We all dream, wish, and hope, but sometimes hopes are put on the back burner. We all create as children, but sometimes as adults we forget that creativity. Local artist Sepha Nisbet wants us put those hopes out in the universe and remember that creativity. This is the focus of her teaching, her “Magic Brush” painting parties, and her series of Intentional Creativity collaborative art pieces called The Witness Tree Project, the third of which will be showing at Currents Gallery from May 15th through June 10.
For this piece, a large gold and copper swirled tree, reminiscent of Klimt, was painted on canvas by community members. Visitors are invited to engage in Intentional Creativity with the inquiry ‘What are your dreams hopes and wishes?’ Participating visitors are encouraged to compose a few words that articulate a personal wish, hope, or dream, then declare this intention by writing on a bronze paper leaf and attaching it to ‘The Witness Tree’. They witness the wishes and hopes of others, and leave their statement to be witnessed in turn by the next people to come in.
A multi-talented artist, Nisbet works with the Back Door Studio at Currents Gallery where she is part owner. Her work at Currents tends to be nature-based, with flowers, animals and landscapes being favorite subjects. Her Intentional Creativity pieces (also known as Contemporary Symbolism), can be seen at Ten Oaks Gallery in McMinnville. Many of these tell a story, and the subjects range from female figures to mystical creatures. She also hosts Magic Brush parties, which she describes as painting parties with a red thread twist, and directly connects to her practice of Intentional Creativity.
Describing the change that Intentional Creativity made in her life, Nisbet says “In 2015 I found Intentional Creativity! There and then, I began a journey back to myself. I had lost my true authentic creative spirit, buried among my day to day survival. The lineage of I/C goes back to the New Deal and artist Lenore Thomas Straus who was a stone carver and was commissioned to do several public art pieces. Lenore mentored Sue Hoya Sellars, who taught Shiloh Sophia McCloud who I learned the Contemporary Symbolism and I/C from.” The idea of helping others change lead to her Witness Tree Project.
Nisbet says, “A Witness Tree is a solitary tree amid remote or wide open landscape. Usually a witness tree has been around for many hundreds of years and is the only witness to the history in that area. Everyone wants to be heard, to be witnessed, and to have an authentic moment of human-to-human connection. And to know they make a difference just being who they are. Everyone has a cause, wish or dream, even if they don’t know exactly what it is yet. Witnessing each other creates community! My hope and dream are that by engaging in ‘The Witness Tree Project’ that maybe just one person will reconsider their dreams again and change their life story!”
The Witness Tree…Claiming our Piece runs May 15th thru June 10th Opening Reception Saturday, May 20th from 5-8pm. during McMinnville’s Art & Wine Walk. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-5 pm; Sunday 11am-3pm