This was made by the incredibly talented Lydia Nichole, a multimedia artist who works with charcoal, ink, puppetry, and sculpture to name a few. She crafted it intentionally every step of the way— drawing the face, dipping in beeswax, listening to words on healing and the moon while bringing her to life. You can view more of her work on Instagram at @danceonthewhale.

A second mask by the incredible Jen Murphy of Street Creature Puppetry is also in creation. You can view more of her work on Instagram here @truffulatuft.

This enchanting photo was captured by another talented Artist , Photographer Micah Mackenzie, who drove all the way to Hot Springs at 5 a.m. to meet me in a field and wander around with the fog rolling over the mountains at sunrise.

All of the grant money received is going back out into the community that sustains the art that truly makes the heart of the Asheville I am deeply moved by and care to show up in relationship to. Thanks to all of the powerful guides and teachers who have been nurturing me as I continue to show up to tend and grieve in community.

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