– You may recognize her as your friendly Executive Administrative Assistant of Academic Affairs at OSUIT in Okmulgee.
You may recall seeing her at a few community and art and craft events around the city.
To meet her is to meet a genuine sister of the soul.
McDonald, who comes from a large family of seven siblings, was born in Chapel Hill, N.C., raised in the Morrisville Cary area, and says her parents later settled in the countryside of Durham where the majority of her parent’s family resided.
Patricia is a daughter, a mother, a sister, a Memaw, an ordained minister and priestess and a lover and creator of art.
“I’ve always created,’ McDonald said, “I think I was creating in my mother’s womb. And most people have always asked me why paper, that’s what people always ask me. My father played paper. My father was a carpenter. My father was a creative. My mother was a creative. So I came from a creative family from that particular standpoint.”
In the art world, she is known as Efunsade (pronounced EF-FOONSHAH- DAY) and her name, as well as her art, is a part of her priesthood and ministry.
Coming from an apostolic and evangelical background as both Mc-Donald’s parents were ministers, she says she always knew she was called into ministry as well, but it wasn’t necessarily a route she wanted to take.
“I think for me, I got tired of bucking up against, my mother would call it bucking up against the system,” McDonald said, “or you keep hitting the wall right or you’re going through life and then you’re at a crossroads. And you end up right back in the space of ministry and you know this is what you’re supposed to be doing.
“So everybody is not called to preach. I’m not one of those people who’s called to preach. My parents were the ones who helped those marginalized and at the edge of life. Those are my people. Like Jesus hung out with the people on the outside. He didn’t hang out with the people on the inside.
“…I myself have been homeless at one point in my life back when I got divorced…I became homeless for about a year. Then I got back on track, and I’m where I’m at today…my population is the homeless population. The people that are less fortunate than me. Not necessarily,” McDonald said.
For McDonald, she empathizes with women in abusive relationships, and she herself was faced with the exact situation.
“For me, that ministry looks like I’m serving, helping people in whatever capacity that I’ve been called to do that in,” she said. “I finally accepted it in Texas, probably about 2015, early 2016 was when I was like, ‘Patricia, this is who you are.’ And I think at that moment a peace came over me. I always tell the story of Jonah and kept telling myself, girl you need to get to Ninevah.”
In October 2020, McDonald paid a visit to Okmulgee while she was traveling.
“I had set an intention to move to a smaller city that was a walkable city where I can live and work within the city,” she said. “So Okmulgee was my choice…so I was like, ‘well, let me go stay for a month. If I like it, I’ll come back and stay, otherwise I’ll find somewhere else to go’. Well, I came to stay for that month. I loved it in that month because I was able to walk and everything was pretty kosher.”
Hello! I’m Iya Efunsade, The Joy Priestess behind SākredJoi Art Room.
As far back as I can remember, my curious, creative spirit kept me drawing, writing, reciting poetry, painting, reading, singing at the top of my voice in church, or making a Papier-mâché of Strawberry Shortcake & her friends in the 6th grade. Art was my favorite class of the day. I love how I can craft paper into artistic creations.
I am a Gemini Sun + Gemini Rising + Capricorn Moon born on the Cusp of Energy. I am a Priestess, Minister, Preacher’s Daughter, and a Charmed One. I am a survivor of childhood molestation and domestic violence on a sacred healing journey to joy, freedom and love. – (excerpt from sakredjoi art room) So what is SakredJoi Art Room? It is a sacred space for intuitive creativity.
Formerly known as Ayo Dara + Co, according to Patricia or Efunsade, this room was created so that others could have a place to simply come and create. “We went through that rebranding as a decision to simplify my art, business and merging of all my mediums like paper, because I play in paint and I play in other things.”
With the art room, she still creates her luxury bespoke handmade cards but now provides space for others to do the same.
“So I believe that art is one of those sacred practices that is divinely inspired by someone bigger than me by the universe, by God, by Holy Spirit,” she said.
Efunsade can be found giving art classes and demonstrations or crafting art at her desk. She has offered her art classes to some of our youngest art proteges’ at Okmulgee Primary and has art classes scheduled at Green Country Technology Center in October. You can sign up for her class ‘Joyfull Paper Play’ online through the Green Country Technology Center website.
“I will say those are many parts of who I am. But who I think I am at the core is a person who lives in the present and who lives in joy.” -Efunsade You can look for SakredJoi handmade cards at Midge & Millie’s booksellers, and is also available for freelance projects, commissions, licensing and collaborations. For information, visit them online at sakredjoiart. com or send an email : firstname.lastname@example.org