The Eye of the Photographer

St. Croix Gallery presents:

PHOTOGRAPHY: Chronicling Our Environment

Jason Crespin, Lars R. Samuelsson, Ellen Skoro, River Urke

The relationship of the photographer and the subject will be evident during PHOTOGRAPHY. Crespin, Samuelsson, Skoro and Urke each bring a unique perspective as they capture details of their environment.

                                On view: January 7-February 13, 2016 
                                Reception: Sunday, January 10 at 2-4pm
St Croix  Gallery
Artreach St Croix
Stillwater, MN

Hawk Woman and River Wind Designs

At the end of November, Gallery 120 in River Falls, WI hosted the 2015 Wearable Art Fashion Show and River Wind Designs was there with Hawk Woman.

Super Hero Outfit- Hawk Woman

             Modeling- Hawk Wing Shawl, Ruffled Tube Top and Pants, Crystal and Rock Pendent
                Accessories- Funky glasses, Night Hawk wings (hair), high heels
Designer: River Urke 
Model: Chantel Solum Mitchel
photos by Micheal Bartsch

What's Happning.....



Online book reading- one hour- question and answer time, Giveaway 
follow link above for more info

26    Wearable Art 2015 Fashion Show                 -click to visit facebook page

This is my third year I could call myself a fashion designer for a day.Fashion with a twist. Right up my alley...........this year I'm turning my model into a superhero. Come on over to River Falls the day after Thanksgiving around 6pm. It's the last year of the fashion show- Don't Miss It! 

Upcoming Art Shows for July and August

Beadwork at Artreach and Photography in Hammond
plus Tarot Reading on Saturday


click to learn more

Opening Reception July 9, 2015 from 6-8

7/9- 8/15

Three Awards will be awarded during the show.


Hammond Arts Alliance

July 11 &12
Opening Reception 7/11 from 6-8
Foster Hall in Hammond, Wisconsin

Make-Over Time!

So many people are afraid of change. They are uncomfortable with anything different or unusual. I have never been one to feel this way. Instead, I have chose to be different than the norm. I am a natural born rebel. Also, I believe change are important for our psychi. Unconsciously, I change things up every three to six months. I take different routes to common places and seem to rearrange my living room in the middle of the night. This time it was my poetry blog. A complete make-over with a new banner. (along side) My living room is probably next. lol  

when spirit's touch- A Book of Duel Poetry

when spirits touch is a collaboration of two artists in a unique collection of duel poetry and photography. Charles Wm Martin and River Urke gathered together their talents with words and eyes of aesthetic flare in this distinctive book of art. 
 - Charles and River met online in 2010 and challenged each other to a duel of poetry. Their first poem revealed they had a special gift of blending their two voices to one. They duel in words through email and have never met face to face.

Book Trailer

Here is an example of our poetry together.It happens to be the first poem we wrote together.

Poetry is Alive and Beauty is Afoot

Last year, I closed my poetry blog to focus on publishing. A very slow affair that hasn't banned out yet. It seems to me poetry contests are the way to begin publishing poetry. Time will tell. That brings me to the point of this post I miss my online poetry friends and having a blog so.... Last week, I began to post poems again at A Pocket of Agates. click here to visit

A Photo Shoot with Bird......

In Honor of Mother Earth

I designed an installation in honor of Mother for an exhibit currently showing at the Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis.  A Place at the Table  is a celebration of the power of women. There are seventeen chairs designed to honor women or a single woman, human or deity.  I documented the process of creating my chair, The Orchid Opens, through photography. If you want to know more about the show look back a few posts. Following the pictures is the poem that started it all. The poem is on the seat of the chair. I am very honored to have been asked to be in the show.

 The Orchid Opens  
“Standing in the moonlight is a creation powerful enough to give life...”
The Orchid Opens is Mother Earth. An installation in honor of the power of women. The orchid symbolizes the sexually of the feminine and the chair represents the Tree of Life.  The top half are the branches and leaves while the lower half is the trunk and upon the seat is a poem portraying Mother Earth. The installation was made with an assortment of materials from paper to paint and beads to cloth. A woman’s power begins with the heartbeat of our mother.
click the pictures to enlarge them



click to enlarge

Upcoming Shows-Two more

Hammond Arts Alliance at Foster Hall 
Reception March 21 5pm 
Foster Hall 
Hammond, WI 

Spirit, Heart, Home

Artreach St Croix
Reception April 2, 6-8pm
Stillwater, MN
regional artists' interpretations and reflections on the themes found in the novel "Love Medicine" by Louise Erdrich.

is part of
The Big Read in the St Croix Valley

Upcoming Show- Honoring the Power of Women

An upcoming show at Intermedia Arts that I am part off. My chair honors Mother Earth.

Nibi (Water) Walks, People's Movement Center & Intermedia Arts present

The show is incredible! A must see! It is showing for the month of March.

A PLACE AT THE TABLE (WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT THE TABLE)A Celebration of the Power of Women through Visual Art, Film, and Performance

Patriarchy, white supremacy, classism, colonization, transphobia, homophobia and fear of the feminine spirit creates erasure of women especially of Women of Color and Indigenous Women as both the survivors of oppression and the artists, thinkers, writers, activists, leaders that transform societies. This is especially timely with both the rise of Black Lives Matter movement and Idle No More. A Place at the Table (We Have Always Been at the Table) is a three-week event honoring and investigating the power of woment through visual art, film, poetry, song, dance, and performance.

A Place at the Table (We Have Always Been at the Table)
Women as Leaders, Creators, Thinkers Transforming Our Worlds
Curated by Ellen Marie Hinchcliffe

Exhibition Dates: March 8-29, 2015

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 10AM to 6PM; Saturdays 12PM to 5PM

Gallery Admission: Sliding scale; $3 per person suggested

An installation honoring and investigating the power of women. A chair altar, a chair universe, a chair history lesson, a chair memorial, a chair honoring. A gathering of chairs, a place at the table because we have always been at this table. This exhibition is a collaboration of many artists making chairs to honor a woman or a movement of women. Featuring work by Faye Brown, Gabrielle Civil, Sharon Day, Jessie Edminster Lawson, Ivoire Foreman, Camille Gage, Allison Herrera, AnaLaura Juarez, Katrina Knutson, Amoke Kubat, Ifrah Mansour, Ayanna Muata, Sandra Spieler, Joy E A Spika and River Maria Urke. More Info

Opening Reception: March 8, 2015 | 6-9PM | Free

Come join artists as we celebrate International Women’s Day.

Unique Dreamcatchers for Inside and Out

I am a weaver of dreamcatches. I weave two styles: traditional and artistic. I custom make  unique dreamcatcher art for inside and outside displays.


When babies are born, I make a Dreamcatcher to protect them from bad dreams. I wait for an image to appear then I create it. The last one I made had two hoops for my nieces baby and the one before that was made from a turtles shell for my nephew.


When I make Dreamcatchers as art, I let the wood tell me where the web should be.  I use driftwood and other natural materials like leather, feathers, and metals along with glass beads.They can be for inside or outside displays. The last one I weaved was custom made for an outside garden. The piece of driftwood was the owners and called for two webs and a little drum. The wood is unique all in itself, pale brown with dark spots. It was originally part of the roots of a large tree. One of the webs is made from a cooper wire and the other is sinew. There are glass beads, a Seagull feather, and a little rawhide drum in the back. The piece of art is made to sit on the ground or on a rock. Picture to come when summer rolls around.The other dreamcatcher is for outside display and has two webs too. It was made to hang off a balcony or a porch. There is a crescent moon made from bone in one of the webs and hawk feathers hang from it's bottom. It is from my personal collection. Above

Below is one of my most beautiful dreamcatchers. Is it piece of triangular driftwood wrapped in black leather and little bits of white leather on the bottom. The web is weaved with black-and-white glass bugle beads. There's a woodpecker feather and it's dimensions are quite large. It belongs to my good friend Marnee. She took this picture as it hangs high in her window.

Custom Made Dreamcatchers

contact me at:  subject:dreamcatcher
          to order your own custom dreamcatcher for your garden or living room.

Dreamcatchers:The Short Story

I am Ojibwe. It is our custom to only tell creation stories when there is snow on the ground.  So, I am going to tell you the jist of the story. 

Long ago, when people lived in wigwams a deal was made between two grandmothers. One was a spider and the other human. Grandmother Spider proposed they help each other out. If the human grandmother promised to protect the spider's web she would give humans a gift to protect their babies. They made the deal and dreamcatchers came to be.

Coming Soon...... How to make your own Dreamcatcher.