August 2020

Love and Acceptance in the Time of Covid

A testimonial from the ‘Tis Art Center and Gallery

The Hawaiian healing practice of Ho’oponopono is simple and powerful. It begins with a mantra: I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.

These four basic sentiments represent the key to finding and focusing on one’s inner self. When repeated aloud, or even in one’s mind, they provide us with the unique power to address external conflicts by shifting our thinking to a problem-solving source within ourselves.


The Covid-19 pandemic shutdown arrived just as Ho’oponopono: A Celebration of Life Collection by Debra Sutherland Core was installed in the ‘Tis mezzanine gallery.

Debra was born into a family of artists, teachers and jewelers in Denver, and won her first competition at the age of 17. After high school she moved to California and attended Santa Monica College, where she studied drawing, painting, and design. On graduation she gained experience in almost every aspect of the art community, working as an art consultant, artist representative, fine-art publishing and placing art in corporate, residential, and hospitality collections. Here Debra shares her thoughts.

On March 15, 2020, I was beyond excited to be setting up my first one-woman show at the ‘Tis Art Center and Gallery! My preparation for it began in the spring of 2019. I knew I needed months to pull together a cohesive collection. I wanted to focus on two- dimensional paper and canvas creations, but as a multimedia artist I also wanted to create a new collection of fabrics to use for scarves and wall hangings.


To bring it all together, I needed a title.  I am a devout student of esoteric arts and sciences, studies that fuel my desire to create and allow my art to emerge and unfold. So it wasn’t long before I found myself revisiting my experiences with the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono.


From personal experience I know that repeating the ho’oponopono sentiments can help heal personal issues. I have since applied my own set of sentiments to assist me on my personal path: Love, Gratitude, Acceptance, and Joy. With these words my new collection emerged.


As we all know, March 2020 became a benchmark month for the global pandemic, and led to the self-quarantine and closure of businesses. On March 17 I learned that the gallery would close. My immediate reaction was close to devastation and sadness, but then my basic instincts directed me to step back and observe from my center. Without emotion, I found myself looking at the situation with a new understanding of what was going on in the world, and new ideas emerged. I decided to create a virtual tour of the exhibit, which we were able to post on Facebook, websites and newsletters. I had no idea at the time how virtual conferencing would become such common practice.


The gallery has since reopened and my exhibit has been extended to August 14. Face masks, hand sanitation and the practice of physical distancing are required by all, and the 4th Friday Art Walk receptions have been suspended, though I’m still available to give personal tours upon request.


Looking at it now, these Covid times are almost perfect for this “Celebration of Life” collection. We have been given the time to reflect, as well as the opportunity to go within ourselves and discover who we really are. We have found new ways to coexist with our families, nature, animals, and one another.


This is no coincidence – or maybe it is. I have always trusted my path and lived with faith and a love of the world of the unseen to guide me in a world of love and uncertainty. I pray and hope you will find comfort in my work.
Humble servant to all that is, I give you a glimpse of my joy. — Debra Sutherland Core


Ho’oponopono: A Celebration of Life Collection shows through August 14. Readers can contact Debra directly at 310-621-4383 or debrasuthart@gmail.com to schedule a personal tour.

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