Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bringing It Home: Artists Reconnecting Cultural Heritage with Community, NMAI

In case you missed it, on December 6th, 2015 the National Museum of the American Indian gave a live webcast of the most recent findings from their Artist Leadership Program (APL);
which is now fully available on their Youtube Channel

"Moderator: Dr. Gabrielle Tayac (Piscataway Indian Nation), NMAI Historian

Panelists: Maura Garcia (Cherokee/Mattamuskeet), Porfirio Gutiérrez (Zapotec),
Linley Logan (Onondowaga), Theresa Secord (Penobscot Nation)

Participants in the museum’s Artist Leadership Program will discuss their work, their research with the Smithsonian, and their plan to share their experiences and knowledge with their community.

Maura Garcia, from Kansas, whose artistic medium is dance and multimedia performance. Garcia plans to incorporate elements from the museum's collections and work with the youth of the Kansas City Indian Center to create an urban Indigenous public performance. Her primary research focuses on the Cahokia and Spiro sites and the central Mississippi Valley mound sites within 500 miles of present-day Kansas City.

Porfirio Gutiérrez, who lives in California and is a master Zapotec weaver who works with natural dyes. Gutierrez plans to research Zapotec textile art fabrication techniques and to verify that methods used in the past are still in use today.  He will do his community project in Teotitlan del Valle, near Oaxaca, Mexico, a town known for its traditional Zapotec weavings, made with fibers dyed with local plants and insects.

Linley Logan, who lives in Washington state and works with Seneca beadwork designs. Logan will do his community project in Tonawonde Onondowaga Yoindzade, his traditional Longhouse community in New York State. His primary research focuses on Seneca/Iroquois beadwork clothing patterns, as well as clothing materials such as porcupine quillwork.

Theresa Secord lives in Maine, is nationally known as an ash and sweetgrass basket maker. Secord will share her knowledge and experience from the NMAI with the Penobscot Nation and other Wabanaki basket makers at the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine and in the Penobscot tribal community on Indian Island, Maine. As ash trees become extinct due to bug infestation, she is researching Wabanaki basketry to learn more about other non-traditional materials in weaving practices, such as basswood fiber and cedar."
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