Monday, September 28, 2015

Native American Art: A Circle of Woodland Women


A collection of art from extraordinary Native American women artists is gathered in the "Anawe Mitigookweg Akiminan...A Circle of Woodland Women" exhibit during the month of October between the 1st and 31st at the Edge Gallery in Bigfork. The artwork is created by Anishinaabe women from all over Northern Minnesota. Plus there will be a special opening reception on October 2nd starting at 5PM to extend the "circle" to include a Native American fashion show, speakers, and live music. Imagine being encircled by exceptional bead-work, quill-work, paintings, photography, weaving, pottery, a star quilt, music and speakers. You can enjoy it all during the October 2nd opening reception. Also, keep in mind, that the art will remain on display in the Edge Art Gallery between October 1 and October 31 during normal gallery hours.



The October 2nd Opening Reception "art performance" will include a talk by Mary Lyons (above), native author and activist. The Opening Reception may start at 5:00PM but will continue encompassing the Mary Lyons talk, Leah Lampire, Lyz Jaakola and her singers providing music, Marcie Rendon, author of Powwow Summer, and Linda LaGarde Grover, author of The Road Back to Sweet Grass (below) reading from their books, and a Woodland Skirts fashion show on the stage of the Edge Center.


The on-stage presentation of Great Lakes Woodland Skirts Fashion Show is planned for 7PM, but that time is flexible with all of the other activities planned for the reception. The fashion show is a special project collaboration between Delina White and her daughters in highlighting the sewing and unique bead-work in the art style of their ancestral grandmothers. So, if you want to see it all get there by 5PM and be prepared for a very eventful evening.


The fashion show features bead-work and traditional materials available from the 17th to 19th centuries through trade with the first Voyageur contacts along the St. Lawrence River into the Great Lakes region. Delina, Lavender and Sage White will be sharing their mixed media expertise in fabrics, metals, shell, glass, precious- and semi-precious gemstone beads used in the forms of traditional skirts and accessories worn by Native Woodland women of the Great Lakes region.  This is the premier performance and will travel to four more venues throughout Minnesota. Delina White's fashion show work has support from a Minnesota State Arts Board Folk and Traditional Arts Grant and an Arrowhead Regional Arts Board Grant for this project. The performance is free to the public thanks to a grant to the Edge Center from the Blandin Foundation.




The art in the Gallery Exhibit is varied and complex. Some is in the traditional Woodland style, characterized by plant and animal motifs. Marcie McIntyre who works with beads, and ribbons, as well as the star quilter, Bagwjikwe Hallet, use traditional methods. Leah Yellowbird quill-work is traditional, but, although it looks like thousands of tiny beads, her “wall rug” is painted.  Other artists, such as painters Karen Savage, Wendy Savage and Moira Villiard have expressed their culture in more contemporary interpretations.  Maggie Thompson uses different types of weaving, screen printing and knitting to explore contemporary issues surrounding native heritage.  Art by Cynthia Holmes, Ivy Vainio, and Bambi Goodwin is also part of the exhibit. This is a gathering of some of the most important Native American artists in Minnesota.  You may purchase some of the work by these artists, as well as books and jewelry. Art sample on display are shown in the two images below:



Even though there will be lots of activity during the opening art performance on October 2nd, please remember the exhibit itself will be open for the whole month for you to enjoy. The exhibit continues in the Gallery October 1 until October 31.  The Edge Center Gallery is next to the Bigfork School and is open from 10:00 to 4:00 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. For more information and updates, see  www.the-edge-center.org


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