2016 is already positive and abundant with a new offering of work that was created and exhibit recently – which you can read more about below – including an exhibit currently running at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum at UC Berkeley.
Classic and Collector’s online purchase options now includes a newly added feature to make purchase of the original artwork online as secure and easy as ordering prints – with the same high-quality materials and delivery on all our product offerings.
A new feature in 2016 – the Fun Collectors accessible product line for beginning collectors just starting their decorating of office, space and home with original, one-of-a-kind artwork.
Original art, prints, and cards can be shipped anywhere in the Americas and Europe. All products are sourced locally with reputable and experienced San Francisco printers and reviewed personally before your selected item is shipped.
Sign up at email@example.com for upcoming exhibit and collecting opportunities. I do not sell my mailing lists and your privacy and time are respected.
Click on the highlighted title of the work for a drop down of prints and products to select.
You can also order by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Reimagining,’ of all the things, 2015, photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License.
‘Selling flowers and other things,’ 2015, photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License. photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License.
‘Shell Love,’ 2015 photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License. photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License.
‘Of all the things,’ 2015, photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License. photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License.
Through Spring, stop in to visit the ‘Resilience’ exhibit at the Phoebe A. Hearst Anthropology Museum at U.C. Berkeley.
Resilience speaks to the important skill of being able to transform through art experiences that often the rational mind can not face, and therefore, can not heal. Two of the Spirit Doll series is on display in this exhibit, together with a pastel and photograph.
The Spirit Doll series are made of California coastal wood and shells, with materials collected on the coast of San Francisco and Bay Area, and, unique one-of-a-kind designed dresses and outfits.
Born from the troubling history that Ohlone and other native women experienced during colonial times, these dolls represent the wooden dolls that mission women were required to carry as punishment when they were unable to conceive or carry a child to term, often for a month at a time and in public.
Instead, the Spirit Dolls transform that experience – which women of all faiths and religions can understand – of being judged for characteristics with which we are born or experience in life – into a symbol of the beauty in accepting oneself despite any physical or other ‘limitation’ that trauma, disability and other unexpected changes in our physical ability. These dolls embrace the spirit of self-love and acceptance.
I am pretty excited that two of the ‘Spirit Dolls’ from the series I began in 2015 are part of the exhibit at the Phoebe Hearst Anthropology Museum, and the healing response has spurred me on to continue the series into 2016 with some exciting new expansions on the project.
Here are a few of the new dolls from this summer.
I create these dolls in my art practice, and as part of workshops on cultural trauma. Spirit Dolls are available on commission and individual or institutional collectors can inquire at email@example.com.
In November 2015, I presented on invitation ‘Sitting Ohlone’ at the San Francisco Art Institute. ‘Sitting Ohlone’ is part of the ‘Open Doors to Healing’ Installation Project, and involves three interactive installations to open together in exhibit in 2017.
The photo and video installation, Sitting Ohlone, is a performance piece that engages in urban participatory performance by contemplating publicly the value in creating a world-class American Indian museum on San Francisco’s main tourist Market Street with an Annex research and residency center in the Presidio. The performance also seeks to add to the discussion of San Francisco’s modern development the voices and input of its most ancient people, the Ohlone, who still live and are active in City life, and as the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian proves, such a museum and cultural center can be a bonus to a City that attracts visitors from around the world.
Please sign up to my newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org for announcements of exhibits and offerings of prints or new Spirit Dolls.
At the Brava Theater in San Francisco, Poets & Writers West brought together Bay Area writers with seasoned, successful agents, publicists, and writers for a day of honest, straight-forward discussion about writing today, and the creative ways authors are reaching audiences today.
Let it be known that Literature and Poetry are far from lost arts, resuscitated by expanding marketing by way of technology, and the broadening list of authors that self-publishing and growing content markets reveal.
As someone who has come into the Literary world by way of invitations to publish that lead to my first publications, and, as a photographer/designer of book covers, I really considered myself a ‘newbie,’ as I learned of the rich tradition and history of the literary arts in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
The conference provided an overview by way of the range of speakers and panelists, and offered basics for authors still starting out with the first, second or third book, about how to connect publishers, agents, and team of editors, book designers, cover artists, and publishers that any book requires – even if you wear all those hats as with self-publishing. (Wearing all the hats is definitely not recommended, even if you have to trade editing with a fellow author!)
I came to the workshop as someone with a book draft, stuck in the editing process – meaning – I have not even started to dig back in and already months have passed!
The workshop opened my eyes to the literary world around me, and, I was in awe of the people who spoke about the Bay Area literary community that they themselves had shaped over 30-40 years.
Hearing of how so many authors and editors and lovers of literary arts contributed to shape this abundant landscape gave me pause to ponder on the countless hours and collaborations over that time span.
Many stories shared how the magazines, and chap books were given away freely with no thought to anything more than expanding the reach of words and the sharing of ideas.
And, we aren’t talking about a give-away as a lead into a sale!
It was beautiful and inspiring to see how many people came together to create a living, breathing community that has embraced new waves of people while retaining their historical intellectual wealth, respecting the experience of elders while reaching out to younger writers.
The diversity of the panelists gave frame to persistent challenges, but definite progress.
Times are different.
San Francisco and Oakland are in upheaval of planning developments and underneath are those who have lasting values that are no longer needed.
You won’t find me counting out the Bay Area Literary community any time soon! Just explore online the numerous organizations, events, and contests that abound.
‘Writers in New York read other writers’ reviews, writers in San Francisco read each others books.’
One of the sayings at the conference that stuck with me was that ‘Writers in New York read other writers’ reviews, writers in San Francisco read each others books.’
Several of the best panels offered guidance on the writing process, including a pitch session that illustrated how publishing house editors ‘hear’ book pitches, with several writers selected by submission to read their pitches before the audience.
The responses from the editors was a education! I came away with the sense that there are growing audiences that publishing houses want to reach and make sales!
I must say, this being the first pitch panel I have seen since I pitched a film project myself at the NALIP Media Conference, it was very nice to not be in the hot seat this time!
I finished the first draft of ‘Homebound by Sea’ last year as I promised myself I would do.
This year’s contract with myself is to complete the book and submit for editing and publication.
One of the reasons Poets & Writers Conference was such a gift to me – and it literally was a gift to receive the ticket of someone who could not attend – was to hear how writers and poets move beyond ‘stuck’ to ‘action!’
Briefly, here were some of the tips that resonated and might for you too:
1) Reading aloud the work of an author you admire, a tip shared by several authors. Author Wendy Lesser shared her experiences as a creative child growing up in an artistic household and immersed in the words and art that inspired her to become a writer;
2) Copying down the work of an author you admire as an exercise for learning good story structure and to better understand the sentence structures of respected writers you read and support;
3) Reading the letters and journals of writers you look up to and respect, a great tip shared by Yiyun Li.
Seeing her literary heroes helped Li see her own process in a new light, and she felt, took some pressure off to know even these writing geniuses had their own faults and disappointments. Yiyun retells the story of one of her favorite writers, Checkov – whose letters she reads for inspiration – and how he wrote to his friend about a book he had in mind, and over numerous letters, laid out the entire map of the book’s story structure, with very specific detail about the arc and each character.
And still, Chockov never completed that book.
Alejandro Murguía, author of the American Book Award-winning, ‘Southern Front,’ and, ‘This War Called Love,’ spoke about the importance of ‘time’ in the structure of a story, and in mapping the book’s arc.
In fact, mapping time in the story may very well be the most important element of the story structure, said Murguía, professor of Latina Latino Studies at San Francisco State University and first Latino Poet Laureate of San Francisco.
It was very grounding to hear Murguía share his wisdom, and writing guidance. The notion of time resonated with me, as time – reaching as far back as the Ohlone have been on the coast of California, and to the ancient pyramids in Mexico, where I lived for 7 years – has been something I have given a lot of thought in writing Homebound by Sea.
Literary agent Ted Weinstein, publicist Amy Packard Ferro and publishing veteran Debra Englander gave a run-down of the publishing process and important tips in The Savvy Self-Publisher.
This panel – together with author Keith Devlin – gave a straight-forward, advice- filled talk about the self-publishing industry, and the examples of creative packaging that point to how authors can reach new readers through a combination of traditional and cutting-edge publishing.
I have great respect for writers who are leading the way as self-published artists.
Designing book covers with original photographs and commissioned art for writers and poets has been such a profound joy in my life.
Kim Shuck, Cherokee Poetess and Author, is one of those authors with whom I have worked who has crossed back and forth between traditional and leading-edge publishing. Kim Shuck’s long list of publications, including the recent Sidewalk NDN, reaches an international audience. Visit her site at Kim Shuck.com.
Nitza Agam, Memoir author, is working on her second book, due out in 2016, the cover for which I have already created some mock-ups. You can find Nitza’s first book, Scent of Jasmine, here at AuthorNitza.com.
‘Why We Write,’ Panel at Poets & Writers Conference
By the afternoon, the conference peeled back the layers, exposing some of the more intimate challenges as writers, facing criticism, sustaining oneself in the face of rejection, how to move beyond blocks and how to keep the view forward to be be able to complete the books we want to share and feel passionate. Melissa Faliveno, associate editor for Poets & WritersMagazine asked good questions of the panel that included D.A. Powell, and Michelle Tea.
One of the writers I met that day spoke so highly of D.A. Powell as a writing instructor, and recommended him as someone who will push a writer to grow positively to extend their craft.
D.A. Powell spoke on the importance of reading one’s work before an audience, so the author can hear how audiences react to the writing, to listen to where there is room for improvement. Readings offer an important step in the writing process, so the hard work of the author is not lost in an incomplete or less crafted book.
Reading is Sexy!
Alejandro Murguía got the biggest applause of the day when he mentioned his view that nothing is sexier than lovers reading to each other!
For whatever reason resonates with you in 2015, join the literary community in the Bay Area, check out local authors and recommend their websites, and attend with a friend local readings on topics of interest.
We are quite fortunate in the Bay Area to have such literary capital and legacy to foster community, sustain long writing careers, and, invest in the next generation and the many communities where writing can serve.
2014 started and ends with exhibits for Flor de Miel Media and Catherine Herrera Photography. I am very grateful for such a great year, and to be able to meet so many wonderful people who connect with the stories shared in my fine art and photography, and the art projects ‘Bridge Walkers’ and ‘Open Doors to a Healing.’
I am grateful to have a chance to share the stories and life experiences of the people featured in my film and photography work. I feel good when people invite me to share their story with you – the supporters, audience and people from afar who want to learn more.
Once again, your generous, online, secure, tax-deductible donation makes it possible to continue with this non-commercial work that simply can’t be done with out your investing and making it possible to purchase the equipment, afford the working space and time, and supporting a wider distribution of the art projects.
Flor de Miel Media produces the inclusive stories and perspectives that strengthen democracy and our country as a whole.
I am grateful for the invitation from Ruth Morgan, director of COMMUNITY WORKS, to the Bay Area Premier of Daniel Beaty’s ‘Transforming Pain to Power’ performance at the Brava Theater on Saturday.
Daniel Beaty, author of the book ‘Transforming Pain to Power,’ arrives in San Francisco after a 35-city tour across the country presenting his performance, and sharing his story, with audiences like the one assembled tonight, young adults and seasoned community workers, their smiles, tears and applause, evidence Daniel Beaty’s performance transcends boundaries to talk about incarceration.
A consummate performer, Daniel Beaty crosses all barriers in sharing his personal story of development as an artist, and as the son of a parent incarcerated chronically. Brava Theater San Francisco, photo by Catherine Herrera, Intl CR Reserved. Contact for License
Yale-trained actor, singer and performer Daniel Beaty’s path could have gone a different direction.
Daniel’s life was impacted personally by incarceration, his father turning to hard drugs just as minimum mandatory sentencing took effect, transforming a young family man from a small time neighborhood dealer into a chronically, and institutionally profitably, incarcerated man.
In middle school, running an errand, Daniel stopped mid-way, and felt he saw himself in the future, standing on stage before a large audience. Not long after, in school, Daniel was moved by the speeches of presidents and most, with Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, its impact still felt in the lives of Beaty’s and families across the land. Reading the speeches of other historical figures like President Abraham Lincoln in school inspired him as an orator.
A trusted teacher Beaty turned to share his secret dream of one day being an orator himself, helped the young man apply for an academic speech contest that Beaty went on to win, changing the course of his journey by having his dream reinforced positively.
Daniel saw what was happening around him, and he remembers in ‘Dance Momma Dance,’ how his mother worked two jobs to support the children she had to raise on her own. A deeply moving performance, in the piece ‘Dance Momma Dance,’ Daniel reminds all women to stop for a second, to remember themselves once in a while. Many people in the audience related, knowing very well the role women play in keeping families together today in a society where so many men are locked up, leaving behind families. Children and women.
Saturday night, the audience was filled with youth members of Community Works and Project What! and program directors working in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department.
Young performers and community members shared their experiences of overcoming the task of picking up the pieces from today’s distinction of the United States having the world’s largest prison population.
As an artist, I was moved to see in action the power of storytelling.
Saturday was a night to honor several of the young people, and community leaders, whose hard work is paying off in personal and community achievements. The night served to inspire other young people and show concrete examples of how it is possible to rise above the experience to be part of a broader solution.
‘Hurt People hurt People,’ was one of the restorative justice lessons imparted on stage, a valuable mantra that sums up the essence of going deeper to find the reasons for violence and crime that seek to restore the victim and society.
The awardees spoke about the concept of restorative justice practices that consider crime from the wider, broader view of the victim, and the criminal – looking at both parties as central to a much larger structure within the country that is producing the level of crime and prison populations that are happening here.
These concepts are now being examined within the conversation of preschool-to-prison pipeline investigations.
Daniel is an incredibly energetic and giving performer, as a storyteller, alternating between dance, song, spoken word and straight talk about the legacy of policy over the last 40 years.
In his book ‘Transforming Pain to Power,’ and, on stage, Daniel offers a wise kernel for anyone to take home.
Our mind is our most powerful tool. Studies show that negative thoughts make up 75-80% of all human thoughts each day.
By transforming the messages of negativity – by doing the hard work of facing that internal critic – human potential can overcome and transform painful situations into personal and community power to heal.
in Daniel’s case, despite being at the top of his class and overachieving, he did not believe he was worthy because deep down, as a young child, he had internalized his father’s absence and, later, incarceration, as his fault – that he was unworthy.
Daniel Beaty shares an important message that crosses over to embrace the experiences of anyone who has experienced traumatic pain.
Self-responsibility and accountability – transforming the pain into power – means recognizing the messages, and, reclaiming the mind.
As more people talk about transforming the current preschool-to-prison pipeline, and, fully understand the impact on children and families, the same calls for responsibility are being applied more broadly.
Daniel Beaty is truly a captivating performer, whose book ‘Transforming Pain to Power’ offers important guidance to children of incarcerated parents, seasoned and new criminal reform and justice professionals, and, anyone experiencing extremely challenging situations.
Flor de Miel Media has been writing ‘Welcome to the Mission,’ a long form article on development in San Francisco, and a related Performance piece. ‘Welcome to the Mission’ is part of the ‘Open Doors’ project.
This week, Catherine Herrera will make a presentation on ‘Welcome to the Mission,’ the performance piece and long form article that considers ‘displacement’ and ‘home’ from the perspective of a contemporary Ohlone person living in San Francisco, to place Ohlone History on the City’s development timeline as a means of reflecting on the past, but also, our present as Catherine Herrera shares more about the cultural revitalization of Ohlone people living in San Francisco today.
Public Presentation starts at 6:00 p.m. Catherine Herrera will be opening an event organized to give space for City residents to share their current experiences of displacement and resistance.
January 11, 2014-January 31, 2014, Exhibit of Photographs
Amah Katura: Women Honoring Sii (Water), Art Exhibit with Opening and Storytelling Event, featuring three Ohlone women artists.
Opening: Jan. 11, 2014, 2-5 p.m. with Storytelling event.
‘I had such an amazing time at the opening, and I really want to thank Malinalli Media for organizing a great event. Mica Valdez attracted support for the artists by gathering together Ohlone, and relative tribal peoples, the Mexica, Hopi, someone who traveled from San Diego even! to celebrate and honor Water. I feel very fortunate to have heard the speakers share their enthusiasm and excitement for the future, as well as, their clear headed vision of water and the environment – the matter of its protection. Very inspiring.
We all remember that with the beauty comes a responsibility. After all, this area, Yeluma or San Francisco, was a very beautiful, sustaining landscape with a history of over 10,000 of residence in the Bay Area as the Shellmounds, and other clues that have been studied scientifically confirm.
As an artist, I feel honored to be invited to share my photographs which are very much expressions of love and deep connection to the land of San Francisco and the Bay Area, and it means a lot to be part of the larger Ohlone community revitalizing Ohlone culture and evolving the vitality of thought, practice and traditions. I believe, from my own experience, reconnecting is healing. I give great thanks to my elders, and give thanks for their support, and thank Gregg Castro and his wife for traveling to see us.’
January 08, 2014 – Opening for ‘The Americans’ Exhibit, San Francisco, CA
Opening Exhibit of ‘The Americans’
Inspired by Robert Frank’s 1958 work of genius The Americans, the exhibit sought to share a contemporary view of America, and explore the questions of: What is our national identity, and where and how does it appear? What is the landscape of America today? Juried by Gabriel Aguilar, Garnell Boyd, Seth Dickerman, Laura Miller, and Kimberly Sikora.
‘This was a great way to start 2014! I had a great time getting to mingle at the opening, to talk with and meet other photographers working in San Francisco. The location was also part of the charm, on the walls were photographs of Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and a large wall hanging with Sgt. Lonely Hearts Band that took me back to being a teen and learning the words to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on the bus to summer sleep away camp, and being wowed by the song’s lyrics. The Lonely Hearts Band was one of the first ‘date’ movies I ever saw and when it didn’t go so well, and I thought I might be in the Lonely Hearts Band for life!, I remember being consoled by visions of being a photographer exploring the world. So, it felt pretty special to see the posters and that history and be there that night. The photo selected was one of my earliest images from the ‘Landless Indian’ series. I’m working now on selecting images from the series for the book by the same name. What I loved most about exhibiting with other San Francisco photographers in the way that Dickerman Prints organized the show was great energy of being in a room filled with people who love photography and its power to document, reflect, celebrate daily life and culture. I was honored to be included in ‘The Americans.’
(orders for ‘Peace on Earth’ gift cards, and prints of ‘Winter Blossoms,’ 2013 photo without text found by visiting the links. Profits from all sales of prints and products between October 29-December 29, 2013 will go towards the development of the ‘Open Doors’ project.)
Hard to believe its been a year since first offering the work-in-progress of ‘Open Doors’ at Audible Observatory last November in San Francisco, as part of the Annual Anthropology Conference.
Last Saturday, I was on a panel about Bay Area Sacred Sites important to the Ohlone and other local California tribes. I had the opportunity to pass out information and talk about ‘Bridge Walkers’ and the development of ‘Open Doors’ over the last year.
This week, I will present a draft proposal to expand ‘Open Doors’ as part of a larger community cultural revitalization effort, adding to the activities of many members of the Ohlone community.
‘Open Doors’ goes beyond sacred sites to look at the impact of post-colonial trauma and through an interactive installation, invite a broader dialogue.
‘Open Doors’ is part of the trilogy of films that I began in 2006 with ‘Witness the Healing.’
Over the last year, I’ve also been invited to give workshops on creativity: Transforming with Art connection to Land and Ancestors. Its been an interesting new branch of activities for Flor de Miel Media.
I have continued to work with commercial clients creating creative content for television, the web and in person presentations. ‘Sweet Blessings’ Creative Content and Consulting has offered an opportunity to combine my experience and training as a graduate of the University of Southern California Entrepreneur Program, and completing a refresher at the Renaissance Business Center in San Francisco in 2007.
I’ve been working behind the scenes on breaking down the ‘Open Doors’ preview – I was quite surprised by the impact the creative process had on me personally, opening doors in ways unexpected. I am grateful to grow and develop, and learn each day.
As that work continues, here is a new spoken word poem I wrote this week. This time, I have a recorded reading. I am available for readings of my spoken word poems so reach out by email if you are interested in booking a reading. (email@example.com)
I am also available to screen ‘Bridge Walkers,’ and talk more on the subject. All fees will go into a broader distribution for ‘Bridge Walkers’ in California and beyond.
Another great way to support the outreach efforts of ‘Bridge Walkers’ is making a contribution to Flor de Miel Media through the Fractured Atlas button – just click for easy online contributions of $10, 20, 50 or more – all donations will receive a deduction for tax purposes, and the funds managed with a finishing/distribution budget for the fiscal sponsoring organization.
If you love ‘Narco Beauty and La Environmentalista,’ donations will contribute to the publication of my spoken word poetry from 2000-2012.
As always, thank you for your continued support, I am filled with emotion by the support and love shared with me and attracted by the creative spirit.
Catherine Herrera, December 06, 2012, San Francisco/