My mother Caron used to tell me to choose creativity at all costs. When I was younger I wasn’t sure what that would really mean. Now at 50, I see what she was saying. That at many times in our lives, other paths might seem easier, more lucrative, less challenging – than making a living as an artist. Or making a living serving other artists, which is another thing entirely. All I know at this point is that doing what matters to me includes what matters to others.

I think I have found the thing that matters to all of those in my community, and our planet. Raise up the images and stories of women. Women give birth to the future. Ensuring the safety and sacredness of women has been my guiding light for over 27 years. Right now, what it looks like, is a museum centering on women’s art.

musea shiloh sophia curator

Dear One,

Today I am honored to speak to you about the path ahead with my work and how it may be connected with you. Do you have a few minutes? Wanna get a cuppa something yummy and sit with me? This won’t take too long, and I so appreciate your attention.

I am inviting you to hear about how our body of work is evolving. I want to share with you what we do here at Musea for our community to be connected, elevate our artistic expression, and contribute to the equality of women in the arts around the world.

I am inviting you to be a part of something beautiful through becoming a member of our museum centering on women artists. I am also sharing about our upcoming Many Muses Festival in March, which is complimentary to our members.

My heart has always been with art

Before I tell you about the evolution of the museum, I feel it is important to share why this matters so much to me. I was raised in an artistic family and, for a long, long time, I have been working on art and at art because it was part of our family culture. Here is me and my cousin Bridget. There is something about our expressions that moves me. This was a day for ceremony and ritual to honor Bridget.

I was eager to experience the world ahead of me, and I remember that feeling today. We were both on a mission to bring the beauty into life with what we had been given. We were raised by women artists who were entrepreneurs that struggled to make a living. Both of us were creatives in different ways – and we became teachers. Bridget is a Montessori Teacher, and I am an art teacher and now a museum co-founder. Janet, Sue and Caron were our mothers and our teachers, who wanted us to be strong.

Here we are in 2014 at a ceremony and ritual celebrating my marriage to Jonathan. I feel so lucky to have her as my cousin. We were raised to care about more than just ourselves and our immediate needs.

Our teacher mothers gave us the tools, and we pass them onto those we work with. We wanted to bring change to the world. To support women and children and to reform education.

Musea is the offering of my body of work onto the altar of creation. This feels really big and most days it scares me. But I keep going. Something….is calling me forward. Have you felt that way before?

Here are a few more photos – on the same day – we were reading from Mary Daly’s Gynecology. There was such a spirit of hope in us. Yet so many of the things we were standing for did not come to pass in terms of equal rights, justice, equality and equity. I honestly feel that sharing women’s art is one of the very best things I could do at this time – because we need to define our images for ourselves.

We have had a physical space to show art and teach classes since 2000, a 20-year run, amazing! Then, as we well know, the world started to change before our eyes a year or so ago. We were just about ready to open our museum in Sonoma featuring the unfinished works of my teacher and a co-parent for both Bridget and myself, Sue Hoya Sellars. She walked on in 2014, and we curated a stunning collection of her unfinished art, and repainted and were ready to rock.

Well, Sue’s unfinished work show still sits here now – you could walk in any moment and see it. We have kept the museum space ready for visitors. The date keeps getting pushed out. Now her show will be virtual, and opening in April a year after it was planned. Yesterday I named all the unnamed pieces, (the photo above) mostly based on descriptions of what she wanted to do next on the painting, in charcoal – that we ‘fixed’ so the text would be there. Things like ‘event horizon’, ‘great dissolving barrier’ ‘the gravity of Sophia’ or ‘cooling gas’ ‘is the dreamer dreaming us, or are we being dreamed?’ – she was cosmic indeed. I can’t wait to share the show with you!

By becoming a Musea Member, your monthly membership fee of only $10 goes directly to the staff it takes to put shows like this together – and shows like the one we have coming up tomorrow, Anthropas – these paintings are amazing! Our next show in March includes Spirit Warrior – Carmen Baraka, Kine Aw’ and Women Woven Together! These are exciting times to look forward to and we want to invite you to join us.

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Musea Museum – A sacred space for women’s art

As you likely know, in May of 2020 we opened our museum online to our community, a soft opening I think they call it! Minus having you there, we still brought the champagne and celebrated. Brave. Bold. A bit of a wild move, maybe. Why was this so brave? Well to open a museum with zero funding and no guarantee of turning that project into the financial and staff resources we would need to run it day to day, and just do it, was a bit wild of a move. But I had to. Something in me had to. The show must go on!

Since then we have had shows every month attended by thousands of virtual visitors! By absolute blessing, we asked a group of women who are graduates from our programs to form a discovery team of Co-Curators led by Amber Gould, and off we went. Curating shows in a pandemic with hundreds of artists throughout the world and hundreds of paintings.

Our next LIVE Exhibit is tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th at 4pm PT called Anthropas: Rites of Passage in Paint. I hope you’ll come celebrate our artists and witness their works painted over 13 Moons. Here is the link to RSVP and invite your friends.

In January of 2021 we opened membership with new and extensive benefits and huge value- join us. And, good news, I am having so much good fun, I am so inspired, and now just a month into the year we have over 500 members, which is the reason for my writing today.

My invitation to you

I want to invite you to be a part of this goodness, at this time in your life and in our world. Whether you are an artist or art appreciator, or just want to hang out with the cool kid creatives – come on over and be welcomed as a Musea Member. No matter where you are, our private app connects you with our community and that centers on the voices and images of women artists. Because less than 3% of women are represented in museums and artists, even though we make up 50% of artists. We have some work to do.

I want to invite you to be a part of our movement. Your membership goes directly to paying the all-women curation team to bring this work to life, and yes, we are an official not-for-profit. While there are tons of benefits, we hope you will come because women’s voices and art is important to you. Other genders can join too, yet our focus is on women’s art.

www.musea.org/membership

You can participate at any level that works for you!

  • If you just want to see one show a month – we have that.
  • If you want to do a creative process every week – we have that.
  • If you want to submit your art to a museum show – we have that too.
  • If you are looking for a place off FB to be with other creatives, we have an app.
  • If you are looking for art education, receive tons of hours of Intentional Creativity programming and educational experiences to watch at your leisure + savings on upcoming courses.
  • If you are a Black, Indigenous Woman or Woman of Color – we have circles just for you curated by BIWOC Leadership – in addition to our monthly Artist Circles
  • If you are a man or another gender, we have a salon space just for you.
  • If you are a mother juggling and needing me-time with art, we have lots of Mamas here who are working creativity with their kiddos.

Join us in March for the Many Muses Festival – complimentary to our Musea Members!

On March 19th at 10:30am PT, I will present at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women virtual event. Then on March 26th, we will have a daylong Festival for women in the arts (more details will be shared soon). It is just awesome any way you look at it, and gives us wonderful things to prepare for. With your Museum Membership, you will have complimentary access to the Festival’s gathering exhibits, Intentional Creativity process, poetry, storytelling, live music, open mic and so much more…

So dear one, will you join us in membership? We would love to have your good company!

If my work so far has meant something to you, if you support women in the arts, if you are curious how we raise up a global virtual museum out of thin air (smile), I hope you will stay connected to what we’re up to. Even if you don’t become a member now, we will continue to communicate with you.

We think we are one of the biggest art movements the world has ever seen – and you can be a part of it. Become a Musea Member today.

My teacher and co-mother Sue Hoya Sellars walked on in 2014. Other Elders are soon to follow her. My precious mother is in a transition cycle herself at almost 84 years old. When I talked to her the other day she said – ‘So what is inspiring you the most?’ And I told her, that the over 500 Musea Members are inspiring me. That we have a Black, Indigenous and Women of Color feature to our membership. That there are shows happening and that we are in our first global call for art. She said she was proud of me. That felt really good. I hope I can make you proud too.

With great heart, and a paintbrush,

Unfinished piece by Sue Hoya Sellars – a draft for an activist poster having to do with nuclear arms. Art, as activism, is part of our future. We will be the ones telling the stories that matter to us.