Mark your calendars for the annual Takoma Park Art Hop on April 24 - 26, from 10am to 4pm. Every year at the end of April, Takoma Park transforms itself into an arts district. This year over 70 distinguished artists from around the Capitol region will be showing and selling some of their best work in the shops, restaurants, galleries and on the streets of Takoma – from Takoma Park, MD to Takoma, DC. For more details on events, artists and transportation see Mainstreet Takoma.
This year, S & A Beads is especially delighted and honored to be displaying the bead and fabric work of Dr. Sirkku M. Sky Hiltunen, known to friends and admirers as Dr. Sky.
Dr. Sky is a long time customer of S & A Beads. We especially love her ability to work with rare large pieces that so many of our customers admire but don’t quite know what to do with. Her sense of color and balance is impeccable. In addition to being a great bead artist, she is an outstanding painter, set designer and clothing maker, among other gifts. In addition and most importantly, there is a spiritual side of her work, which while impossible to describe, is hard not to feel when in the presence of her work.
There is another side to Dr. Sky, which while separate and apart from her jewelry line, will be of great interest to our customers. Dr. Sky is a pioneer in using art to heal wounded souls. If the field of Art Therapy had a guru, Dr. Sky would be it. Dr. Sky is one of the visionaries behind The Art and Drama Therapy Institute, a facility in northeast Washington, DC that works with intellectually disabled adults. When I visited last December, I was blown away by the vibrant intellectual and artistic buzz that permeated the place. Everybody there, staff and patients alike, was actively engaged in creating and enjoying beautiful things. Not what you would expect at a place for autistic, brain injured and other seriously disabled persons. I have been to fabulous galleries and museums, I have visited art studios and theaters, and I have spent time in facilities for severely handicapped people; but not all at once and not in the same place before.
As the Institute’s mission statement puts it, “Individuals with Differing Abilities are highly evolved teachers and … creativity is a Divine gift, given as a birth right to each one of us. ADTI tirelessly nurtures their creativity and shares their special gifts with others through ... concerts ...and plays [and other artistic activities]. Most importantly, ADTI aims to change the attitudes of others in society, to value the Individuals with Differing Abilities as our teachers of patience, unconditional acceptance, and unconditional love.”
You don’t have to be a great artist to be an excellent therapist. And certainly many fine artists have little in the way of therapeutic abilities.
But every once in a very long while, a great healer is also a brilliant artist. Such a person is Dr. Sky. Come see her work and meet her in person during Art Hop. We promise you: you will be inspired and delighted.
We were able to open today but only for a few hours thanks to the intrepid Lisa O‘Brien, who usually walks or bikes to work at our shop at 6929 Laurel Avenue. She is our snow person, living within walking distance and most important willing to help out as she can in the store, when others can’t get there, in addition to her regular shift.
Tomorrow she and her husband, sister and mother are going to Boston, to visit another sister who has been under siege from the relentless Boston snows for a long time. Lisa had three hours for us. In addition to serving the intrepid customers who made it through the door, she spent the time fixing the broken jewelry of her Boston sister. Worked out great for all of us.
I am the other walking distance staff member at S & A Beads. So this morning Kathleen and I and our granddaughter’s dog, a Beagle named Waffle, so-called for the color of his fur, hiked to the shop, and spent some hours there. Fortunately, all the hardy souls that wandered in the shop liked dogs, in particular beagles. Which was a good thing. I told Waffle that he had NO FUTURE in retail. Although he is very interested in and very friendly to customers, which is a good quality for a sales person, he tends to howl inappropriately, which is definitely a negative in closing sales. He also paces and stares out the front door of the shop. We all abandoned the field around 2:30, at the urging of our daughter and General Manager, Emily. Kathleen concurred. We had a lovely walk back home, though chillier than the morning walk.
Friday, March 6, our people made it in. Meanwhile, our web store is lots of fun. www.beadstore.com . Happy to report views are up in this weather. Lots of window shopping (and Apple shopping as well) from the comfort of home.
This September and October, Jews around the world will celebrate the New Year of 5775. The High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are ushered in and out by mighty blasts of the ram’s horn, known as the shofar. The blasts of the shofar were first heard on Mount Sinai as Moses received the Ten Commandments from on High. And from that days thousands of years ago to this day, Jews have sounded the shofar to commemorate great spiritual occasions. We are pleased this year to offer a real shofar from Israel (for $145).
This is our way of wishing all our customers and friends the traditional New Year’s greeting:
L’Shanah Tovah Tikatavu
May You be Inscribed for a Good Year.