We are profoundly grieved by the passing of renowned Tlingit weavers Teri Rofkar and Clarissa Rizal this month. Clarissa passed yesterday morning, and Teri on December 2nd, both from cancer. Our hearts go out to their families and communities, and we send all of our love to those who were touched by them.
How can an artist be asked to step aside from a work in progress to die? How does a weaving on a loom remain unfinished, a basket incomplete? How do we say ‘put down your tools, your paints, let your hands be quiet, your imagination stilled’? The process of creativity would seem to defy death. It is the spark that ignites an idea, a mind that fashions the mechanical means to materialize the idea. This process of creation is the heart of our humanity. Civilization is built upon those whose minds connect with their hands to make the objects that bless our lives with meaning and beauty. As they leave us we are blessed with the work that remains, to remind us that all that we touch, hold, hear, and read is the product of the most amazing thing in the universe: the human imagination. We hold Clarissa Rizal and Teri Rofkar deep in our hearts and minds and spirits with love, gratitude and grace.