Living Poetry | Pamala Ballingham
Pamala Ballingham was born in Oakland, California, and grew up near Albany, New York. She and her husband, Tim Ballingham, live in the high Sonoran Desert of Tucson, Arizona. When Pamala experienced the grandeur and noble silence of the high desert and red rock canyon lands, her internal world shifted. The ambiance of these pristine landscapes continue to influence her music, visual art, and poetry. Pamala practices meditation, and she studied the profoundly serene and complex art of Japanese tea ceremony.
For decades she and her husband have closely connected with the culture and spiritual traditions of Native Americans. Whenever possible, they quietly sit around campfires listening to wise elders tell their stories and, when appropriate, participate in ceremonies. Most of the elders, the fragile vessels of the old ways, are gone, but their lessons continue to weave themselves into Pamala’s creative work.
She enjoys working with plants and loves animals. She once rescued a hatchling Inca Dove blown from its nest in a storm and then lived with “Birdie” for twelve fascinating years. She volunteered at a small animal rehabilitation center, experiencing with delight and wonder the spirit of each recuperating resident.
Pamala and Tim cofounded Earth Mother Productions, which produced several national award-winning recordings: Earth Mother Lullabies from Around the World (Volumes 1, 2, and 3), Treasury of Earth Mother Lullabies (compilation of three volumes), Magical Melodies from Broadway and Motion Pictures, and Voyage for Dreamers, a collection of her own songs as well as two songs by her friend, the late Kate Wolf. Some of the accolades received are several American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recording awards and Parents’ Choice “Best of the Best Bedtime Music.” Her music appears on several recordings produced by Sony Music Entertainment: Lullabies and Bedtime Stories and Baby B’ Gosh Lullabies.
Pamala directed a treatment program for adults with serious mental illnesses in Tucson, and she has been a full-time studio artist. Her work has included the creation of sculpted clay neckpieces and, with Tim, large clay wall art. The neckpieces were exhibited by the late fashion designer, Edith Head, and sold by the Kruger Van Eerde Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York and Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas. They also appeared in the Goodfellow Catalog of Wonderful Things. Pamala and Tim’s wall art was featured in the book Beautiful Things, and Four Seasons was purchased for McGraw Hill Publishing Company’s permanent collection.
Pamala earned a bachelor’s degree in art education, and a master’s degree in counseling. She and Tim give experiential workshops and teach classes using clay as a means to encourage people to explore their fascinating inner world of creativity.
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