Our friend and fellow artist, Pamela Jyoti Louis, passed away on May 27, 2020 after a courageous bout with cancer. She fought bravely but in her wise way, accepted that it was the next step in her own evolution.
She left us with a forceful image of her strength of character, wise and occasionally irreverent humor and proved herself a true warrior descendant of the Wasco and Billy Chinook Tribes in the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
She celebrated her name “Jyoti” in her life’s work. Jyoti means Divine Light. The name was given to her by her guru Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati during her time living with her Kashi family in Sebastian, Florida.
Pamela was born in Portland, Oregon on March 28, 1956. In 1984, she studied at the pacific College of Art and The California College of art. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture but did not immediately pursue the career path she had studied for. A friend was opening a restaurant, in the San Francisco area. Her helpful nature took over. She jumped into the restaurant kitchen and became a talented and skilled professional chef. For 30 years, she excelled in that field until the call of the clay brought her back to pursue the work we all knew her best for.
She studied ceramics at the Georgia State University and after three years began her journey into ceramic art. She returned to the Warm Springs Reservation to build her studio and pursue her passion in the unique technique of Sgraffito. Sgraffito means to “scratch” into the clay in great detail before it is kiln fired. She was very successful and highly respected in the art community of Central Oregon.
She lived her final days in her Warm Springs home enjoying all the views of the endless scenery of the reservation. She believed her Divine Light, as her name implied, guided her to her greatest peace and joy.
March 28, 1956 –
May 27, 2020
In loving memory of Pamela Jyoti Louis and a life well lived
A life well lived is a precious gift,
of hope and strength and grace,
from someone who has made our world
a brighter, better place.
It’s filled with moments, sweet and sad
with smiles and sometimes tears,
with friendships formed and good times shared,
and laughter through the years.
A life well lived is a legacy,
of joy and pride and pleasure,
a living, lasting memory
our grateful heart’s will treasure.
– Author unknown