FemUn Newsletter Fall 2001 21.2

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Fall 2001 21.2

About the artist:

Debbie Medlock is a native of Arizona—she was raised in the small copper mining town of Globe —and has traveled across the Southwest. Over the years, she has grown to have a deep love and admiration for the Southwestern Native American’s commitment to nature and the things of the earth that is central to their way of life. Her beautifully detailed gourds represent her passion and respect for their traditions.

One of nature’s greatest plant gifts to man has been the gourd. It is believed that the gourd spanned the entire globe in prehistoric times. Remains of gourds have been discovered in Peru, Mexico, and Florida dating from as early as 11,000 BC. The most common use of gourds was as a container for the storage and transportation of food. They also were used for cooking and eating utensils, carrying water, and as musical instruments. And the list goes on.

Many North American Natives believed that the gourd was a resting place for the Gods and Spirits. Another belief was that the gourd brought good spirits to the Earth and captured the bad spirits. It is considered good luck by many Chinese to have a gourd in your home. Today gourds are both functional and decorative. The types of gourds commonly used are known as “bottle gourds.” These gourds are grown in many parts of the country; however, most of the gourds Debbie uses were grown in the Phoenix area. Gourds are harvested after the first freeze of the year and then left to dry either in the field or in an enclosed area. The more perfect gourds are picked and then moved inside after removing the thin outer skin by scraping. The gourds are allowed to dry for 4 to 6 weeks and then washed.

Debbie is a self-taught artist and a life long learner. She feels her talent is inherited from her parents, Sonny and Suzanne. Debbie began working with hard-shelled gourds about five years ago. Each gourd is transformed into a named, one-of-a-kind piece of art. Debbie began selling them on a wide-scale basis thanks to the encouragement and support of her husband, Mike, her parents, and many friends. Some of her artwork has traveled as far away as Sweden. Debbie has sold over 50 pieces and has participated in such craft shows as the Cloud Croft July Jamboree. Her work can also be found at the Blue Mule Gallery in Globe, Arizona and in Southwest Expressions Gallery, El Pedregal, Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, please visit: http://www.igourd.com.

MLA Conference 2000 Papers included in this Newsletter:

  • "Navigating Delicate Terrain: Negotiations Between a Romani Student
    and a Non-Romani Professor". Alexandra Oprea and Eva Woods
  • "Gender and Race in Brazilian Literary Scholarship, and in the Classroom:
    Problems, Approaches and Strategies". Cristina Ferreira-Pinto Bailey
  • "Fem theory/glob". Debra A. Castillo

Book Reviews

  • La modernidad uruguaya: identidades. 1848-1900. Cristina Burgueño. Montevideo: Linardi y Risso, 2000. 189 pgs (María Martell, Arizona State University)


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