Art Raffle/Fundraiser for the Family of Jimmy Rencountre

A friend of mine, Charles Rencountre, a Lakota sculptor who lives in Santa Fe, is holding a raffle of his sculture Wicasa Wakan to help his older brother Jimmy with medically related and cost of living expenses for his family.
Raffle for Jimmy_Page_1

His brother was diagnosed with 4th stage metastasized lymphoma in October of 2008. Charles can explain things better in his own words  Download Raffle for Jimmy PDF 5.8MB:

If you aren’t familiar with South Dakota, I will tell you that there is not a lot of resources up here for the Lakota or Dakota tribes. Poverty is the common ground of many people in the area. My brother is 52. Jimmy is a father of five children and a grandfather to ten. His youngest two are still at home in high school and middle school.

The diagnosis came after a year of stomach and back pains. The seriousness of these symptoms was not understood by the local Indian Hospital and the pain became so severe that he was eventually prescribed an MRI that revealed this condition.

My brother and our family have a lot of faith. The doctors told him that they couldn’t do anything to help him other than help him manage pain. And the way that we’ve come together is through prayer and our practice of Lakota ways. Recently with my brother, the family did four days of ceremony with a medicine man from Pine Ridge. My brother’s spirit is strong and he is not afraid whatever the Creator has in store for him.

What probably concerns him more than anything is the financial needs and debt of his wife and children. How can he help them to live? When I found out about his illness I wanted to do whatever I could to alleviate the additional monetary stress. As boys my big brother Jimmy was my protector, he’d take on any kids that tried to harm me when we were walking home from school. He taught me how to hold my own and stand up for what was important to me. Now it is my turn to stand up for him.

I came up with this idea of donating and then raffling my work Wicasa Wakanto potentially raise $24,000 dollars for a family fund that will help his wife, children (and grandchildren). The raffle is a total of 240 entries raffled at 100 dollars. I will offer this raffle internationally via email. Tickets will begin selling June of 2009 for three months. The cut off date will be September first of 2009. If we sell less than 240 tickets, then we’ll raise less than $24,000 dollars. And the chances of winning go up. If it reaches the goal and we sell the 240 tickets, then that number will be the cut off.

The winner’s name will be drawn on September 15th. The draw will take place at a public dinner and Jimmy’s youngest child Benjamin will do the honor of representing his father. My brother Jimmy understands what is being done on the behalf of his children (and grandchildren). He thanks you for your participation in this raffle.


Each ticket entry for the Bronze and Mixed Media Piece Wicasa Wakan is $100 dollars.
To enter please send to Charles Rencountre:

  1. a self addressed stamed envelope,
  2. a note that includes your email address
  3. and a check of $100 for each entry.

Please write the check out to Wicasa Wakan.

His mailing address is:
Charles Rencountre
159C Calle Ojo Feliz
Santa Fe, New Mexico
87501 USA

It will be deposited in a Wells Fargo account in Black Hawk, South Dakota that his trusted friend (and brother) Craig Engel opened for the raffle. He is the only person in charge of the account and will be the one distributing it to the family in mid September. If you need to verify the legitimacy of the account you may call the Wells Fargo bank in Black Hawk directly. Their number is (605) 787-9224.

Charles will send you an email copy of your raffle number(s) as well as a hard copy letter. When they
have 240 raffle tickets sold, they will inform you of the date of the drawing beforehand as well as
send you the YouTube link of the draw itself. They want you to see the family you have connected to and helped through participating in this raffle.

Thank you for you support of this event and for your interest in this art piece.

Meeting Cultures in Santa Fe

Just some quick notes on the past couple of days... My aunt, Jillane Tunstall, has come to visit me in Santa Fe. She arrived on Thursday, which has provided the perfect opportunity for me to play tourist on my last week in Santa Fe. Saturday, we attended the Taos Pow Wow. This was a really amazing and educational experience. I'll describe it in detail more when I have more time. It sounds like a cliche, but it was a very spiritual and material experience. Material in seeing all the regalia and stuff that is used to create the experience of the Pow Wow. Spiritual, because although I did not speak any of the Native American languages, they made it clear that the event was about offering prayers to the Creator and showing honor to their warriors and their communities. I really want to talk about this in more depth, but here is just a teaser of some of the images. I'll post the rest on Flickr later.
This is Bruce (Apache), who explained a lot about what the dances meant. He has been dancing at Pow Wows for a long time and is probably one of the best Traditional dancers at the Pow Wow. In the pictures we took of him, he posed so stoic, but he was smiling and joking with us the entire time.

There are several types of dances at the Pow Wow. For the men, there were the gourd, traditional, grass, and fancy feather dances. For the women, there were the traditional, jiggle dress, and fancy shawl dances.

Today, we went to the International Folk Arts Festival, which was overwhelming in the number of global vendors. We have to thank Tina, a volunteer for the Festival, for introducing us to the 5-6 vendors whom she knew. It made the experience more personal and less overwhelming for us. It also guaranteed that we bought things because its more difficult not to purchase something from someone when you feel you've made a personal connection with them.  Aunt Jill is posing with Elizabeth Savanhu of Zimbabwe. She was very warm, open, and loving with everyone.

Anyway, more later. I have to go to bed because we have a trip to Bandalier National Park tomorrow.


Paint by number

The last couple of days I've been helping Sister Max at the Santa Fe Antiques Show. It was really eclectic from Indian antiques, Polish film and music posters, to my favorite items in the show- these paint by number paintings. Until you've seen a whole wall of PBN's you never realize what its own aesthetic it is. Everyone kept stopping and reminiscing about it.

Oldest house in the US

Oldest house in the US
This is the oldest house in the US. It's cool to see the Adobe brick. It was built around 1610. Of course the caveat is that the Native American's had "houses" older than that. This is on DeVargas street in Santa Fe around St. Miguel's, which was built on Native American slave labor for the Mexicans. Where the Nine Graces Hotel is were the quarters for the first Spanish/Mexican inhabitants of the area.

Feelin' better

Jerry is back to his old self today. I am at 75%. Last night I volunteered for the Biennial gala. It was very beautiful and fascinating to see Santa Fe's art glitteroti.

It was shockingly lacking in diversity. Besides myself and the artist Nadine, there were no other African-Americans. There were only a hand full of Native Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Asians.

Today, I am hanging out at the Santa Fe Opera, telling people when the next bus is coming. I'll make sure to bring a book and my camera to take pictures of the sculptures there.

Now, I'm off to the farmer's market.

Ain't no cure for the summertime flu

So today, Jerry and I are sick. Jerry won't eat and was lethargic during his walk this morning. I'm trying to figure out if his teeth are bothering him, but he won't even eat the yogurt this morning.

I have a flu or at least checking my symptomology it is the flu, not a cold:

  1. Fever: didn't check but I've been having the sweats, which are indicative of a fever
  2. Headache, big time. I though I was going to die yesterday until I took two Advils
  3. Aches and pains, all over.
  4. Fatigue/weakness, I feel super weak. All I want to do is lie down and watch Law and Order reruns.
  5. Extreme exhaustion, walking Jerry this morning was so difficult.
  6. Stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat: yep, but these are more often cold symptoms
  7. Chest discomfort, just started today.

Tonight is the gala for the opening of SITE Santa Fe Biennial. I am supposed to be working tonight, but I think I will have to skip the after party and go to bed.

SITE Santa Fe Biennial

Experimentation, Ephemeral, Experience, Collaboration, and Community. These are the five words that Lance Fung, curator of the SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Lucky Number Seven, used to describe the essence of the art experiences.

Yesterday, I attended a walk-thru and lecture given by Lance to prepare the guides and docents. I believe the hype that this is a totally different framework for an artistic experience for artists, communities, and the art world. In order to free the artists from the constrains of market driven pressures, the works commissioned from the 22 emerging artists had to be hand-made and ephemeral. The idea is that if the artist knows that the work will never go to market because it is recycled, reused, destroyed, or in some very special cases, gifted to children or a community; he or she will produce more experimental art.

What most impresses me, as an anthropologist, was Lance's desire to make the Biennial a collaborative experience. All the work had to be site-specific to Santa Fe. So the artists were brought all together last April to visit Santa Fe and get to learn about one another. They spoke with community members and everyday Santa Feans. They visited museums, pueblos, Los Alamos, Roswell, etc.  These experience resulted in not just community among the artists (which as he narrated is very rare for an art exhibit) but also community between the artists and Santa Fe's multiple communities (Anglo, Hispanic, Latino, Native American, etc.) Much of the work, such as the Hiroshi FujiSan's project with the recycled bottles, were local + artist collaborations, including a slew of interns from all over.

The Biennial is going to be an amazing experience of art, but my experience of participating as a volunteer really reflects the essence of what it is about. Through my participation, I've experimented with new forms of expression (plastic bottle sculptures), my presence is ephemeral (I leave in five weeks), I've had and shared amazing experiences with people through collaboration, and most important, I've found a community. It will probably be Diasporic, but I will share a bond with everyone who I met.

The Biennial opens this Friday, if you are in the area, do come.  Here is the link to the Biennial documentary, check out Lance's video and the video's of the artists.