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Local Artist Feature:
Kamon Lilly

Kamon grew up in the mountains of Wyoming and at the age of 19 became a paratrooper and fought in the revolution in the Dominican Republic with the 82nd Airborne and in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne.  He was wounded and sent to Okinawa where he spent the rest of his military time living with his karate teacher and family, becoming very adept in the martial arts.  After Okinawa, Kamon's life continued to unfold in a unique and challenging way in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Wyoming, and Hawaii as he continued to tune into God's leadings.

Kamon's artistic craftsmanship evolved over the years, like the natural materials used in each unique sculptured instrument and art piece.  From his lifetime of extraordinary and providential experiences, his work continued to expand into new realms of expression.  Kamon was first introduced to a bamboo 'nose flute' in Hawaii and was instantly drawn to this instrument.  He was going through a personal transformation with a degenerative disease, and in seeking a path towards health and healing, he followed a 'call' to the forest to harvest bamboo.  He found himself on a spiritual quest, and through a personal relationship with God and his daily fraternity with nature, he discovered the artist and musician within.  He began making nose flutes and later expanded into using the clumping root structures and other natural materials in his sculptured art pieces, instruments, and jewelry.  He utilized various materials including slate pencil sea urchin spines, pucca shells, ironwood and eucalyptus seed pods, and a variety of other shells, stones, and woods.

Since his move to Arizona in 1993, Kamon continued his pursuit of spiritual growth with Global Community Communications Alliance.  He is a master gardener and herbalist at Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage and artistically has carried forth his desire to use the 'gifts of the Earth' to create beautiful and unusual musical instruments and various other items.  Each handcrafted piece is made from the various Avalon Gardens home-grown plants and products, as well as other naturally occurring plants and materials of Southern Arizona and of the high desert in the Northern Arizona and Colorado Plateau regions.  Kamon's use of gourds, bamboo, manzanita wood, yucca, agave, emu eggs, feathers, and seeds in each unique art piece — along with a palette of textures, colors, shapes, and contrasts left only to his imagination — are all one of a kind.