Kate Abbott: Teri Greeves will lead beadwork workshops at Berkshire Museum

Thursday November 1, 2012

After the storm, light edged heavy cloud, and the newly bare trees against the sky looked translucent. Scattered yellow leaves, light on lean trunks, and the wind picking up -- I got my first sight of November.

I like November. Oak leaves have turned but not yet fallen, and green pine stands out on the hills. Just before the storm, a tree with weeping branches hung yellow leaves across the yellow light of the windows of Thompson Chapel. This is a changing time. The ground has not yet frozen, but the last beets and carrots are harvested.

Now we have quiet. Between holidays, free of the summer rush, I can listen to Toots and the Maytals at the Mahaiwe, dance to a local band or sink into a museum.

Teri Greeves will come to the Berkshire Museum on Saturday and Sunday to talk about her work in ‘Rethink.' Maria Mingalone, Senior Curator at the Berkshire Museum, told me she has learned from Greeves.

I have wanted to talk with Greeves too, since I first saw her work in ‘Rethink.'

Greeves creates tapestries in beads, copper and red and white. The cloth of skirts and tunics gleans a deep, dark blue shot with silver, as though these women wear the night sky.

And Greeves' beadwork tapestries tell stories. She has written the story each one embodies: stories from myth, from her community and from family. In them the Spider Woman finds Sun Boy abandonned on earth and becomes his adopted grandmother. A young woman witnesses Custer's attack and dresses as a man to ride into battle.

A young wife or mother dances for the Kiowa men serving in the U.S. army and stationed now in the Middle East. Greeves sings the lullabye her mother taught her to sing for her newborn son.

This weekend, I will be with my adopted grandmother. She is without power after the storm. But if I could be here,
I know where I would be.


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