Art in the Big Easy

I’m in New Orleans this week, staying at a hotel down in the French Quarter. After dinner last night at the Court of Two Sisters, I decided to take a walk down Bourbon Street. I always remember New Orleans as a city filled with history, mysterious and a little dangerous. Even Bourbon Street which has always been a little “out there” had a number of interesting little places that were worth exploring even though they might be tucked away in an alley.

And now? The street is littered with cheap Mardi Gras beads even though it’s September, the shops are filled with “tourist trash” that trivializes the deep history and cultural significance of Mardi Gras and voodoo, and the street is full of middle-aged “frat boys” who are only interested in their own narcissistic behavior. The mystique is gone.

But not all change is bad. The city has the New Orleans Arts District, an increasingly vibrant art scene that includes world-class restaurants and live music.

The Warehouse District, known today as the New Orleans Arts District, was originally established as an industrial area in the 19th century to store grain, coffee and produce shipped through the Port of New Orleans. As commerce, trade and industry practices evolved over time, the area's prosperity faded and the once busy streets became deserted and eerily quiet.

The transformation from an urban wasteland to what many have called the "Soho of the South" began in 1976 with the opening of the 10,000-square-foot Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). After the CAC's opening, the art community recognized the massive potential of the neighborhood. The abundant and open spaces of the warehouses were perfect for artist studios, art galleries, and museums. Today, more than 25 art galleries call the district home. Most of the galleries are located on Julia Street, which is also the scene of an evening gallery hop on the first Saturday evening of every month. 

Life is a Spiral

“According to ancient Asian philosophy, life is not a circle but a spiral. Every life lesson that has ever been presented to you (which means everything you have ever been through) will come back again, in some form, until you learn it. And the stakes each time will be higher. Whatever you’ve learned will bear greater fruit. Whatever you’ve failed to learn will bear harsher consequences. Whatever didn’t work in your life before this point was a reflection of the fact that you hadn’t yet integrated the different parts of yourself. Where you didn’t yet accept yourself, you attracted a lack of acceptance in others. Where you hadn’t yet dealt with your shadows, you manifested shadowy situations. Broken parts of you encountered broken parts of others. So now you know! That was then and this is now.” -- Marianne Williamson, The Age of Miracles

One of the benefits to being back in the studio is having time to myself to be alone with my thoughts. It’s a time for me to sink into my practice and fully embrace my weaving as a meditative process. The rhythm of weaving allows me to be creative while also letting my mind have free reign to explore and examine certain ideas and concepts. And because autumn is always a time of planning for me, lately I’ve been thinking about where I am in my life, where I ultimately want to be, and the path in between.

I’ve mentioned before that 2016 is a 9 year, a year to complete unfinished business, reach conclusions, and tie up loose ends. A year of endings. I’ve embraced the 9 year knowing that whatever in my life that’s reaching conclusion is meant to end because the cycle is complete and the lessons have been learned. And I know that these endings are opening the door to new possibilities and opportunities in 2017 and beyond. It’s time to integrate my past with my present in order to create the future that I want.

We often live our lives as though they’re linear when in fact they’re a spiral. Each evolution in our lives takes us to a higher point on the spiral and the challenges we face along the way are the catalysts for our change and growth even though we may not be able to see that at the time. So when one chapter of our lives closes, it’s important to acknowledge and accept the ending with gratitude in order to move on. 

So as we approach the Autumnal Equinox, I send this message out into the Universe...

"Show me who I am meant to become and give me the strength to be present to this expansion. I bless all involved. I trust. I release. I become." -- Christine Kane

Weaving a Life

As the days get shorter and the nights start to cool off here in Asheville, my life is finding a new rhythm. Evenings are now spent curled up in the papasan chair on my balcony with my laptop, drinking tea, and working on plans for Dakini Dreams. Weekends are spent in my studio weaving.

Now that the new website is live and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have been re-launched, I'm turning my attention to creating the first issue of Cosmic Entanglement: The Intersection of Art & Life, my new monthly eZine. In each issue, I’ll share…

  • Studio news including my latest work;
  • Daily practices to keep artists on track with their artistic intentions;
  • Tips for breaking through creative blocks;
  • Practical and simple ways to eliminate the limiting mindsets that keep artists from achieving success
  • Marketing strategies and techniques for artists and art galleries
  • Artist spotlights and interviews
  • News from the international art world
  • Opportunities for artists including classes and workshops, shows, and artist residencies

It's nice to be moving forward with Dakini Dreams and my art again. I didn't realize how overwhelmed and "stuck" I was until I started clearing out my life this year. And it hasn't always been easy. My ego was very, very attached to some projects and it took much longer than it should have to make the decision and let go. My ego can be quite the trickster when it comes to getting its own way but with each decision it's becoming much easier to follow my intuition.