Gourd Art by Tim Greenhalgh

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Gourd Art by Tim Greenhalgh

By Tim Greenhalgh, artist and Tanka friend

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NOTE: During the recent Natural Products Expo West food show in Anaheim, CA, we met artist Tim Greenhalgh, who uses gourds as his medium and native culture as his inspiration. Tim, who describes himself as a gourdwright, graciously agreed to send us photos so that we could share his beautiful, expressive work with the Tanka community.

Tim Greenhalgh: Artist Statement:

I grew up having a great love for American Indian peoples. When I was young, my father often took me to desert places where I could feel the rich simplicity of Indian culture. He taught me of their reverence for the land and about their lifeways that embodied that reverence.

I have been fortunate to experience many aspects of Indian (especially Southwest Indian) culture. Although born in, and currently living in Utah, I have also lived in Nevada, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, and have spent a lot of meaningful time in Colorado. Each place left me with indelible impressions that would later be expressed through my art.

My first works were clay murals and miniatures, mostly of American Indian architecture, but discovering gourds added new dimensions to my work. I realized that many indigenous cultures, not only American Indians, fashioned gourds into a myriad of containers, cooking pots, utensils, baskets, and bowls. The gourd is one of nature's finest examples of both beauty and functionality in one. I have chosen the gourd as my primary medium because to me it symbolizes the gratitude, reverence, simplicity, and enduring spirit of native peoples everywhere.

In my work, I use every part of the gourd -- the shell, the inner fiber, and the seeds. Each piece is an earth-friendly, handcrafted original. I hope that in some small way my art will honor the way that many native cultures took care of all their relations and all their surroundings. Nothing wasted -- everything returned.

For more information about Tim or to inquire about purchasing his work:

Tim Greenhalgh, gourdwright
2859 E. 2880 S.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84109

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