Moab Utah artists. Moab is home to many
local artists and nationally known artists. These talented
people work in a range of mediums from visual arts through
literary to musical. Each month Moab Happenings features one
of our talented local Moab artists.
Artist of the Month - August 2002
by Sydney Francis
am very lucky to get to interview artists about themselves,
their art and their artistic processes. I always leave an
interview with my inspiration renewed and faith restored in
the human spirit. Artists, in my mind, are the stewards of
cultural meaning, and as such, they serve a given community
with the nourishment of their art. Most artists do this by
turning their introspective and intuitive knowledge gained
from life experience into their art, which, once exhibited,
stands vulnerably proud for all of the world to see. And what
we, the audience, gain from this artistic process is the beauty,
insight, inspiration, hope and meaning that is invested in
I should not have been surprised in interviewing Laura Griffiths
this month that I have happened upon such a story of personal
conflict, art, and transformation, inter-woven with the threads
of beauty, magic, and illusion.
I took some creative license and embellished upon her story,
just a little, due to the following relevant detail. Griffiths
just opened a new bead shop on Main Street called Infinite
Potential. In addition to beads and beading supplies, the
shop is filled with artfully crafted dragonflies, which provides
the theme and logo for the store. According to the Medicine
Cards, dragonflies symbolize the spirit of illusion:
The iridescence of Dragonflys wings remind us of colors
not found in our everyday experience. Dragonflys shifting
color, energy, form, and movement explodes into the mind of
the observer, bringing vague memories of a time or place where
magic reigned. The above sounds like a description of
Infinite Potential, where heavenly beauty exists in an earthly
realm: strands of colored light hang in rows of rainbows;
color coded shelves are sorted by size, texture, and hue;
and delicate art objects and tiny treasures nestle in corners
and free spaces.
upon a time, in the 1970s, in a land called Moab, lived
Laura and her husband. They enjoyed the carefree life of river
rafters. In the spirit of the age and with a mind towards
the future, they built Moabs first solar home. In her
spare time, Laura embroidered and read books. She seemed to
enjoy the periods of calm and the periods of adventure that
life afforded her.
Laura and her husband left their carefree lives in Moab to
pursue higher education degrees in the Mid-west. Laura went
into Nursing. And they were meant to live happily ever after.
not too long ago, Lauras husband left her for his high
school girlfriend, and the bottom dropped out of Lauras
life (or so it seemed). She went through a very painful divorce
in which she sunk into a deep depression. In the midst of
her grief, she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. She was
unable to embroider or read; she was unable to work. She was
too unhappy to function. At this time, Laura returned to Moab
to live with her mother, where they were able to share the
mutual caregiving they could offered to one another.
staying with her mother, Laura decided to take a beading class
at the Lavender Lizard. She immediately loved beadwork. Her
experience with embroidery had taught her to make small, refined
work with her hands. She loved the beauty of the glass beads-the
vivid colors and the different textures.
As she continued to do beadwork, Laura found her self more
focused and more centered. Each tiny piece of light and beauty
added to her hope and her healing.
fine Moab day, in the midst of this gradual recovery process,
she followed a dragonfly to the well of her dreams and visions.
At the deep well of infinite potential, the dragonfly showed
her the dream of a bead store full of brightly colored glass
beads of every size, shape, texture and color. In this dream,
Lauras life and beadwork would be supported and nurtured
by this store, filled with beauty and inspiration in the form
of small glass beads. As the dream went on, Laura saw artists
and crafts people coming from near and far to experience her
beauty and her hospitality. She could share her artistic knowledge
and teach classes. She could work with other artists to create
beautiful visions out of beads. And this would be one of many
gifts of her transformation.
so it was...that Laura manifested this beautiful dream into
a reality. In the land of Moab, she overcame the fear and
the grief, the pain and the suffering through the creation
of beautiful beadwork. She focussed her energy on surrounding
herself with the beauty of the beads and making a special
place of glass light and color for all to come and enjoy.
tells her story better than I. She divulges the conflict,
pain, and transformation in greater detail. But I could not
resist in indulging in the metaphor of the dragonfly for the
sake of expressing the real transformative potential that
empowers us to make change in our lives through art and beauty.
addition to her beadwork, Griffiths is working on organizing
an artists guild in Moab. The concept of a guild makes
an historical reference to Old Europe, where the best craftsmen
of a specific field came together in an association that supported
their craft. Griffiths sees this idea filling a need for Moabs
fine crafts people. The guild provides support to the individual
craftsperson in a number of ways: it promotes the belief that
there is value in hand-crafted items; it provides one strong
solid voice to represent many media; it offers organization
to a community of artists; and it provides support for the
promotion and sale of hand-crafted art made in Moab.
you are interested in Griffiths beadwork, beads, bead projects,
bead classes or the Moab artists guild, please feel
free to contact Laura Griffiths at Infinite Potential, 135
N. Main, 259-4161, www.infinitepotentialmoab.com.