African Village in Seal Rock

Our African Village celebration of art and culture on Memorial Day weekend was a grand success.

The Hauser Gallery benefited, the African traders benefited, and the community benefited.  We were thanked over and over for bringing such an entertaining, colorful and cultural event to little Seal Rock on the Oregon Coast.IMG_2618

Gallery owner Rose Estes had the brilliant idea that if people find it fascinating when the African traders come and show us all their artifacts, then why not invite all the traders to come at the same time and invite the public.  They will have the opportunity not only to see the spectacle of all that art, fabric and beads laid out before them, but also they will have a chance to buy directly from the source.  Then she thought why not have music and food, advertise it and have a big shin-dig.

She did, we did, it was.IMG_2592IMG_2599IMG_2574IMG_2589IMG_2585

We thank everyone who helped to make this event a success.  The African traders: Musa, Bubakar and Naday.  The drummers: Amadou and his friends, all the employees of the Hauser Gallery, and the rest–you know who you are.

We had so many compliments that we are now organizing a repeat of the event on Labor Day.

IMG_2622Also I got so many requests and compliments on my West African peanut soup that I will publish the recipe in my next post.

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Turtle Holds the World

earth_on_turtle

In Hindu Mythology the universe and all of creation are churned out of the sea which rests on the back of a primordial turtle.

Turtle8Polynesians refer to the tortoise as the primordial mother.  The Chinese associate them with wisdom.  To the ancient Greeks, Aztecs, Mayans and Incas, the turtle seems to be the foundation of the world.  For the Iroquois, the Ojibway and the Lenape the whole of the earth rests on the turtle’s back.

We here at the Hauser Gallery are fond of our own little turtles…

One drivesDSC01930

One opens up the store for usDSC01928

They take walksDSC01926

You find them on carsDSC01920

On the rocksDSC01913

On our collection of agatesDSC01912

Some turtles carry turtlesDSC01944

Sometimes the little guys strike out on their ownDSC01947

So cuteDSC01946

Some turtles become shoulder bagsDSC01953

Some become medicine pouchesDSC01956 DSC01957 DSC01955

No turtles were harmed in the creation of this post.  More importantly no turtles were harmed in the creation of the artwork.

The pouches and bags are made by Sera a Mayan Mexican who obtains his animal parts from a consortium which provides material for artist from animals already dead.

The large bags are alligator snapping turtles available for $320-360.  Medicine pouches for $150 at the Hauser Gallery.

(Those little guys are for sale as well…but Tommy the turtle is not for sale.  We need him to open the gallery and drive our car).

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Art and the Ravages of Time

In the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, there is a line repeated more than once,  “Time cooks all things.”2301173832_9b3481724c cliffs-end-farm-skeleton-of-an-old-man_4

Life is short and art is long.

The ocean just outside our gallery will outlive our art, which in turn will outlive me.  But even the ocean is slowly cooked by time.  Against this immensity it is art which gives us a foothold–some sense of identity.

Art is our proof that we were here for an instant.

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Fossils: Frozen in Time

Walking through the gallery is a journey backwards in time.beginning-a-new-day-rafting-the-colorado-river-grand-canyon_l

From our Japanese artifacts we step back in time to India and behold the bright bejeweled saris and sari tops.  From India we travel back to Africa:masks, statues and beads.

Then we leave human time altogether and enter a world DSC01805of fossils.  DSC01812

Prehistory,Prehistoric, Pretty cool.DSC01815DSC01655DSC01800I never met a fossil I didn’t like.  They makes good pets, and don’t need water.  These specimens are from several to 400 million years old, and are available at the Hauser Gallery ranging in price from $15 to $1,200.

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Modern Inovative Jewlery

In my last post I talked about our love affair with old things, and the soulless downside of modernity.

But we do have something very modern here at the gallery.  A line of jewelry by a wildly creative artist named Sera.  Not modern because of a soulless disconnect with the past, but modern because of a direct engagement with, and innovation upon the past.hand-in-hand-old-new-past-future_l

Innovation: something new created from something old.

Old is the Mayan style from which he draws, old are the component elements of his work: the quartz crystal, animal parts and nautilus.  New is the sum of the parts.  New is the style which emerges from the amalgamation of such disparate elements.DSC00741DSC00683DSC00658DSC00678DSC00747DSC00720Owl Claw Necklace with Rattle Snake Skin and Bobcat claws with Crystal Orb- Leather cord is 16 inches in length, owl claw is 6 inches long and 1 inch wide $250.00DSC00661Perhaps what is most amazing about his work is the meticulous and original wire wrapping.  His pieces range from $60 to $400 here at the Hauser Gallery.

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The Past: It’s Here To Stay

Here at the gallery we don’t have modern things.

We have many things from the past.  We have hundred year old Japanese silk Kimonos, African masks and artifacts, even the ones that are not very old are made in the old tradition and recall old costumes, dances and stories – their power derives from their connection to the past.  Our vintage silk threads were dyed by hand–done in the old way.  We have rocks and fossils which are tens and hundreds of millions of years old.DSC01656DSC01659K8-1DSC01243st3sti3

What is this obsession with things from the past?

For the ancient Greeks all nine of the muses were born from one mother, Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory.Mnemosyne  In an article in Arion, Herbert Golder states that,”…the Greeks understood that all our higher faculties, and inventive ingenuity, and even our sense of futurity, derives from a negotiation with the past.  The past isn’t dead.  It isn’t even passed.”

Kakuzo Okakura in The Book of Tea in talking about how the latter-day Chinese love tea as a delicious beverage, but not as an ideal, says, “[They] have become modern, that is to say, old and disenchanted.”

We are not modern.  We are re-enchanting the old, negotiating with the past.7171352269_0ed9ab862f

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Agate Festival in Yachats

The Agate Festival in Yachats in January was a wonderful success both for us and in general.  What a great turn out.  A special thanks to all who made it possible.  Thank you.

We sold many things from small agates to a magnificent hand-made stone table made ofDSC01021DSC01022 cut jaspers and agates in a quilting pattern and resting on an antique singer treadle.

We hade three items in particular which were of note: the table, a large amethyst geode with selenite wands growing out of it, and a series of stunning amazonite bead necklaces.  All are exceptional: the amazonite necklaces have been vetted as authentic 2,000 to 4,000 years old.  They were on loan to us from an African trader who in turn had them on loan from a collector.

The amethyst geode amazed even the most experienced rock hounds for few had ever seen selenite wands naturally occurring in an amethyst geod.  And the table, well, it is just an DSC01517DSC01519exceptional work of art with a great story as a man made it for his quilting wife, hence the quilting design of the stones and the singer treadle.IMGP1847IMGP1844The festival was a satisfying experience for us.  People did not just gawk and wow at these and other items but were truly moved.  In addition to doing good business and meeting an interesting mix of people, we offered the public a chance to see some great stuff they IMGP1842otherwise may never have.  We provided a public service which every civilization should, we offered the people a chance to look upon great images and objects.  We were a museum in the greatest sense of that word.

The table which has such a romantic story in that the man made it for his quilting wife was sold to a couple to commemorate their anniversary.  So the table continues not only as a work of art, but as a monument to romance.  The necklaces have gone back to the trader, and the geod rests proudly in our gallery, available for $1,600.DSC01522

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