Cherie Sampson – International Artist at SHF

Cherie Sampson is a visual artist working in environmental sculpture, performance and video, exhibiting her work in the US and abroad.  She currently resides

Cherie Sampson

in Columbia, Missouri and is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Missouri where she coordinates the Foundations program and teaches Foundations and Video Art. She contributed as a national guest at Sacred Harvest Festival and offered a series of workshops on “Embodying Sacred Space”, and a Thursday night performance piece multimedia premier, entitled “One of Many Limbs”. This interview is in its entirety, but somewhat edited for flow. You can listen to the whole interview here.

What was your experience like this year, coming to Sacred Harvest Festival and presenting to a bunch of Pagans camping out?

It has been really good, really great, and I haven’t been to this festival. This is the first time.  I am familiar with many people who have been really close for a long time, Alvin and Lila, and I’ve known you for probably twenty years. I still remember many of the songs from the ritual you did years ago, so I feel certainly a part of this community, although there are many people I don’t know.

Set Created for Cherie's performance

Set Created for Cherie's performance photo: jtouchette

Well, when Judy emailed me in February, I just felt really honored to be asked to come as guest artist.  I have been kind of reflecting on how in some ways in my work, career, especially in an academic environment at a research university, there are certain expectations to be showing your work, and doing your research. It becomes very externalized, the work becomes part of this career chase. I knew this would give an opportunity to connect with a community that understands the deeper spiritual dimensions of my work. Also for me to reconnect with those dimensions as well, which are always present. When I am seeking the gallery venues and that art world sort of channel,  it (spiritual dimensions) becomes quieter. Continue reading

Agora – Film Review

The hype of this movie got me out to the theater tonight. Billed as a Pagan film, the lead character is classed as one, although she is portrayed more as philosopher, teacher, and scientist. The polytheists are, for the most part, the ‘good guys’  (interestingly the Christians were always dressed in black, and the Pagans mostly in white ). Since the film is set right as the Christianization of the Roman empire is nearly complete, we don’t really learn much about these Pagans. We only see the beautiful  temple, the remnant of the scholarly  side of the now passed Greek legacy, and hear brief reference to their  principal Ptolemaic God,  Serapis.
Continue reading