Husband and wife artists John Rawlings and Souheir Rawlings had two blissful months at their new home in New Mexico last fall before the unimaginable happened.While painting a wall at their house, the scaffolding that Souheir had been standing on collapsed. Souheir fell and received a number of injuries that required an extended stay in the hospital. When she finally returned home, John didn’t to leave the house for long so that he could make sure Souheir received the care and companionship she needed.It was a change for a couple that has never been able to sit still. Both Souheir and John are accomplished artists who split their time between Whitefish and the Southwest. John was a professor at Flathead Valley Community College until retiring in 2014. Since then, John has written a book and the couple oversees an artist-in-residence program with month-long sessions in New Mexico and Venice.But while staying close to Souheir, John began to notice the rocks around his house. Those stones have become the core of John’s new show at the Nancy Cawdrey Gallery in downtown Whitefish. The show opens with a special gallery night on July 11 from 6 to 9 p.m.John was born in London after World War II and moved to Australia when he was young. He began teaching art in the 1960s and later attended the University of Guanajuato in Mexico to earn his master of fine arts degree in sculpture. Afterward he taught at schools in South Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska before landing a part-time position in 1988 at FVCC, where he taught painting, drawing, design and life drawing. In 1993, he became director of the school’s growing art program. He stayed in that position until he retired in 2014, the same year he was named the Association of Community College Trustees Faculty Member of the Year for the North America Western Region.It was at the University of Guanajuato in Mexico where John first began working with stone and developed an appreciation for its staying power.“I spent six months at the University of Guanajuato whacking on one piece of stone and I learned so much from that experience. That’s how I built my relationship with stone,” he said. “Stones are resistant to time. Everything we have from the ancient times is in stone. The paintings and the wooden tools and all the music are gone, but the arrowhead remains while the wooden arrow is long gone.”In the last few months, John has worked on more than two-dozen stones. Using a pneumatic die grinder with diamond bits, John carved spirals and circles into the face rock, a process that can take hours. John likened the project to dancing with a new person. When he set up the stone in his workshop and fired up the grinder, he was never sure what the final product would look like. Sometimes he would carve a lot, other times he would carve a little and let the rock’s natural beauty take center-stage.“Working with stone can be a humbling experience,” he said.Rawlings’ show, titled “Spirit Stones: Southwest to Northwest, A Journey in Stone,” will run through early August at the Nancy Cawdrey Gallery. For more information, visit JohnRawlings.com or NancyCawdrey.com. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email
Only in the last July, the government was too optimistic to achieve the target of 5 trillion dollars by 2024 as it was realising the nominal growth rate of 12 per cent. But somehow the cold water gets poured on the ambitious target because the underlying growth rate has slipped to barely 7.5 per cent. It would have been better but for the past mistakes Viz demonetisation and GST, holes were caused and now the matter has gone out of woods. The reversal of the axing of the economy is not possible. The employment of the unemployed is not going to be restored and closure of MSME the two big victims also cannot be reverted. The ground which has become barren cannot be rejuvenated. The lending by Banks and NBFC has come to dead slow because of the reduced capacity and reckless lending in the past. Risk aversion is holding back the banks to lend bit freely and now they have taken the route to government securities. The unemployment rate and labour force participation rate are indicators of falling wages and it was the reason that core inflation is stagnating for the last five years. But food inflation due to the supply side problem has crossed the limits and it can be contended that it is a small blip and likely to be normal. Since RBI has paused the monetary easing expecting more easing is not mature thinking. So least cooperation from the RBI. The second hope is the fiscal stretching but unless it is done on capital exp. it could be inflationary and instead of easing the possibility of tightening may get fruition. So the things are there where these are. The corporate sector was given tax concession and there must have been some hope of better earning which could be used for dividend payout but there is little that it can speed up the investment only to increase supply which is confronting with weak demand. Therefore one should give up any significant investment. The government has tapped all the off-budget sources and further scope in this year will have a deleterious effect on the FCI and public sector companies due to their liabilities increasing further. At present, there is no welcome to foreign investors in greenfield projects and hence no significant investment.