(As written by my husband, Rafiki Shemanski)
What I first noticed about Reva, the artist, is how she pours herself out to people. Whether through her whimsical constumes, her full smile, her humor or conversation, she encourages a contact that is both meaningful and honest. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, as her integrity is very precious to her, and of utmost importance, seeping into every seem of her relationships with others. So too is her generosity, whether financial or in spirit. Reva is a giver, encouraging good will good and cheer on a planet that is often too aggressive, too wrapped up in itself, or too callously unseeing.
The earth, which she knows and trusts, spurs a sense of vulnerable wonder in Reva that allows her to see the world as if through the eyes of a child. She picks up on the backlighting of a flower, but only on one square centimeter of a petal. She sees the interplay of color, angle, shape and form, the light and shadow on a face. The small details that usually escape the rest of us all too often, Reva absorbs with an excitement that she then translates into a piece of art. Myth, ritual, sunlight, timelessness: they are all there, in her carvings, her paintings, costume design, and style. She is enormously talented, and yet projects a humility about her creativity, which makes her unpretentius and approachable. She simply does not talk about or take credit for her work, but is too busy in the making of the same, or in listening to the suggestions of others, as to how to maker her products or displays ever more effective and better.
Reva’s artistry speaks for itself, on its own merit, being unique, emotive, and technically subperb. But what makes it even more amazing is the fact that she performs all this with only vision in one eye, being legally blind in the other. Of course, she is unwilling to use this fact in the promotion of her art, which should sell of its own accord, based on its appeal and worth. This is as it should be . . . honesty, once again, is the magic that propels her, as she manages her life, in stride, competently juggling her various roles of artist, mother, mate and friend, laughing yet disciplined in creating her work, feeling and communicating the goddess that is within and around her for all to see.