Anita Blackwell

anita2Artist Statement:

I create vessels using clay, reed and found objects from Nature, which when used daily can bring mindfulness, reflection and intention into our technocratic age.  Through my own life’s journey in medicine and healing, I know how important it is to take time, withdraw and reflect on the sacredness of life through meditation, prayer, ritual or ceremony.  I gather from ancient traditions and transformative art, and hope to bring forth a sense of magic and possibility.

As a shamanic healer and yoga teacher, I am constantly reminded of the sacredness of life and the miracles that come forth from living in the moment.  My art is called New Beginnings, expressed by an ancient Japanese symbol, which depicts a plant sprouting through the earth, acknowledging the end of one cycle and  the beginning of another, the quiet and powerful time before growth.  It is a

reminder of the great strength in stillness and the joy in being.  All this influences my eclectic approach to clay and creating.


Up until 1997, I worked in private practice as an OB/GYN nurse practitioner, specializing in infertility.  My nursing career started back in 1967 upon graduation from a hospital diploma program in New Jersey.  My working experience through the years included:  head nurse in a hospital emergency room, director and instructor of a AAMA accredited Medical Assisting Program for 11 years, and finally attending Emory University for my nurse practitioner degree in 1982.

After I left medicine and surviving a very rare cancer, I decided to study healing and energy medicine, and completed a 10 day course with Caroline Myss,  “The Science of Intuition.”  At the same time I began studying Healing Touch through the Colorado Center for Healing Touch and had a small healing practice in my home for a number of years until I moved to North Carolina in 2008.  

My interest in art began simultaneously with the healing work, and I began the craft of clay on a kick wheel, along with hand building and sculpture.  Since then, I have studied at various craft schools, and more recently at Penland School of Crafts.  My work has been included in local and regional shows, and was even selected for a national show, in Oregon.  

Upon moving to North Carolina, I studied yoga and completed a Yoga Alliance approved program in Asheville, NC in 2009.  For the last 7 years, I have been owner and teacher at YaYa Yoga, in Spruce Pine, NC.  I have taught yoga and movement classes at Penland for three different 8 week craft concentrations.

In 2012, I received the Middleton Emerging Artist Award through the Bakersville Creek Walk.  My work has been shown at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts in Sarasota, FL, juried into the Toe River Arts Council in Spruce Pine, at several galleries in NC, as well as in private collections.

I am living my dream here in the mountains along with my husband and co-owner of YaYa Gallery and Market.