THE LAWS OF THE SPIRIT REMAIN THE SAME: an exhibit of native spiritual art

Laws of Spirit Poster


 An Exhibit of Native Spiritual Art

On view November 7th – 29th 2014

Artist Reception Friday Nov. 7th, 6-10 pm

Amerika  Samoan artist Sekio Fuapopo, Finnish American artist John Rampley, Pennsylvania Dutch artist George Shuey, Filipino-Native American artist George Duran, Maori artists Steve Gibbs and  Gabrielle Belz, First Nation artists Joe David and Shirod Younker, and Irish American artist Paula Clark

TULAFONO A LE AGAGA E TU MAU features a confluence of international artists and artwork. These unique contemporary visions reflect the key belief and trust in LAWS OF THE SPIRIT REMAIN THE SAME.

Gabrielle is a New Zealand Maori artist, initially trained as a commercial artist, and is now a full-time painter and printmaker. She continues to support and promote art in the local and wider community as current chair of Te Atinga (Committee of Contemporary Māori Visual Arts) of Toi Māori Aotearoa, a founding member of Kauwae (National Māori Women’s Art Collective), trustee of Toi o Manukau, a long-serving member of Nga Puna Waihanga (a national community-oriented organization that supports all Māori arts), a founding member of the artists’ co-operative Pukeko, and she serves on the Creative Community Funds committee for Manukau City.

She has participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout New Zealand and elsewhere, including “Mana Wahine” (1995) in Tucson, Arizona; “Haka” (1997-98), which toured the United Kingdom; “Sisters/Yakkananna/Kahui Mareikura” (2002) in Adelaide, Australia, and “Kiwa-Pacific Connections” (2003) in Vancouver, Canada. Recent commissions include design work for Manukau City.


I am interested in the natural world internally and externally. My painting is a reflection of my ongoing exploration of the wonder of the universe and our relationship to it. This consideration of dharma is my lens on cosmic law and order.


“Dai S’la. My work is always a collaboration between the past and present as well as my memory of my ancestral homeland. I continue to draw inspiration form the objects our ancestors left behind and from the land that I stand on or from the waters I paddle my canoe on. My goal is not truly to make the most beautiful object I can, but an object with a life that facilitates or reminds us to be better people.”

Shirod Younker is a member of the Coquille Indian Tribe of Portland, Oregon and an artist specializing in wood carving and traditional canoe making.

He has been an arts program manager at Oregon College of Art and Craft for over eight years, prior to which he worked as a program manager for NAYA. He currently runs the A. Susana Santos “Journeys In Creativity: Explorations in Native American Art and Culture” at OCAC and has made it his mission to teach pre-college students about the renewal of Native American canoe traditions.Shirod Younker, OCAC’s Journeys in Creativity Art Program Manager, is a printmaker and a member of the Coquille Tribe. As an artist, Shirod’s expertise includes woodworking, sculpture and traditional canoe and paddle making.



Joe David has effortlessly blended the modern Northwest Coast art movement with his own Nuu chah-nulth art and other cultural influences. His interest in shamanism, spiritual healing, traditional practices and protecting the environment has become a quest and led him to journey around the world.


Born in Stockton, California in 1944, George was influenced by the work ethic of his father, a Filipino farm laborer. Working the fields in Northern California with his father
gave him a respect for nature and a love of the land. He was inspired by the stories his mother shared with him about his Shawnee grandmother. “Looking into cultures has
influenced my art.” Being a “breed” created an awareness of his dual cultural heritage, and a realization that what is important is the sameness of the spirit. “That is what I
try to express in my art. I speak of the spirit and it’s meaning.”

“Looking into cultures has influenced my art. I gravitated toward my Indian blood. The imagery of all early cultures is similar, as in Indian, Oceanic, African, and European. All relate to the spirit. What is important is the spirit. That is what we try to express in our art. We all speak of the spirit and it’s meaning.”


Was born in San Francisco, CA in 1947.

“My work seeks to draw extractions from nature, archetypal forms, and symbols. The unknown aspects of our nature can be revealed through an inner search for the unknown within ourselves. Automatic writing, form, and marks within the work seek to reveal a greater understanding of nature, ourselves and the universe in which we live.”


Born in Fresno, California in 1936, John’s bond with the land and nature came from his Finnish grandfather, a farmer and old-world craftsman – a violin maker, musician, master carpenter, metal smith and blacksmith. His move from a small Finnish community to a cosmopolitan San Francisco in 1942 magnified his love of nature.

“I draw from the inspiration of the abstract patterns in nature: rocks, snakeskin, and feathers”.

Born in Utulei, Tutuila, Amerika Samoa in 1947, Sekio was raised and educated in San Francisco. He is influenced by the traditions of the art and culture of his heritage:
navigating the seas and humanity by the stars, winds and songs. Sekio’s love of American Jazz continues to inspire his work today. In making his art, his western education is
woven with the legacy of the islands.

A a Maori New Zealander, I research mnemonics in my work, exploring the symbolic connections between bird, fish and whakapapa (genealogy), incorporating motifs of animals and nature along side those of my Ngai Ngai Tamanuhiri and Tairawhiti hui. My relationship to the sea is a strong focus and I explore techniques including the use of many translucent layers of paint (up to 70 layers) to represent water and its symbiosis with other elements in my work.


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