Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Corn Mother

A Virgin a Day
December 10, 2010

Day 7

This is a repost from 2010. I originally posted this on a Friday and included some haiku for Haiku My Heart. There is a story here that I share along with this Virgin Mary.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

A Virgin a Day is the title of this Meme Project. It is a tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. To participate, see Rebecca’s recuerdo mi corazon blog. There, you will get more definition and instructions as well as see other’s submissions. 

I have always had a fascination with the image and statues I’ve seen of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I never knew why I liked this art form so much, but after my Mother went on her final journey home last February, I realized it was her influence and her faith that has kept me interested, and somewhat knowledgeable, about Our Lady. I can't tell you when I realized how much I appreciate the art side of it.

If you care to, you may look at this as religious, or you may see it as art for the sake of art. I make no assertions about anything to anyone as far as my own faith or religion with these posts. I simply dedicate my involvement with this Virgin Business to my Loving Mother, Carmelina Rosa Caruso Spado. Just to be talking about the Blessed Virgin Mary would make her proud of me.

Cristina Perez' Corn Mother

I’ve mentioned before, mostly on the blog comments of the fabulous artists sites that I am so fortunate to have been introduced to, that I have a hard time understanding the creative process, I don’t do poetry very well and I admire all that can deliver such beauty in photos, paintings, objects and words.
That being said, the fact that I don’t get out much to art shows or openings might be one of the reasons why my grasp of art may be a bit lacking. But I know what I like. I just can’t tell you why I like it, or dislike it, if that’s the case.
This particular subject, Our Lady of Guadalupe, I like. And that assessment is “in general.” I have only learned recently that these types of paintings and color treatments that I find when visiting the Southwestern USA, where Guadalupe is so prominent, is considered Folk Art, or at least a form of Folk Art.
Back pedal to around 2004. I was living in St. Paul in those days and hanging out at the J&S Bean Factory Coffee House. My good friend, Steve, owns the place. I’d show up there just about every morning. Most of the time, the usual characters came in, conversations ensued, and time was spent whiling away many hours each morning.
A positive about this daily event was that I got to meet a lot of people. I’d be talking to someone and someone else would walk in and the person I was talking to knew this other person and I was introduced and low and behold we had something or someone in common. Next thing you know, we’re all talking and making connections and it wasn’t very unusual that I didn’t know someone else, someone that wasn’t seated at the table, that the person I was just introduced to, knew as well. If not a person, then a place, or a job I’ve held, as I am well traveled from years of road trips throughout the USA and have held my share of jobs.
In this one case, I met a guy named Tom. Tom, in his own right, is a very unique character and is an artist. His medium is bronze casting and he is from the very old school of seeking benefactors, or what he calls in the vernacular, patrons of the arts. Patrons that would give him money to research, plan and produce an exquisite art piece that they could have for their own collection.
Disclaimer: So far, this story has nothing what-so-ever to do with The Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s just how I came about going to the art show that produced the Corn Mother print that will.
In any event, Tom and I became friends quickly and we met many mornings and talked about everything in particular and nothing in general, or is that the other way around, I never could get that right either.
Tom, being an artist, knew many other artists. He told me about an art show coming up in an old Northeast Minneapolis building that had been turned into artists lofts called The California Building.
A photo of Tom's most famous work, Moonbell. It sits in the entry of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Building 

Incidentally, one of the connections Tom and I made in the weeks leading up to the announcement about the upcoming art show was the fact that someone I worked with years before, had a loft there. A fellow named Aldo Moroni. Aldo and I worked in the motion picture industry together, that’s where I met him. He has a studio in the California Building and if I went to this particular art event that Tom was inviting me to, I’d get to see Aldo and his then not yet famous Babylon Project, which, is quite interesting as well as very beautiful.
Back to my story. While attending this art event, I wandered through the floors of lofts and stopped here and there to look at what might be offered. In a small uncluttered room were a few paintings and prints. One of these was the one I am presenting here as my offering for A Virgin a Day.
When I saw it, I immediately said, “Corn Mother”. The artist, a woman named Cristina Perez, heard me and told me, “Yes, the name of this print is The Corn Mother.”
I had to have it. I liked it. The colors, the image. I’d seen that image before. I knew it was Our lady. She resembled Our lady of Guadalupe, but with a corn cob as an aura. Back in those days I had already started my once and twice yearly treks to New Mexico and was falling in love with the Folk Art of this particular image.
I made a purchase of art, while attending an art show in a building where artists plied their trade. That had to be the start of it. Now, many years later, I will go to Cristina’s site and write to her and tell her how I am posting this story about her art piece and that since I looked up her name and found the modern day site for her work, I see she is quite talented and there are other pieces I might be interested in purchasing. I see she has a great portfolio of Los Dios de Los Muertos, or Days of the Dead folk art, with my Corn Mother amongst the offerings! I will be paying her site a few visits.
Incidently, while perusing Cristina’s website, I came across this fabulous painting entitled Mayan Mother from her collection. Just seems fitting as every Mother emulates the Blessed Virgin Mother, and this Mayan Mother is no exception.
Mayan Mother
Brown Mayan Mother

Not different from our own

Reflecting Mary

(I thought I'd add haiku for this print since today is Friday and Rebecca's Haiku My Heart Friday, another great Meme idea, is usually presented today)

So, that’s my story. That’s my submission for Day 10. The Corn Mother print and how it came into being in my life. Our Lady working in mysterious ways? Maybe so. I’m making a new connection with an artist I met only once, and I’m inspired to call Tom Attridge and see how he’s doing. Maybe I’ll pay him a visit and we’ll sit around his kitchen nook and hold the guitar a little.

Authors Note:  I haven't seen Tom but once in the past year. I have been to Christina's site, but last time I checked, it was in flux. I will search for her and try to get a hold of more of her fine work. I also am including an E-mail she sent me last year when I asked for her permission to use her Corn Mother image:

Hi Joe,
What a nice surprise to wake up to yesterday! I am glad you enjoyed that image, and I am glad you were able to use it to inspire your own art too.
I have no problem with you using the image, thank you for the mention and website link!
I love your Haiku. What a great project too.

I having been working on a story and more art related to Guadalupe and you have inspired me to keep going.
Isn't it great how things work that way?



Thank you for visiting Round Circle


rebecca said...

my dear spadoman,
your are a story teller extraordinaire! i love that the main theme of all your stories is about connection. you are casting out the silver web of honoring life and pulling us all in! there is deep joy here and i love all the bright souls you bring so easily together with your kind intentions. i am am particular moved to be in this perfect round circle with the honoring of your own mother!

thank you spadoman you always keep us in the heart of peace.

Spadoman said...

Thank you Rebecca... I know our relationship is built on threads of connection. This or that, syncronized, in common. I am sure it is Mary that brings us together. I like to believe it was my mother's work to make it so. Thanks for coming here and for all the work you do to keep us sharing and loving.

Hettienne Grobler said...

Hello spadoman, I am happy to see your presence here today again - I missed your posts yesterday. I know Christina Perez's work and I love her Yellow Corn Mother and the Brown Mayan Mother is even more beautiful - indeed the Divine Mother is ever-present and in all mothers - including our own - such is the Beauty of Life. blessings

Dawn Elliott said...

Yours was such a great story to read - I didn't mind the diversions at all, as making connections is truly a gift in our lives. The Corn Mother is beautiful and I love that you let the artist know what joy it has brought you over the years. I will be sure to check out her site, as well as look at all of your posts that I missed while in Palo Alto.

Priti Lisa said...

Another story full of happenstance and Milagros... fascinating...and I am a new fan of Christina's art.

Unknown said...

Wonderful story - loved it and the Corn Mother. The thing about art and I create it - is sometimes there is no explanation - there is no 'I like it because of this or that'. Art just calls to people in a personal way. Almost like religion or spiritual beliefs. You don't need to know why it just is the way you feel. Something touches your heart and soul and that is all you need.

Unknown said...

I ditto all the comments above. This was a great post, again today. I love all the stories attached to the various Marys we are seeing. I do not have a lot of art specifically imaging Mary but I do have a lot of original art having travel some myself. I always try to get an example when I am visiting unusual places.

carol l mckenna said...

Spadoman ~ You are a gift, a delight ~ and I too see the circle ever widening and growing and you are a catalyst for the life connections ~ Love the Corn Woman and the Mayan Woman ~ wonderful creations ~~ thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor) Happy AVAD ^_^

Lenora said...

thank you for sharing a piece of yourself! stories, milagros, wonders..

peggy gatto said...

I loved your conversation here, like you were talking to me!!!!
Corn mother is lovely!

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I remember loving this Corn Mother last year but in a way I admire her--and you--even more because we have a fuller relationship now. Does that make sense?

gma said...

All of this Round Circle, Corn Mother is new to me Spadoman.Thank you for reposting. Today I saw the name Aldo a number of times before I got here. Must mean I should check his work.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

The Corn Mother is ripe for picking!

Mary of the Open Arms

Noelle Clearwater said...

Dear Joe,
Yes, I love your stories. I love their content but truly, it is as though you are talking to me and that is the beauty of it. To feel that I am sitting at your feet by a fire, listening to one of your stories of the corn mother, her beauty, and the circuitous journey you took to find her, or the Mayan Mother, who reminds you of the virgin and all mothers, is a meditation and a delight. I can recall that I used to listen to my grandfather tell stories. He had the curious habit of beginning to whistle in the midst of an interesting story. He had a penchant for classical music and would start whistling some tune, while I, wide-eyed in wonder looked on, knowing that the story might well be forgotten. Still, it was the time spent with him, whistling or no, that made him dear to me. And besides, I learned a great deal about music in the meantime! I love your images, your stories and most of all you.
Peace, Love and Hugs,

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

It is, isn't it-isn't it great how things work out that way? How'd we 'meet'? Somehow or other through Rebecca or a connection to Rebecca having to do with my participation in the Oaxaca Shrine project.
Round Circle, my friend, Truly, round circle!
You are a great story teller.

Mel said...

I'm hard pressed to choose--they're equally beautiful in their own specialness.

As are you.

I'm sure it's all a 'mom plot'. Mom's are sneaky like that. ;-)