How It All Started...
~Summer of 2013 ~ The magical Alps of Saas-Fee, Switerland with our graduate school cohort called The Muses. The 8 of us had a desire to create a performance piece to express our take on expressive arts and our powerful bond with one another other.
We ended up co-creating an interdisciplinary piece set to Andrea Gibson's spoken word poem called "Yellowbird". In the piece we acted, danced, and drew our own version of the yellowbird with passion and longing. The Muses took photos on the trampoline set in front of the snow-covered mountains holding our signs. It was a glorious moment, and the name just stuck with us! The image of Yellowbird holds our values and our belief that art making can be a game changer, a life transformer, and a way to mark the sacred moments of our lives.
What We Do at Yellowbird...
Yellowbird is a San Diego-based business owned by Sarah Karpicus Violet & Erika Malone Violet. We are artists, educators, ritualists, crafters, pioneers, and expressive arts practitioners. Our work lies at the intersection of these domains and we find magic in the creative underpinnings that have shaped who we are as women, entrepreneurs, and community contributors. We intentionally weave beauty, curiosity, embodiment, and wonder into our approach, business model, and offerings.
At Yellowbird, we create and provide experiences where people can connect with resources within and around them. These experiences are based in art making, ritual, community building, therapeutic sessions, classes, groups, and online learning platforms.
Yellowbird finds its expression through a diverse and dynamic array of arts-based services. We work across the art disciplines (dance, music, poetry, theatre, & visual art) and we find joy in serving students, clients, and community members from all backgrounds and experience levels in the arts. At Yellowbird, we believe that the imagination is a resource we should make contact with regularly, and that it can help us create a life that is filled with hope, inspiration, meaning, and resilience.
Sarah Karpicus Violet, M.A.
It is a dream come true to be able to communicate with you on the wings of Yellowbird. Thank you so much for being here. I am a ceremonialist, artist, actress, crafter and keeper of "The Ways of Women". I am an expressive arts practitioner, certified Intentional Creativity © Coach and Color of Woman teacher who has been immersed in the healing arts since 2007. I love the expressive arts because I feel like it holds a magic blend of things I love: the arts, ritual, play and healing. I love to hold the middle of the venn diagram between the worlds of the academic and philosopher, and that of the mystic and artist. I am a goof ball at heart.
My life is steeped in ritual and ceremony, largely because of my passion for bringing intention and expression to the rites of passage of life, and the small sacred moments of our days. I believe that honoring the journey and cyclical nature of life nourishes and supports our minds, bodies, relationships and spirits. In doing this, we are cultivating the sacred: a means of intentionally creating pathways to wholeness and holiness in our daily lives.
I learned how essential creativity, art making and ritual were while recovering from sexual and emotional abuse. Exploring ritual and the arts helped me to heal, make sense of my life narrative and regain a sense of personal strength and power through living cyclically with the earth. I carry the wisdom from my path with the intention to illuminate, to spark, to express, to believe, to love, to weave, to listen, to honor, to restore the feminine ways of being, and to hold sanctified, safe places. I partner with our natural environment and the imaginal realm to connect with wonder, beauty and in creating personalized, sacred ways of being. Whether I am co-creating a Bridal Blessing, performing a space clearing or playing with embodiment through the arts, it is all with the intention of curating wholeness and holiness in our every day lives.
I have been practicing and facilitating healing sessions, women's groups, artisan ritual and ceremony for over 11 years. I have been blessed with amazing education and mentorship through my work with Shakti Rising, the Expressive Arts Institute, the European Graduate School, Shiloh Sophia's Color of Woman Certification, and SouLodge Earth Medicine School. My practice is informed and inspired by my training and my ancestors.
Erika Malone Violet, M.A.
Welcome to Yellowbird, lovingly referred to as YB. I’m a dancer, actress, teaching artist, and expressive arts practitioner who has been involved in the arts education field since 1998. The arts have been my saving grace, my bright light through tumultuous times, and the home I find hope in again and again. Expressive Arts is a field that welcomes all of who I am, authentically and vulnerably. This is a place where I can grow, lead, innovate, rest, find intimacy with others, and brave the world fully!
I’ve taught and currently teach dance and theatre for numerous San Diego organizations including The Old Globe, Malashock Dance, A Reason to Survive (ARTS), San Diego Junior Theatre, Eveoke Dance Theatre, Arts for Learning San Diego, Shakti Rising, and the SDUSD VAPA Department. As a dancer, I found my primary artistic home with Eveoke Dance Theatre (2001-2012), a feminist social activist dance company founded by Gina Angelique & Christopher Hall. Eveoke profoundly shaped my artistic sensibilities and taught me about the power of intention-based movement. My notable performance roles at Eveoke included Maria Teresa Mirabal in Las Mariposas (La Jolla Playhouse/International Tour), Edith Frank in Soul of a Young Girl: Anne Frank’s Diary, Rachel Corrie in Reflections, Holly Hobby in Monstropoly, and Half of One in Parting the Sea. As Eveoke’s Artistic Director from 2010-2012, I secured the company’s placement as an Artist-in-Residence at La Jolla Playhouse and spearheaded an award winning production of the Julia Alvarez novel In the Time of the Butterflies called Las Mariposas, partnering with the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic to tour the production to 3 cities in the DR. I was thrilled that Eveoke won the 2012 Voice Award in honor of creating an artistic work in support of advancing the rights of girls and women around the world.
I am honored to currently serve as an Expressive Arts Therapist and Therapeutic Dance Teacher at The Monarch School, providing education & services to K-12 youth impacted by homelessness. I received my B.A. in Dance & Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College and earned my Master’s Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy from the European Graduate School in Switzerland and The Expressive Arts Institute in 2015. My thesis work focused on theme-close expressive arts as a resource for survivors of trauma. As part of my arts-based research for this project, I worked with youth and adults who have a history of trauma, through both the public-school setting and in residential recovery programs.
At this time, I am pouring my energy into creating trauma-informed curriculum and arts intervention programs that cultivate social emotional skills in schools through the expressive arts model. My plan is to write a book capturing this work by the year 2020. Expressive Arts is important to me because it returns us home again and again to an embodied awareness, a connection to the rich resources of the imagination, and to an evolving sense of who we are and who we can be.