Rebecca and Robert Bluestone bring their unique blend of music and weaving to Chico
Tying the arts of weaving fibers and making music to the seemingly unrelated fields of physics and health care, the husband-wife team that is “Woven Harmony” blends sound and color with healing through creativity. Though they are artists of very different mediums, Rebecca and Robert Bluestone thread together their talents toward the common goal of sparking the creative process in others.
Robert is a performance artist who specializes in classical guitar, while Rebecca is a trained textile artist with a specific interest in Southwestern-style weaving. The two met 22 years ago and shortly thereafter began responding to each other’s work: creating textiles inspired by music and music inspired by textiles. The two were interested in making connections between their work where it looked like there were none, Rebecca said.
“We both work on handmade, tightly strung instruments—the guitar and the loom—where it is about the subtle interactions of our fingers,” Rebecca said. “We use strings to express parts of human experience.”
The Bluestones, who are currently taking a brief respite at home in Santa Fe, N.M., from a nationwide residency tour, will draw connections between art, music and many different aspects of the community during their weeklong visit to Chico, which will begin Feb. 25 and culminate in a performance at Laxson Auditorium.
The couple will speak about the “idea of creativity” at creative-writing classes at Chico High, and Robert will speak to guitar classes at Pleasant Valley High School as well as physics classes at Chico State. He will discuss how physics applies to the guitar, what it means to be creative, and strategies for sparking the creativity that is imperative in these fields.
“I’m willing to bet that there will be jobs in 20 years for these physics students that are not here now,” Robert said. “Creativity will be an important part of that; creativity is the currency of the future.”
The Bluestones were originally contacted by Chico Performances about doing a residency here, and the couple then contacted Enloe Medical Center about offering a workshop at the hospital because of their history of working with other Planetree Hospitals.
As it turns out, Rebecca’s favorite part of her residencies is putting on health-care workshops. They have special significance to the couple, she said, since she is an ovarian-cancer survivor.
The workshop they will put on at Enloe, titled “State of Grace,” targets patients, their families, and staff, and will focus on improving patients’ experiences through artistic expression and creativity.
“Even something as small as listening to music while waiting for surgery can improve that person’s experience so much,” Rebecca said.
The Bluestones also will be hosting a similar private workshop for Enloe doctors and nurses, as well as touring the Cancer Center and talking to people dealing with cancer. The workshops have been very popular at other Planetree Hospitals, and Enloe is looking forward to hosting this one, said Enloe’s Trudy Duisenberg.
The couple’s goal is to bring creativity back to the health-care field, both to aid in the healing process and to make people more comfortable while undergoing treatment, Rebecca said.
The Bluestones’ week in Chico will culminate in a multimedia presentation in Laxson Auditorium, during which the couple will demonstrate how they respond to each others’ work. Robert will play the guitar while Rebecca shows slides of the work each song inspired. The couple will discuss with the audience the ways in which they tap into their creativity.
Through all of their activities the Bluestones try to spark creativity in others because they feel it is such an important tool.
“Creativity is like mental push-ups,” Robert said.