Saturday, May 14, 2011

Whimsical Women

Last Sat. the 7th of May  Maureen and I went the Whimsical Women Spring Art Show in Chapel Hill NC . We joined  Elaine,her  dog Cosmos and her friend Kath. We saw exceptional art, met extraordinary artists  and even found a few friends among them.   We also saw and bought some amazing art!  Is that a surprize to anyone who knows "Whimsical Women"?
We talked to four women that expressed a desire and willingness to come to teach women in Uganda. The first woman we met when we walked in to the Artisan's circle was Tiffany. She'd been to Kenya and Uganda and had a wonderful sense of color that her Father had given to her as a gift.  
Another women designed and made art from old clothing (sweaters her sweetie had ruined in the wash :O). She had a sense of whimsy that made her art appealing and fun. Her name was Janice. When Maureen and i kept on talking about Uganda she stopped us and said, "You don't have to keep convincing me i'm in." We all laughed and exchanged info! 
A third woman with award winning bead designs I would never imagined might come  to teach in Uganda because her work was exceptionally beautiful, but Maureen was after her with great fervor! She is from Winston-Salem NC. We would love to have this woman come and teach women in Uganda. Her jewelry is superior quality with amazing color combinations . Oh me of little faith! 
The fourth was our own beloved Jennifer C.This woman can do incredible art work with material stitching it into beautiful flowers, etching gourds and whimsical bricks! Bricks you say...? Yes bricks! Jennifer  is also a teacher!   These were very encouraging women to make contacts with for the project

Traditional Dance

Before I left Bundibugyo, Uganda in March I asked friends for a traditional
dance called Muledu. They decked me out in vines and leaves and I
joined the festivities. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to celebrate our
friendship of over 16 years.
The following day a young man named  Muhumuza died from this church. He had
developed resistant TB and other illnesses attacked his weakened body.
At the burial as  family members gathered people openly fought with a fist fight.  
The father was accused of bewitching his son. The rumors were unfounded and only seemed to come from grief, anger and the desire to blame and explain the power of death that robs life from young and old and the  poor and the rich alike.
Muhumuza had been a professing believer and member in his church. We all
grieved the loss of his life. I grieved both the  death of my young friend and my
goodbye to  living in Bundibugyo for this season.

Friday, May 6, 2011

ART and Development

Greetings friends! This is my first ever blog post. I am excited about the project "Women of the Proverbs" because it involves two things  I love. Art of course in many different forms which means beauty , creativity, fashion, color and design! And the second important aspect of this project is imparting skills and knowledge to women who want to learn . Women living in poverty is common in Uganda. Widows, women abandoned or widowed and living with HIV and caring for a number of  children is not unusual.   By teaching women "how to fish" we can give them the skills and knowledge they need to provide for their families with dignity and grace.
I am actively seeking and recruiting artisans who would be willing to come to Uganda and teach a core group of women skills in sewing, quilting, weaving, crocheting, to create new designs for handbags, aprons, decorations, dolls, and much more, the possibilities are endless!  The locally available cotton fabric made from an original wax prints are  spectacular colors and designs. There are also banana fibers and papyrus grasses that grow nearby that can be used for weaving or basket making. The  women in Uganda already have a working knowledge of crochet but need the ability to think outside the box and learn about what is marketable beyond their small village.
I hope you will consider how you can help or participate in this exciting development project!