Lives Well Lived | Celebrating the Secrets, Wit and Wisdom of Age

A documentary Produced and Directed by Sky Bergman

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What is a life well lived? 40 people are asked this question, all aged between 75 and 100, with a total of 3000 years of experience. Their responses are documented by Director Sky Bergman in this documentary which celebrates their lives. Santa Fe’s own Ciel Bergman (no relation to the director) is one of the featured 11 people, whose life work as an important American artist is shown. Her views on life and art are clear, concise and articulate.

Vijali Hamilton / Artist, Peacemaker

Vijali Hamilton has dedicated her life as a peacemaker. Beginning in 1986, when she became inspired by a dream and was prompted to embark upon a quest for global peace, artist Vijali Hamilton traveled from one country to another, leaving behind magnificent environmental stone sculptures as a gift to the communities in which she lived.  Over one thousand of her artworks are in museums, public places, and private collections. She gives seminars and retreats on meditation and the creative process, internationally and at her World Wheel Center Retreat outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Vijali spent ten years as a monastic member of the Vedanta convent in Santa Barbara.

As Vijali collaborates with diversified communities, she utilizes her skills as a filmmaker, sculptor, musician, teacher and author to further her quest for world peace. Her journey ranged from India, Tibet, China, Siberia, Japan and the Middle East, to Senegal, Native North America, and the Andes and Amazonian region of Ecuador and continues on today and into the future. Her journey is shown in her recent feature film Wheel of the World, One Woman’s Creative Journey for Global Peace”.

Ranier Wood / Artist / Vulveré

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Ranier Wood is an artist. She calls her art serious “reclamantion work”, as she paints beautiful paintings of women’s vulvas, each one unique and different.

Her work is both political and rememdial, as she acts as a catalyst for excavation of some of the more painful memories that a woman holds in the most vulnerable place in her body.

This is from Ranier’s website, vulvere’.org. Return to reverence. Vulveré is an art project dedicated to women’s most intimate geographies. It is about the wild inner parts in all of us; the stardust at the center of our souls.

The dark, the soft, the wet, the raw.

Vulveré is not eroticizing, commodifying, or civilizing a woman’s genitals. It’s about PUSSY as a metaphor and access point to the deepest, wildest, raw parts of ourselves. It’s about witnessing that in women, interpreting it visually, and then sharing it with the world saying: “You see this? THIS is sacred. This is DIVINE.”

Vince Kadlubek / Meow Wolf

Vince Kadlubek is a co-founder and CEO of the Santa Fe, NM artist collective Meow Wolf.

Meow Wolf was founded in 2008 by a group of young residents who wanted to supply Santa Fe with an alternative arts and music venue. Meow Wolf's installation "The House of Eternal Return" has become internationally recognized since opening in March 2016. Meow Wolf established a classroom mentorship program in connection with the Albuquerque Museum’s classroom mentorship program for gifted students in 2013 called “Chimera”. The new space housing “The House of Eternal Return” also contains a makerspace and a children’s area, which doubles as a Chimera classroom space. 

 

Nancy Youdelman / Mixed Media Sculpture

Nancy Youdelman is a mixed media sculpture artist. She has been exhibiting her art since 1971. She participated in the first feminist art class taught by Judy Chicago in 1970 at California State University, Fresno. Youdelman uses vintage clothing, antique jewellery, flowers, leaves and debris of the past to create elaborate, complex and emotional sculptures. Youdelman is represented by TAI Modern in Santa Fe, NM. 

Susan Abod / Singer / Songwriter / "Funny You Don't Look Sick"

Susan Abod is a singer-songwriter and feminist activist. She was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in 1986. She co-created an hour-long documentary about her and other women’s illnesses, titled Funny You Don’t Look Sick: Autobiography of an Illness.

Reel Fathers / Deborah Boldt / Allan Shedlin / Don McAvinchey

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Deborah Boldt is the Executive Director of Reel Fathers. She is an award-winning filmmaker who uses her expertise in film as an educational catalyst. Her documentary “Miles to Go,” was co-produced with Hilary Maddux and won an Academy Award Certificate of Special Merit.

Don McAvinchey is a Director of Reel Fathers. McAvinchey is a family therapist, life coach, trainer and former Director of Health Families First. He is the current Clinical Director of the Santa Fe Indian School and the Sky Center.

Allan Shedlin, M.A. is the founder and former president of Reel Fathers. Shedlin combined his experience as an educator, freelance writer, parenting coach, and national educational consultant in creating the parenting organization. Shedlin coined the term “daddying” in 1994 to describe the convergence of fatherhood and nurturing.

 Reel Fathers, founded in 2008, inspires men to love, nurture and care for their children and to be skilful co-parents. They collaborate with community organizations in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico. Reel Fathers provides innovative programs that tap the appeal of popular culture by using ‘story’ told through film and poetry as a focal point. The facilitators use story themes as a springboard to impart skills that improve communication, build closer relationships, and strengthen families. 

Tom Joyce / Metal Artist / Sculptor

Tom Joyce was originally trained as a blacksmith, is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost practitioners in the field for his contributions to the art and science of forging iron. Joyce’s sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos and mixed media installations examine environmental, political and historical implications of using iron in his work. He incorporates industrially forged remnants and by-products of large-scale manufacturing. His work references the material’s former life. Joyce was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2003; was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art in 2004; and was given an Honorary Doctorate from Laureate International’s Santa Fe University of Art and Design in 2014.

Noel Bennett / Artist / Author

NOËL BENNETT’S art has gained depth and definition through life experience . She lived and wove with the Navajo for eight years and later authored nine books on Navajo weaving, culture, and history. She has devoted her art training (advanced degrees from Stanford University including graduate study with Richard Diebenkorn) to encompass a variety of media and to explore cross-cultural dialogue. Her Infinite Moment series manifests the Navajo spiritual essence of hozhoji.

Noël has served on the art faculties of the College of Notre Dame and the University of New Mexico. She is a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient.

Exhibitions include Stanford University, University of New Mexico, College of Notre Dame, Museum of Northern Arizona, Denver Museum of Natural History, and the rotunda of the New Mexico State Capitol.

 

Allan Shedlin / Reel Fathers

Allan Shedlin, M.A. is the founder and former president of Reel Fathers. Shedlin combined his experience as an educator, freelance writer, parenting coach, and national educational consultant in creating the parenting organization. Shedlin coined the term “daddying” in 1994 to describe the convergence of fatherhood and nurturing. Fathering, he says, is a one-time biological act requiring no commitment whatsoever, while daddying is a lifelong process. Shedlin wants to use the power of cinema to deepen the connection between fathers and their kids.

Reel Fathers, founded in 2008, inspires men to love, nurture and care for their children and to be skillful co-parents. They collaborate with community organizations in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico. Reel Fathers provides innovative programs that tap the appeal of popular culture by using ‘story’ told through film and poetry as a focal point. The facilitators uses film story themes as a springboard to impart skills that improve communication, build closer relationships, and strengthen families.

In this interview, Allan revisits traditional masculine roles and stereotypes.He demystifies parenting asking what it takes to become the "dad you want to be." When men act in a nurturing way, it is not a feminine quality.  Shedlin emphasizes the importance of presence between fathers and their children.  He says that, when asked about their own fathering, many men say "there is a hole in my heart the shape of my father."

Daddying

Allan Shedlin is an educational reformer and was founding Executive Director of the National Elementary School Center. A former school principal of Ethical Culture School in New York, he is the father of three adult "children" and three young grandchildren.

Allan explores the role of fathers for his book Lifelong DADDYING: Practical Guidance for Being the Parent You Want to Be. Allan  says that the term "Fathering" is a one-time act, but "Daddying" is a lifetime journey.