When musician Holly Arntzen, front woman of the Artist Response Team jumped for joy when she first saw the Ixchel Goddess jewellery creation, I knew it was the perfect match and the piece had found the perfect home. Holly is an award-winning musician, song writer and environmental artist whose work is mobilizing people across North America to become aware and active in protecting our planet. She is an earth steward who is using art to facilitate the bigger endeavour of protecting all life through education, singing songs of healing while stimulating the celebration of life. You might recognize ART’s popular hit songs such as Up Your Watershed, Water for Life, I am the Future and many more. I started working with Holly during the summer of 2011 when I facilitated the new Artist Response Team website. Through that I provided creative and technical guidance for their evolution, which is now live. We met through our mutual friend Kate Brauer at a movement called Salmon are Sacred – Standing Up For Wild Salmon in Vancouver and Victoria in 2011. The songs of ART (consisting of Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright) filled the movement with music and celebration. Our paths continue to converge while we both journey working towards the greater good. When Holly picked up her jewellery piece, we had a great time together taking photos and Holly ingeniously whipped up a jingle for my sea glass jewellery product line which you can see in this blog post. There is no doubt that our paths have crossed for a reason, as my path seems to cross with others who like myself, serve to help others. As an artist who feels overwhelming compassion and at times great pain for the state of our planet, I feel relief, understanding and healing when in the presence of Holly and those like her. For me the jewellery creation Ixchel embodies just this and know that I create this not only for its beauty but for its healing intention.
As a new jewellery designer, for the past year I have been focusing on very simple creations. This piece is an evolution because its creation required much time in collecting and matching the sea glass so that the necklace was balanced. The colours and shapes integrated reflect the many highlights of the Ixchel story and incorporates natural symbols such as spirals and leafs. In short, Ixchel was a Mayan goddess who came from the Riviera Maya region and is associated with many topics such as; health, earth, art, fertility, the moon and includes an elaborate legend. As I had spent much time living in the Riviera Maya on and off for four years, I have personally felt the sensations of the mystical world on several occasions and wanted to honour the experience especially now that we are now in a pivotal time; 2012. With this I celebrate change. The piece was created to reflect and remind us of the elements that we are made up of and that our existence is sacred. In the time to come, you will see new avenues explored. As I have relocated to Toronto, I am excited to grow my product line into something much bigger while still carrying the important message of connectedness. In a sense I hope my products help to educate people about our lineage on earth, to cherish the beauty around us, and to spread love to others.
I am excited to introduce you to Holly’s work while also providing some background on the combination of our work. Now that I am residing in Toronto again (it’s been 15 years), I hope to take natures message to the masses and provide a bridge of knowledge between the west and east of Canada. Through art, music and design, we can carry the message to others, that all of us are connected, just as the sea glass pieces are tied to the copper chain.
Please check out Holly and Kevin’s work by visiting the Artist Response Team website.