Traditional Artist Spotlight: Daniela Mahoney

Daniela Mahoney is a traditional egg decorator who uses decorating techniques from a variety of Eastern European traditions. Czech and Slovak egg decorating is associated with celebration of Spring and new life. The craft was connected to Pagan beliefs, and later used as a symbol in Christianity and Christ’s resurrection.

A frequent method Daniela employs while decorating eggs, batiking, utilizes hot wax and different colors of dye. She also creates patterns on eggs by using onion skins, yarn, plants, and straw.

Daniela’s grandmother originally taught her how to decorate eggs in the Czech Republic during Easter. Daniela came to Oregon in 1982 to join her fiancé; they married in 1983.

Slideshow presentations showing a variety egg decorating techniques can be found on Daniela’s artist web page.

Decorated eggs and a variety of traditional Czech items are available for purchase on Daniela Mahoney’s website.

Traditional Artist Spotlight: Nisha Joshi

by Josh Ehlers

Nisha Joshi’s love for music is a bond forged through family and community. Joshi, a Rajastani Folk and Classical musician, teaches the craft at her own school, The Swaranjali Academy of Indian Music in Portland, Oregon. Joshi teaches vocals, harmonium, and the tabla. Rajastani songs describe the daily life of the villagers and incorporate aspects of nature, religion, festivals, and important life events such as childbirth. Being relatively simple to learn, Rajastani music encourages group participation and dancing.

Rajastani folk music is traditional music from Rajasthan, a region located in the northwestern part of India. Instruments such as harmonium, dholak, manjeera, and ravanhatha traditionally accompany the vocalist in Rajastani music. Under the guide of her father, who stressed discipline in her music studies, Joshi gradually learned Rajastani music as her siblings, relatives and neighbors passed down songs to her.

Joshi performs both classical and folk repertoire, as well as sitar, at numerous community events, festivals, and concerts in the Northwest. As a result of her work with the Jack Straw Productions’ Traditional Artist Support Program, Joshi performed at the Seattle Folk Festival in 1996. Joshi’s time with this program also allowed her to professionally record Rajastani music. Joshi holds a Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters in Indian Classical Music from University of Delhi, India and also holds a position on the concert committee for the Society for the Performing Arts of India.

The Swaranjali Academy of Indian Music website:

Arts in the Parks

Five of Oregon’s fabulous state parks were host to six of our state’s master folk & traditional artists during the month of June. From the Cascades, to the high desert, to the Willamette Valley, Oregon State Park visitors had the chance to learn about Wasco sally bags, Karuk basket making, fly tying, Coos and Kalapuya storytelling, old time music making, and a whole lot more. Park guests got to meet the artists, learn how traditions mesh with heritage, and spend one-on-one time with some of Oregon’s most interesting people.

Look for more Art in the Parks

Thanks to Mark Ross, Wilverna Reece, Lena Hurd, Sherry Steele, Pat Courtney Gold, and Esther Stutzman as well as the Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon State Parks and Recreation, and all the local parks and arts services organizations that made 2013 Art in the Parks possible.

Upcoming Diversity Exhibit

An exhibit showcasing the various cultural groups OFN involves themselves with is currently in development. The exhibit will go up in the Knight Libraries’ East and West display areas in mid-September. The four cases will have panels focusing on specific aspects and people involved in Telling Our Stories, the Traditional Arts Program, the Grand Ronde Native Language Arts Apprenticeship Project, the Warm Springs Sound Preservation Program, and the Culture and Education Alliance. OFN is collaborating with the Library Diversity Committee, as well as Mandi Garcia and Cristian Boboia from the Image and Exhibit Services department to put on the exhibit.