Simply Creating the Art Is My Livelihood…

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Pam’s Story
Creating art is such freedom for me…
because I know that I am expressing
whatever message is in my heart to share…
I can see glimpses of the art piece in my mind…
and I can feel its creation in my spirit…
my being begins to follow …
my hands move determining how
and what to create…
they begin to move over the materials
I have decided to use together
and as I touch each piece of fabric…
paper… wood… metal… photograph…


and add the poetry I have written…
I can see the art piece
as it begins to come alive…
always…
always saying… presenting… giving
more of me… more of whatever message to be shared…
the creation comes from what is in my heart…
whatever I can not voice ….
whatever I cannot say with my voice…
I see the finished art piece when my hands stop…
and I realize I have nothing more to say or present…
all that I have to give is here… is created.

PAM BERRY

Since I was twelve years old I have thought I might want to be a photographer one day. My parents had given me a camera for my birthday…it was an Ansco. A few years later my grandfather gave me his Petri 7S. He never attempted to show me how to use it. I taught myself. I was sure I wanted to be a photographer. It was then natural for me to decide to major in photography, art, and maybe fashion when I started college.

This photography/art thing did not go over well with the people I loved: family, some friends, and even my sweetheart at that time. I had no support for my artist. Photography and art to them were meant to be a hobbies, not a job or a life. So I let my artist go, and after two years changed my major to criminal justice/sociology; more respectable as a career. The funny thing is, on graduation day, my guidance counselor asked me not to go into the field of criminal justice/sociology and said I would not do it justice. And a week before graduation I took an assessment test at school and the woman helping me with the assessment—after looking at the results—asked me why I did not major in—guess what—art, photography, or fashion.

I went back to school for a short time and took two more photography classes. Aside from creating photographs at school, I created my first piece of art in 1989 for an art show as part of the Woman of Faith in Transition conference. It was a photograph with poetry and a fake rose to decorate the frame. I didn’t stop adding new layers to what I create and how I create. I began to exhibit at different art events and in different art shows, creating my own small exhibits about what I knew about: single mothers, children, my spiritual life. I also began to teach art and photography.

This past summer and fall 2013, I had exhibits at Creighton University in the Multicultural Affairs office and at the Mule Barn at Metropolitan College for the Los Dias de Los Muertos exhibit. I’ve also started artistic networks across the community including the North Omaha Summer Arts Program (NOSA), which is kicking off its fourth year of success in 2014 and provides free classes in different artistic disciplines to anyone who wants to learn. We have an arts crawl of North Omaha on North 30th street, starting with Metropolitan Community College, winding through 5 different churches and ending with the Family Service building. People can stop in and see the beautiful art, have some food, and mix and mingle. We offer writing and quilting classes amongst others, and host a gospel concert in Miller Park, free for anyone to attend. When I see the gift of giving art to others and watching them fall in love with it, I remember how I fell in love with it, and how it has sustained me over the years.

About Pamela
I am a native of Omaha. The mother of two…a daughter, Beaufield and a son, Jesse.
I have been creating and showing art since 1989. I am an artist with the Nebraska Arts Council and I am the founder of the North Omaha Summer Arts Program. I am Pamela Jo Berry.

PAM BERRY (2)opt