A few words from photographer Nadine Defranoux and her exhibit, Destination Happiness:
“Bhutan is no ordinary place in more ways than one. This small Buddhist Kingdom, perched high in the Himalayas and close to Switzerland in size, is the only Vajrayãna (Tantric) Buddhist kingdom in the world. Bhutan is most known for its ‘Gross National Happiness’ core philosophy. Bhutan is most often known for its long tradition of colorful religious festivals celebrating the good deeds of Buddhist masters and re-enacting spiritual events. These festivals give a rhythm to the season and constitute an integral part of the cultural and spiritual life of its people. Attending one of these religious festivals and witnessing mask dances is to receive blessings.
My visit to Bhutan came as a logical destination after going to Tibet and being seduced by the inner and outer beauty of its people. I could only wish to travel to the Land of the Thunder Dragon, this small kingdom where people live at the rhythm of drums and cymbals, guided by their beliefs. My journey there was blessed by three festivals! Equipped with an Olympus e-Pen ISLR, a Hasselblad and my iPhone, I captured images presented here.”
A few words from our featured jewelry artist, Ellen Salazar:
“A lifelong love of color and pattern makes beading a natural fit for me. I am especially inspired by Art Deco, Native American, and geometric patterns, and I love experimenting with shape and color. My designs are usually one-of-kind, and since I sometimes have to adjust my designs as I go, I am often delighted by the sometimes wonderfully unexpected results. I had just started beading when I retired from teaching high school math and science. My math background draws me to the almost infinite number of patterns and combinations in beading. Although I was born in Chicago, Oakland has been my home for 45 years where I live with my husband and a very sweet cat.”