Although already accomplished in various art mediums, Pamela Cruz was searching for a truly unique art experience when she first tried her hand at gourd art. Little did she know how completely
immersed she would become in the world of gourds.
With a background in horticulture and a love of nature, Pamela was not totally surprised with her new found passion. “Holding a gourd in your hands, you not only feel close to nature, but also connected in some small way to the numerous cultures the world over who have utilized gourds in a myriad of ways throughout history, from vessels to musical instruments to use in ceremonial rituals.”
Pamela combines many of her artistic talents in creating her gourd art, including scroll work, carving, weaving, painting, and pyrography. “There are so many techniques the artist can employ to create that “one of a kind” piece of art; the design possibilities are virtually endless.”
In gourd art, creativity and imagination come into play immediately, as each gourd presents its own unique shape and “personality.” Therein lies the challenge for the gourd artist; to further enhance the natural inherent beauty of the gourd. “True art evolves when that intrinsic nature of the gourd shines through any alterations and embellishments imposed by the artist.”
Inspired by her father’s artistic abilities, and encouraged by both parents, Pamela was pursuing artistic endeavors at an early age. Her interests have taken many different turns throughout her life, but none of them captured her attention and her heart as have hard-shelled gourds.
Pamela’s art training is hands-on experiential. She has had the great fortune of working with and learning from a multitude of talented artists. “Gourd art is so diverse; new applications and materials are constantly being developed. There is always a new technique or style to be explored, so the learning and growing process for the gourd artist is never complete.” Pamela’s work has been displayed in galleries, shops, and art shows in northern Nevada and California. She also shares her love of gourd art with others by leading hands-on workshops.
A third generation native Nevadan, Pamela loves the spirit and beauty of the West. She has great respect of Native American cultures, which influences much of her gourd art. Besides working with gourds, she enjoys family, gardening, pets, bonding with nature, and a great game of baseball.