Gathering of the Tribes of the Earth, John Ashbaugh

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About John Ashbaugh

authors bio

As a writer, visual artist and teacher, John Ashbaugh looks for answers to the human experience in the more sublime realms of our expression.  Guided by what he simply calls "the manuscript"his collection of line drawings that has evolved over 34 years to include full color illustrations and poetryAshbaugh has engaged various academic and non-academic paths, making the connections and developing the voice that has allowed him to present this life's work.

John Ashbaugh, artists and authorDuring his studies at the University of Wisconsin, Ashbaugh visited the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art where he examined a trisection of the Earth that illustrated the line between Giza, Stonehenge, the Yucatan, and Rapa Nui.  Without formal training in astro-archeology or archeo-astronomy, he was nevertheless captured by the powerful connections implied in these alignments.  It was out of this initial experience that Ashbaugh was compelled to begin his meditative explorations into the geometric structures and mythological representations of the Aztec Calendar Stone.

Along the way Ashbaugh earned a Bachelorís degree in Economics from the University of Illinois, with additional study in Cultural Anthropology; a Bachelor's degree in Art from the University of Wisconsin, with additional study in Linguistics and Creative Writing; and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from West Texas A&M University.  Much of his exploration, however, has been on location.  In the late 60's and early 70's he spent time in the south of India at Cuddalore, and later in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.  Whether climbing the steps of the pyramid at Tikal in Guatemala or listening for voices of the ancients still swirling through the arroyos of Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle, Ashbaugh has been gathering the images and connecting the dots that speak to him from deep within our collective psyche, and that present themselves in the mythos of ancient civilizations around the world.

The Gathering of the Tribes of the Earth though certainly a completed work in its own right, is still evolving.  The author is aware that assigning titles to these presentations may pre-empt meaning, both a linguistic pitfall and a necessary construction of human society.  Ashbaugh's approach is not so much that of a scientist but rather that of a creative writer and artist.  As such, he holds to the world with one hand, while leaning into the realm of spiritual development with the other.  He is not only open to, but is interested in, any insights into these configurations that might be offered by others.  This "manuscript" is therefore evolvinga living, breathing entity that emerges more fully with each new interaction from viewers and readers.


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