The Bead Society of Greater New York

Beadcap Newsletter

Bead Society of Greater New York
October 2014 Update

by Marie Michal

Helen Weinberg & Lois Sherr DubinArt and spirituality converge with trade and commerce in Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork, a new book authored by our guest speaker for the evening, Lois Sherr Dubin. This book, along with its' accompanying exhibition at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, California, tells the story of why native floral beadwork became both a major means of artistic expression and a symbol of cultural resilience. It is also an important example of how two differing cultures - Native and European - established a common ground of economic and creative exchange.

Very little in native art is just to be creative, according to Dubin. The Europeans and later Americans viewed the use of flowers, instead of the more geometric patterns most common in the designs of the native women, as a sign of pacification and acceptance; but the Native Americans subtly worked their cultures and messages in the designs. For example, the native elements of the four directions (north, south, east and west) and harmony are worked into the pieces. A cross with four symmetrical arms may find its way into the center of a rose. Dubin also pointed out that the practice of embedding cultural icons into the floral glass bead images was repeated across tribes from coast to coast. This secret code allowed them to represent their culture right under the noses of those trying to assimilate them to European values.

Lois Sherr Dubin Presentation 1Lois Sherr Dubin took us all on a wonderful journey showing us magnificent visuals of this incredibly intricate art form - all done with the tiniest of glass beads. It was noted that much of it was done by firelight or oil lamp! Aside from the visuals, she wanted us to understand what is behind the art, making it much more alive to viewers, when you also see it as a means of visual communication.

If you happen to be visiting in the Los Angeles area between now and April 2015, it would be worthwhile to stop by the Autry National Center of the American West to get a firsthand look at these most original and beautiful works of art.


BSGNY volunteers are needed to help out the Portable Playhouse, a group that works with children in area hospitals. If you are interested in volunteering to bead with children who are patients at NYU Medical Center, please contact the Director, Maryann Cory at 201 914 1404.


Challenge creator/member Milly Valentin announced the new "challenge" for our members. It will be the "Mirror Challenge" to commemorate the BSGNY's 25th Silver Anniversary. Tiny mirrors were passed out to members wanting to participate. You can only use black, white and/or silver beads with the mirror to complete your piece. A due date hasn't as yet been decided upon, but it will be sometime after January. If you are not able to attend meetings, but wish to be part of the Challenge, send a self-addressed stamped envelope (1 stamp is sufficient} to Milly Valentin, 140 Asch Loop, Apt. 24B, Bronx, NY 10475, and she will send the mirror so that you could complete your piece.


We are always looking for volunteers. Milly Valentin is our Volunteer Coordinator waiting to here from you.


Lois Sherr Dubin Presentation 3I guess my latest competitive achievements that are worth reporting are that I came in 9th in my age group at the USAT Triathlon Nationals in August and placed 6th in my age group at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton on September 1. I'm super psyched! It's the highest I've ever placed in triathlon at the national and world level. (At Nationals, places 1 through 10 are on the podium, so I was very pleased to make that).

And this past Sunday I came in second in my age group in the Philadelphia Half Marathon in a time of 1:36:56 which translates to 7:23 pace.

Still beading away, too, of course. stacy creamer

*Please share your achievements with our members.


Lois Sherr Dubin Presentation 5Bead Artist extaordinaire Joyce J. Scott
(Past BSGNY Speaker & Workshop Instructor)

Maryland to Murano
Neckpieces and Sculptures by Joyce J. Scott,
September 30, 2014 to March 15, 2015 at MAD*

*See details on The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) website.

NYCreates Craft Fair to be held at the
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street @ Clinton, Brooklyn. December 6 (12-6) & 7 (11-5).
Member Binta Anthony will be selling.

Lois Sherr Dubin Presentation 5Also of interest
2014 Native Art Market
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
New York City, December 6 & 7 theresa gesuele

Glittering World:
Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
New York City, November 13, 2014–January 10, 2016

If you want to see the most beautiful Native American jewelry this side of heaven, please visit the above exhibit at the New York Smithsonian museum which is free to the public. Last night I heard a talk about this incredible family of artisans and the guests in the audience were just as interesting as the speakers. Everyone (practically) was duded out in Yazzie masterpieces. I have never seen so many men in one room wearing the most exquisite bolos, etc. A Yazzie piece of jewelry can cost upwards of $85,000! These are truly masterful works of art, some of which can take a year to make and pieces are generally sold before they are completed. helen weinberg

World of Beads