Charlene Sul was born and raised in San Jose, California. Her mother was born in San Francisco, her grandmother was born near Morgan Hill. Members of her family have lived within this 50 mile radius for hundreds, yes, hundreds of years. Her career and artwork is a reflection of a strong tie to this region of California, and incorporates both native Ohlone and Mexican cultural influences. Today, Sul is an accomplished textile artist and acrylic painter. She is considered an Activist in the sense that she not only serves as a spokesperson for her tribe, but she uses her artwork to influence others and her ideas to help others through self-actualization, discovery of purpose and self-inspiration. Charlene is founder of the Confederation of Ohlone People. This mission of this organization is to organize Ohlone people and supporters of Ohlone people. She invites readers to visit the site and register as a member.
Simultaneously, Charlene serves as the CEO for Sul and Associates, providing technical assistance with organizational analysis, program evaluation and program development strategies. The firm focuses on helping organizations function to their fullest capacity. She is truly interested in empowering others to serve their own communities, thus creating a better society. Sul has a Master’s degree in Mexican-American Studies with an emphasis in Multi-Cultural Studies focusing on Native Communities from San José State University. She has studied at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA and the Vienna School of Law in Vienna, Austria. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services Administration from the College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California and is currently teaching Ethnic Studies at St Cloud State University in Minnesota. She believes that each new acquisition of knowledge will only help resurrect and sustain Ohlone ways.
Personal Statement – I have over 8 years of college education and degrees to go with. Not one of these degrees is in the area of art. The skills of painting, design, textile construction and organization were innate skills refined and nurtured by Elders throughout childhood. Over time, I have found that experiences gained through the processes of free learning and creating were often more valuable than the content any degree. What I am talking about is the teaching of Spirit… My hope is that through my work, families understand this and teach their children the arts, crafts, traditional culture and innate skills that have been handed down in their own families.
Charlene can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org; (209) 609-8987
Video from 1,000 Hummingbirds: