Friday, May 10, 2024

Artist Statement for Ms. Janes Restaurant

“How do you want to be remembered?” Shiloh asks. “I want to be remembered that I was loved, and that I had the opportunity to love back.” ~Bertha Jane (B.J.) Turnipseed
Bertha Jane Turnipseed, a proud and respected member of the Puyallup Nation, has dedicated her life to ensuring the survival and prosperity of her people. For decades, Bertha has tirelessly built the foundational structures necessary to uplift her family and community. She has pioneered infrastructures of commerce, fought for justice through the legal system, and crafted legislation aimed at securing a bright future for those she loves. BJ’s Bingo and Gaming, once just a business, has become a lifeline—an anchor of stability and opportunity that was once denied to her people.
Bertha stands as an honored matriarch, revered for her unwavering dedication to the well-being of her community. Through her tireless efforts, she has gifted stability and security, ensuring a higher quality of life for generations to come.
In my mural, "Interconnected Heritage," I explore the timeless journey of commerce, tradition, and community through a tapestry of imagery and symbolism. At its center stands Ms. Jane, draped in a ceremonial blanket, her watchful gaze fixed upon the unfolding patterns of commerce. She embodies the legacy of generations, skillfully designing pathways of opportunity and abundance.
From the humble reed plucked from its riverside home to the intricately woven baskets loaded with tradition, each elemental design signifies the foundational pillars of trade and prosperity. The carved canoes navigate the waters, connecting community to community, sharing knowledge and resources along the way.
Integral to this narrative are the spirits of the land, represented by animals such as Salmon, Eagle, Bear, Owl, Otter, Turtle, Raven, Cougar, and Wolf, each embodying the paths and traditions passed down through generations. Their presence underscores the interconnectedness of all living beings and the vital role they play in the cycle of commerce and heritage.
As the animals traverse the canvas, they express the individuality and interconnectedness of each family member, highlighting the diverse paths that converge in a shared journey. Below them, the heritage baskets stand in sacred ceremony, honoring the traditions and foundations from which they originated while embracing the diversity of individual pathways.
"Interconnected Heritage" is a celebration of resilience, community, and the enduring spirit of connection that sustains us through generations. It invites viewers to reflect on the richness of our shared heritage and the importance of preserving traditions while embracing the ever-evolving landscape of commerce and culture.
As the artist behind this work, I am deeply honored to have had the opportunity to breathe life into these stories and traditions on canvas. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to Bertha, whose wisdom has guided and enriched this journey. I am equally thankful to the Turnipseed relatives, whose remarkable histories have served as the foundation and inspiration for this mural. Additionally, I express my profound appreciation to the land itself, the sacred source from which these narratives spring forth.
This mural stands as a tribute to the resilience, creativity, and interconnectedness of the Turnipseed family of the Puyallup Nation, a testament to the enduring spirit and vibrant heritage of our community.
✨Mural honoring Bertha Jane Turnipseed (Puyallup Nation) at "BJ's Bingo & Gaming/“Ms. Janes Restaurant" in Fife Washington. ✨Restaurant Opening Date: June 2024
✨©Paintings and Writings by Ramon Shiloh 
✨Medium: Acrylic on wood/2024

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