The Art Of Deborah K. Tash
March through June 2016
ANEW Gallery Annex
Well here I am again! Deborah aka Bee-Messenger of the Goddess, Cosmic Cowgirl and OMer! 2016 has been a whirlwind of events and activities. I wasn’t planning to do any shows this year but life had other plans for me and I just couldn’t say no. At the end of January I read in an Ekphrastic Poetry event at ANEW Gallery and then starting off the month of February, I was part of the Love and Erotic Show at Castro Street ART SAVES LIVES Studio and Gallery which opened for Valentine’s weekend to packed attendance and went through the month. Friday night in the Castro! After I agreed to be the Curator of Special Events for ANEW Gallery Annex with a wall dedicated to my work in exchange, my Retrospective:The Art Of Deborah K. Tash show opened on March 20th and continues on through the month of June. One of April’s fun events was a celebration of National Poetry Month sponsored by San Francisco Peace and Hope in which I read two new poems. It was held in the Annex in the midst of my show which was such an honor. I am so pleased to have my work published in the San Francisco Peace and Hope journal, as well. Not only am I establishing my voice as a poet, but I am being recognized, as well. Then last Friday, May 6th, Woman’s Art Show opened at Castro Street ART SAVES LIVES Studio and Gallery to another packed crowd. Selections from Reclaiming The Sacred Cunt project will be part of the show through the month of May. See the show at 518 Castro Street here in San Francisco.
OneTaste Spring Retreat held in the amazing Four Springs Retreat Center near Calistoga. The spirit of Frog Medicine dominated the awesome weekend energy with frogs singing all night long the entire weekend. (Want to know more about Spirit Animal Allies and Frog Medicine? Check out UPCOMING EVENTS at the beginning of this newsletter.) I celebrated my one year anniversary of “OM”ing or Orgasmic Meditation, a consciousness based, partnered meditation practice which involves stroking the clitoris, in April. My OM practice has increased the healing energy in conjunction with the amazing network chiropractic Aidan Kinsella and Peg Capers of Verve Wellness Studio have been doing with me for a number of years. One of the amazing results being that my spine and pelvis, which were chronically torqued to the left for most of my life have, over the last several months, straightened out. My right leg is normalizing and soon I will be walking more gracefully again. The level of sensation in my right leg has increased dramatically and now I can even feel my toes!
In alignment with my commitment to working with “intentional creativity” calling on the Shamanic energies of the gods and goddesses, animal allies and spirit guides I continue to incorporate my understanding of sexuality as spirit and the sacred cunt as a portal of spirit in my art and writing. Proceeding with my Reclaiming The Sacred Cunt project, I am working on the book for the project and planning additions to the art. Slowly but surely I add chapters to my graphic novel in progress, The Gods In The Mirror, as well. After completing the writing, I will be exploring comic book illustration.
Additionally I am excited to be exploring figurative drawing and painting again; attending life drawing sessions at Castro Street Gallery to work from live models. I have had a strong desire for several months to figure out how to imbue my work with sensual and orgasmic energy in such a way that it transmits sensation to the viewer. At the opening last Friday I had a conversation with Rafael Martinez, who is a talented visual artist and OM coach, who told me about a class he wants to design to explore exactly that! It will be for OMers who are also visual artists or musicians (using live models for sketching and painting) who want to explore learning transmission of orgasmic energy into their work. The intention being to then transmit sensual bodily sensations to those who view and experience the art and music in return. So, we are working on setting that up and finding 15 to 20 OMers who would like to participate! An answer to my prayer. And stay tuned, as I am also entering the Luxembourg Art Prize competition! All expenses paid, including hotels, airfare and meals, a cash award, inclusion in the group show in the gallery and a solo show are all part of the prize for the artists who win!
And for some fooling around, I started out taking mirror “selfies” with my camera a couple of years ago and lately I’ve been playing around with my iPhone 5 camera taking more. An interesting way to explore self portraits…Here is a sampling.
Born in 1949 in Oakland, California and raised in Alameda from the age of ten, Deborah was shaped by both her dual heritage (Mexican and English/Irish/Scotch) and a childhood marked by polio and years of being confined in hospital. These influences contributed to her childhood preoccupation with solitary activities. Daydreaming, reading, writing poetry and art making were augmented by telepathic conversations with the screech owls that lived in a 100 foot Eucalyptus tree, her best friend, which grew in her backyard. These early Shamanic/psychic experiences led her out of organized religion and into the pagan community in her early twenties where she became a Wiccan worshipper of the Goddess and the Feminine Divine. The impulse to make art began with a love of paper dolls and experimenting with writing and penmanship. At eight she began to write short stories and poetry as a member of the Aunt Elsie Club. By the age of eighteen drawing and painting invisible faces became an entry point for more fully exploring visual art. At twenty-five she attended Shasta Community College in Redding, CA with visual art as a major. After returning to San Francisco in the late 1970’s moving back to Oakland, she founded Cloudscape Design mural company, offering interior murals inspired by the psychic profiles of her clients. One of her commissioned pieces for the 1982 Designer Showcase was included in an article for a design magazine popular in the 1980’s. In that same time period she also completed a commissioned piece for the Port of Oakland’s conference room as well as many commissioned pieces for private collectors.
The intervening years as a Wiccan, massage therapist and psychic healer helped to shape her work to her current interests in the embodiment of spirit as physical. As a resident of San Francisco for over twenty years she has continued to develop mask making and drawing, as well as adding her poetry into her paintings and assemblages. She has also continued her study of ceramics since 2007 exploring adding ceramic objects into her paintings, as well.
Why do I make art? Why is it intrinsically important to me to manipulate symbol and image? How does my interior life shape and influence the act of art making as well as the act resonating into my interior life? Why is self-expression necessary? How do I instill spiritual meaning and implement the desire to inspire and create change both within the process and within the viewer? How does art-making change me? When I confront my edges and established boundaries in order to create an image, how am I transformed in the process? These questions drive me to create, as well as to understand the fluid nature of the answers.
On the Path of Beauty creating images inspired by the Feminine Divine I have endeavored to combine both whimsy and the Shamanic influence of alchemical transformation in my work as spiritual path and a means of self-expression. Over the years I’ve pursued alchemical themes, following the whispering of the Shamanic journey with guides, spirits and archetypes to interact at the intersection of the human world with the other realms. The archetypal realm and the energies of the gods and goddesses fuel my love of color.
One of the things I wanted last year was to show my work in the Castro, which is where I live. I was considering doing a popup show when I saw an available storefront on 18th Street which was being offered for popups, but after assessing all the costs and time issues, decided that it was best not to pursue that option. Imagine my joy when I discovered that the AHP Clinic on Castro Street, which had a very large unoccupied area at the front of the space had been turned into a gallery! Thomasina DeMaio, herself a talented portrait painter, has been running Castro Street Art Saves Lives Studio and Gallery since the last quarter of 2015. When I stepped into the gallery to find out more about the Life Drawing sessions that happen there twice a week, we discussed my work for the Reclaiming The Sacred Cunt project and she booked me for two upcoming group shows after looking at my website. One of them is for the month of February and one in May 2016. The opening reception for the February group show is this coming Friday, February 12th from 6:00 to 9:00pm. I love that ART SAVES LIVES is part of the name of the gallery, as I have carried a dollar bill with that printed on it since the 1970s!
Come join me and the other fabulous artists! Here is all the information:
WHAT: Group Show
WHERE: Castro Street Art Saves Lives Studio
ADDRESS: 518A Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
OPENING: Friday, February 12, 2016
TIME: 6:00 to 9:00PM
I find myself riding the wave with Stacy Boorn as we re-envision AWE Gallery into its new incarnation as ANEW Gallery. ANEW Gallery will be featuring Stacy’s photography in the main gallery and my art and related guest and group themed shows which I will curate in the Annex. In November 2015, we co-curated The GoddessSpiritRising show which ended with a closing reception SUNDAY January 31st – Ekphrastic ARTS Party to celebrate and conclude the exhibit which was a hit!
Ekphrasticism is a dialog between one art form and another. Poets, singers and dancers shared their responses to the 33 artists whose more than 65 images were presented. I will be setting up a new show for March 2016…Retrospective/The Art of Deborah K. Tash. Stay tuned.
You can see my regular posts on Facebook at facebook.com/Deborah K. Tash/In Her Image Studio. I share my poetry, photos and images of new work and work in progress there several times a week. In other news, I will also be part of two shows which are being presented by Thomasina DeMaio aka Sister Donnatella Donnaska of the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence here on Castro Street! One will begin in February and one in May…more details coming soon. I am looking forward to a year of art making, writing and hopefully publishing at least one of the books I have been working on in 2015 and sharing it with all of you! See you soon!
Gallery/Reclaiming The Sacred Cunt Project
See the YouTube video for the September AWE Gallery Show for Soft Power/Shamanic Invocation Of The Sacred Feminine with selections from the Reclaiming The Sacred Cunt Project: