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Speaking In Beads: Living Artifacts by Jenny Shuman

Presented by Sweetwater Music Hall and First Tuesday ArtWalk at Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley CA

Oct 03 2023
Speaking In Beads: Living Artifacts by Jenny Shuman

Jenny Shuman

A new book about the unique hand-made beaded artwork of Oregon-based artist Jenny Shuman.

* Tuesday, October 3, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Speaking In Beads: Living Artifacts by Jenny Shuman is a new book about the unique hand-made beaded artwork of Oregon-based artist Jenny Shuman.

Published summer 2023, this large 200 + page hardcover art book shares the beauty and storytelling behind Shuman’s extraordinary beadwork. Revealing her intimate process and technique, she invites readers inside the special relationships she’s made with the incredible people who have commissioned her custom artwork. Working closely with her clients,

Shuman sparks a magical transference of energy into how she designs every piece, making exceptional living artifacts that represent and enlighten their owner.

Speaking in Beads gracefully documents her process which often involves translating sacred information and symbols of dreams and real-life experiences into physical objects that empower and go on infinitely.

The storytelling and visualizations generate a cosmic exchange of energy which Jenny channels into guitar straps for many well-known musicians, along with killer psychedelic hat bands, tapestries, bags, bracelet bands, and other living adornments.

With beautiful photographs by Jay Blakesberg, Bob Minkin, and Bob Weir’s daughter, Chloe Weir, this book highlights endearing and mind-bending visual moments on stage with performers wearing their personal and powerful straps while making music and shares their origin stories.

About Author & Artist Jenny Shuman
A Midwest girl, Jenny grew up in a loving home with artistic encouragement. In 1992, her daughter, Julia turned one year old and she purchased her first loom. While many of her friends moved away after high school to travel with the Dead, she stayed home to raise her little girl, finish high school, and dive into beadwork.

Her beading education flourished when she joined the Pow Wow circuit and traveled all over Michigan. Julia danced at traditional PowWows while Jenny sold beadwork and developed an inseparable connection between the spirit and the practice of beading.

The similarity and interrelatedness of what it meant to be a Deadhead to the community of Pow Wow showed Jenny both worlds are rooted in music as a guide to deeper spiritual connection along with a profound community experience.

These ideas resonated in her beading practice and she has cultivated an ability to translate personal stories to life through images. Jenny speaks in beads and plays a unique role in the flow of energy between the musicians and the crowd which is woven into the talismans worn on stage.

Over the years, her looms expanded as did her fluency with design. In 2006, Chandler Kinchla of Blues Traveler performed with his first of four straps Jenny has made for him, all custom pieces that he wears to this day.

It wasn’t until 2017 that her work would again be under the bright lights of the big stage when Oteil Burbridge received his first two straps. A close friendship bloomed, as did the reputation of Jenny’s straps as he played in front of hundreds of thousands of Grateful Dead fans.

She was soon commissioned to create straps for Bob Weir, Duane Betts, Neal Casal, and Anders Osborne, just to name a few. Jenny has also made straps for historic instruments such as Jerry Garcia’s Wolf, Alligator, and his acoustic Martin, as well as Lesh’s basses including the beautiful Mission Control.

“Please join me in celebrating the way millions of beads come together to create a living artifact in my well-written, beautiful book.” – Jenny Shuman


All Ages

Contact: (415) 388-3850

    Official Website

Additional time info:

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


  • Gallery 1 - Jenny Shuman
  • Jenny Shuman


Sweetwater Music Hall

19 Corte Madera Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941


There is ample street and city parking available around the venue. Please be sure to observe all posted signs regarding parking and parking meters, and do not park in prohibited spaces or areas. As a courtesy to our neighbors, please park in metered spots and city lots rather than residential areas. We offer validation for the Sunnyside lot–ask for it at the Cafe register.

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