Christine L. Tiernan age 66, daughter of Charles Wallace and Louise D. Tiernan, died peacefully at home in Arroyo Hondo, N.M. on February 19th of an apparent heart attack. She is survived by her son, Maxwell Tiernan Muller, and her step-daughter, Sherah Muller, as well as her five siblings, Charles Wallace Jr, Richard and Timothy Tiernan all of Shelter Island, N.Y., Carroll Tiernan of Scarborough, Maine and Susan Madrigan of Brattleboro, Vermont.
Christine was born on December 10, 1950 in Glen Ridge, N.J. She graduated from the Kimberley High School in Montclair in 1969. Christine went on to college at the University of Denver and graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts. Christine spent a year studying art in Switzerland, and then continued her pursuit of Art and Psychology by earning an M.A. in Art Therapy / Counseling from Southwestern College. She later became a Board Certified Art Therapist, and a Licensed, Professional Art Therapist (ATR-BC, LPAT).
From an early age, Christine was a talented artist. In the 1970’s she studied sacred art traditions in South Asia and always pursued her own painting. Nevertheless, her passion was always to use creativity to heal the suffering of others. She worked with homeless children in California, India and Nepal. For thirty years, she practiced art therapy and counseling specializing in troubled family systems, bereavement, medical art therapy and “Art as Prayer.” This led to her founding of Art Seva in 2004 - an international arts program for orphans, refugees and children affected by AIDS in India and worldwide . She expanded her service to include working with the underprivileged in Northern New Mexico, offering an after school Art Seva program with children at the Taos Pueblo. Christine continued to pursue her academic interests as a faculty member at the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Hospice Program at Northern New Mexico College; as a member of the Faculty at Southwestern College, and as an art therapy consultant with the California Pacific Medical Center. Most recently, Christine was in the process of putting together an Art Seva program for the Community Against Violence, supporting their work with battered women and their children.
Christine felt at peace surrounded by nature. She spent the last 6 years of her life living in Arroyo Hondo, NM working in her studio and taking long walks in the Sangre De Christo Mountains with her dog Rishi She loved to collect beautiful stones and other objects for endless creative projects. Prayer and meditation were also an important part of her life as a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba and she was an active member of the ashram in Taos, NM. A friend remarked of Christine, “She was a rascal in the most playful, loving sense of the word. She was whimsical with wise, yet young eyes.” Christine’s large circle of friends and family will greatly miss her easy laugh, warmth and kind personality.
In lieu of flowers, any donations in Christine’s name can be sent to: The Neem Karoli Baba Ashram Mandir Fund, 416 Geronimo Lane, Taos, NM, 87571; or, the Taos Community Against Violence (CAV), 945 Salazar, Taos, NM, 87571. Donations to the Taos CAV can also be made online at www.TaosCAV.org. Christine was deeply supportive of, both of these groups, which were dear to her heart. All donations will be greatly appreciated by those doing this important work.
Memorial services will be held in Taos, NM, and on Shelter Island in New York, during the summer months. The Taos memorial, open to the public, is scheduled for Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 2pm. For more information about this service, please visit www.NKBAshram.org.