de Saisset Museum – ‘Out of Tradition’ Exhibit thru June 2019

Hummingbird Studio Intro Photo, 2019, photo by Catherine Herrera, Flor de Miel Fotos, Intl CR, Contact for License
San Francisco Artist Catherine Herrera opens her new art studio, 2019.

I am so happy to announce that I have found a new art studio in San Francisco, with outdoor space enough to begin creating larger coastal wood pieces. I’m really excited about taking my practice to the next level, and for the opportunities to grow my art business. The creative space is opened by appointment to studio visits with Buyers, Collectors and Curators, offering a chance for us to sit together to better share my art, photography and film.

I am planning Open Studios by joining the Bi-Annual ArtSpan tour.

Still Image from the Martin’s Beach Media Project.

This past summer and early Fall I was filming in Santa Cruz and Martin’s Beach, renting a room from a creative couple who support other artists with lodgings at accessible rates on the expensive California coast. It was there in Jaime and Don’s garden that two museum curators visited for a look at recent work.

Opening on January 10, 2019, the first exhibit ‘Out of Tradition: Sacred and Profane’ opened at the de Saisset Museum, which sits on the Santa Clara University campus, and next to the Santa Clara Mission.

de Saisset Museum Exhibit 'Out of Tradition' 2019 Postcard.
de Saisset Museum Exhibit ‘Out of Tradition’ 2019 Postcard.

Three of the Spirit Dolls are exhibited, along with several of my photographs from work produced over the last 20 years in Northern California while I conducted genealogical research to better understand my ancestors, and as an act of recovery and healing – not knowing where you come from, you can’t know where you’re going.

Sea Horse, Spirit Dolls Series, Sept 2018,’ photography Catherine Herrera. Contact for Products and License. Intl (C) Reserved.

It was an emotional experience going into the Santa Clara Mission prior to the opening of the exhibit, having read so many records from the Mission, and learning the history of the California Ohlone, Yokut, Tulare, Miwok and Pomo who were forced to work at the Missions.

It was that history that I carried with me as I entered the Mission, and later, speaking to the visitors at the inauguration.

It was a wonderful experience.

The second exhibit, ‘Contemporary Traces in Ancient Lands,’ is a group exhibit opening at the Triton Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Clara, California.

Up through April 19, 2019, this group exhibit brings together Native artists from various parts of California to reflect on contemporary artistic reflections of ancient cultures and land cared for thousands of years by California tribal peoples prior to contact, and today.

The largest number of Spirit Dolls to date were on view at the Triton, and I gave an artist talk which was well attended with people interested in learning more about the creative process in making the Spirit Dolls, and the story of how the Spirit Dolls Series began.

Both the de Saisset and Triton exhibits of my photography and coastal wood sculptures were meaningful in many ways, including that my grandparents lived not far away in San Jose and it was from them that I learned the coast and land of this region that roots me today.

The land knows and remembers us, I believe. Generations of my family  driving over the 17 Highway, passing Redwood and Pine trees alive long enough some have witnessed year after year generation generation driving by where earlier ancestors rode horses, even before, walking this land.

I was so happy to hear the Director of the Triton say that visitors reported to her that they felt ‘joy’ and positive spirit in the Spirit Dolls and I know I reached the goal of leaving audiences with a sense of happiness while serving in a transformative manner to educate about the painful history of the California mission system, and specifically, San Juan Bautista, Santa Cruz and San Francisco.