Today we’d like to introduce you to Pamela Underwood.
Pamela, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. We moved to Fort Worth, Texas, when I was four, where I grew up and met my childhood sweetheart. We married and had two children. We lived in San Antonio, TX, for five years. Then we were transferred to San Diego, CA, where we raised our kids and lived for 33 years. We now have three beautiful grandchildren. I started my business in 1994 with a BFA in painting and printmaking.
In 2003 I earned my master’s degree in Expressive Arts Therapy from EGS in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. In 2018 we moved to Wimberley, Texas, where I offer retreats, groups and private sessions as well as online groups. I still return to the San Diego area for Expressive Arts Workshops and offer Expressive Arts Facilitator Trainings.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Since establishing my business in 1994, I’ve lived in four houses/studios on the same footprint in Poway, CA. We lived in the first home/studio for two years before tearing it down to the ground and rebuilding. We lived in that house for four years, when we had a devastating interior fire. It took six months to rebuild. Then we lived in that home/studio for five years until the Cedar Firestorm burned it to the ground in 2003. It took three years to rebuild.
After 2003 we added a Labyrinth to the property where I began offering seasonal, expressive arts, labyrinth walks for the community. We lived in the fourth house until 2018 when we decided to move back to Texas where I now offer groups, retreats and private sessions. I still return to San Diego, offering workshops and training. This series of teardowns, rebuilds, burns and rebuilds were hard on my business, but it had enough momentum, with the help of my dedicated participants, to endure.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I earned a BFA in painting and printmaking from the University of Texas Arlington. My personal artwork around a history of childhood incest led me to explore “body image” through performance art and creating prints of my nude body on lithography stones and then with paint on paper and canvas. In 1994 I began creativity groups, private sessions and retreats as an artist facilitator. I realized that other women could benefit from my body printing process and my signature 4 Day retreat, “Bodywriting Retreat for Women™”, was born.
Often participants went deeply into this process. I needed to gain skills to help participants find resources that could serve them in their daily lives. I completed the San Diego Expressive Arts Institute three year program. In 2003, I earned my master’s degree in Expressive Arts Therapy from EGS in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Since then, I’ve created the ongoing six-month group, “Image Quest Sojourn™; visual journaling for personal transformation” (online and in-person groups), “Artist’s Revival Retreats for Women”, Taos, NM, Poway, CA and Sicily, Italy and Expressive Arts Facilitator Trainings.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
AWARDS & GRANTS.
2011 Vagina Monologue Community Service Award, University of CA San Marcos.
2008 San Diego Long Term Fire Recovery, Community Service Awards for “Free Women’s Fire Survivor Expressive Arts Weekly Support Group,” November 2007-October 2008.
1991 Avant Guard Dogs, 6th Annual Street Sites, San Diego, CA Grant partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts
- “Painted Ponies; Equus/Expressive Arts” 2 Day, Ramona, CA $550
- “Image Quest Sojourn™” 6 Month in Person Group, Wimberley, TX $650
- “Image Quest Sojourn™” 6 Week Online Group $295
- Image Quest Sojourn™” 6 Month Online Group $550
- “Bodywriting Retreat for Women™” 5 Day Retreat, Wimberley, TX $1,895
- Expressive Arts Facilitator Training, Online and in Person $6500
- Website: www.pamelaunderwood.com
- Phone: 6198578820
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pamelaunderwoodartist/?ref=settings
Covid-19 is affecting so many in our community. It’s a health and economic crisis, but we can come together as a community to share ideas, solutions to problems, and resources to ensure that we all bounce back strong once the virus is defeated. Check out our conversation with photographer and Voyage Content Partner Stephanie Mantiply below.