December Featured Artist #1 - Melissa Sioux Mowry
Melissa is an incredible artist whose creations rock my world. I have a stained glass snake of hers hanging above my altar and you can feel the energy radiating out of it. Explore her talents and wisdom!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF!
My name is Melissa Sioux Mowry- I go by Lissa or Lissa Sioux most of the time. I’m 36 years old, born in Providence, Rhode Island. But most of my adult life I’ve lived outside of our smallest state; in Ireland, England, France, Israel, Kenya, Maine, Boston and now the Southwest. This past summer I packed up my daughter and my Prius and moved to the high desert of New Mexico. Absolutely no plan or destination and utterly alone. I’ve frequented the state for a few years and couldn’t deny the calling. The fear was overwhelming and exhilarating. I now live in a 150 year old adobe house in a historic village known for its healing powers, making stained glass out of a casita in my backyard. I feel so incredibly blessed, it's surreal.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK AND CREATIVE PROCESS // WHAT MOVES YOU THE MOST? // WHAT DOES CREATING DO FOR YOU?
Without a doubt my environment. I couldn’t deny that since a child nature was where I went to seek solace. There is so much beauty and abundance in front of our eyes. We’re usually just too distracted to see it. I need that connection on a daily basis. I need to feel small and alive. I need to be wild and aware. So, without any hesitation, my connection to the natural world , which is my spirituality , inspires me the most. It fuels me and keeps me. This could be my Indigenous blood, it could just be my birthright on this planet. At the end of it all, I’m an observer , passing through, just grateful- so grateful to be here.
Creating is a natural extension of trying to make sense of the world and being a passionate person who needs to get those feelings out. I'm deeply moved by light and how it passes over the land, casting shadows and highlights. And I’ve always loved how light passed through glass. I’d admire church windows all over the world , but couldn’t be less connected with their message; so I decided to learn stained glass and make things that were sacred to me ; what we call in Native American culture, medicine. Working with glass is delicate and dangerous, and I love that balance.
DO YOU EVER FEEL VULNERABLE PUTTING YOUR WORK OUT THERE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?
Of course. Especially knowing there are artists more experienced than me. I also feel vulnerable wondering if it be understood and valued as I intend. Using a medium not traditional to Indigenous culture, I also am apprehensive about how it will be received, but ultimately I accept it is an expression of something truthful I am conveying, and in that it is genuine and anything genuine is beautiful.
DO HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OTHER CREATIVES?
There is not another version of you in the universe. There is no expression like yourself , so if you are living in your truth and are authentic with no egoist gains intended, your creation is that valuable. It is wholly unique. Do not compare yourself to others. Someone I greatly admire in the stained glass world told me when I was starting- do not follow any other stained glass artists on social media; you will compare your work and without intending to do so, possibly copy their designs even through honest inspiration. Ultimately your work should be a complete honest expression of your own. So as tempting as it, I follow that advice, if for no other reason than to not feel less than in times when I doubt my capacity.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR ART AND PRODUCTS TO DO FOR THOSE EXPERIENCING IT?
I am constantly evolving and digging arriving at my core. My artistic expression will continue to shift with those changes. I have died so many times, what's the point of living if you're not arriving? My prayers and hopes go into every piece of glass I make, and I intend those who own it to receive those energies.
Thank you so much for sharing your magic ! I can't stop reading your website and what you are doing for the world. You are so, so appreciated.