Opening Reception: Penny Sisto Gallery Exhibit, Familiars

Join the School of Fine Arts + Design, in conjunction with the Arts Council of Southern Indiana
as Penny Sisto shares her unique story on
Thursday, October 2 at 5:30pm
Pat Harrison Fine Arts + Design Gallery
Ogle Hall, Ivy Tech Southern Indiana
Show runs OCTOBER 2 – NOVEMBER 7, 2014

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Artist Statement:
As close as our own beating heart is the tug of the ever-present “Familiar,” a four leg, swimmer, crawler or winged one who seems as drawn to us as we are to them. For me it is the owl. Since I can remember they have stayed close to me. Even at the home birth on our back porch of my granddaughter Celie, a group of owls gathered and stared intently through the screen as she was birthed. The first sounds she heard were the excited calls of these owls as she began her own Birth-Song. There was an evening when our youngest was in Floyd Central High School. An evening when a solitary owl sat on a tree outside the window staring in at us as we two quietly spoke on the sofa. Bethany asked me to show her how Owl magic worked.

We went outside to the clearing in front of our wee log cabin, and i asked her to copy everything that I did. We raised our arms out and to the side, like wings. I began to make a small kissing sound by pursing my lips. A shadow flew above us at tree- top height, a huge owl descended. Then another and then several more until each tree around our clearing had owls in it. They hooted back and forth. Then swooped ever lower, until the wind of their wings made our hair move. I looked up through the gloaming where more circled above the lower owls. “That’s enough!” She said suddenly a feared and she ran back to the house.

We can never know why certain four-legged ones or winged ones reach for us. Nor why we yearn for them. This bond is older than words… it is the unspoken promise of unity. It is the transmission of their wisdom into us. Each one of us can remember, perhaps only once in a lifetime, when a soft gaze, or heart-wrenching wag of a tail from our personal Familiar made our heart leap and we KNEW at that moment that we were connected, and that we were part of the great Circle of Life.

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