· By Rachel Dazey
Pantheon Of The American West
The American West is a land of rich mythology and lore. The stories and spirits of which ignite imagination both here in the heartland and abroad - where themes of the American West are treasured as fantastical representations of humanity. Themes of fierce independence, tender caregiving and resilient ingenuity shape the concept of America. With this collection I explore these themes and give form to a 'Pantheon of the American West'.
The American West portrayed in popular culture is a romanticized image of what history proves was a place of complexity and nuanced reality. An unspoiled landscape beckoned adventurous souls. Some travelers struck it rich in oil, gold or railroads, creating legendary extravagance. Some pilgrims found livelihoods in toil and labor. Others were adjacent to both, taking advantage of life on the edge of civility. The history of the American West remains tangible in the relationships and landscape of today. Elevating these historic personalities to levels of gods and goddesses, the Pantheon of the American West beckons reflection on how we see ourselves in the complex narrative of life. These characters embrace light and dark, exploring symbiosis in contrasting energies. They ask, can we embrace opposing characteristics? The multiplicity of being American creates complex identities. Embracing our complexity allows for deeper understanding and discovery of ourselves as characters developing within our own story.
Each jewelry piece in this collection represents the archetype of a god or goddess of the American West. Working with Melissa Lukenbaugh we styled a photographic shoot representing each archetype in human form. Characters which embody the social archetypes of each god/ess.
We are hosting an opening April 21st, 2023
At our studio on 1229 Charles Page Blvd from 5-8pm