Tag Archives: In the Spirit

In the Spirit returns to the Washington State History Museum

22 May
Patti Puhn poses next to her work, Ceremonial Cape (cedar bark, sinew, abalone shell buttons, rabbit fur), winner of the 2012 In the Spirit "Honoring the Ancestors" award.

Patti Puhn poses next to her work, Ceremonial Cape (cedar bark, sinew, abalone shell buttons, rabbit fur), winner of the 2012 In the Spirit “Honoring the Ancestors” award.

On Saturday, June 8, the Washington State History Museum will unveil the eighth annual In the Spirit: Contemporary Northwest Native Arts exhibit, in partnership with The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education & Cultural Center.  The exhibit, which will be on display through August 18, showcases work from more than 20 Northwest Native artisans and focuses on the distinctive cultures and stories of the region’s tribal groups.  The two-month exhibit will culminate with the In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival on Saturday, August 17, 2013.

“Through these incredible artists, we are able celebrate and teach about the diversity of Washington state heritage,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the Washington State Historical Society. “The sheer variety of mediums on display is a testament to the unique heritage of Northwest Native art and the beautiful contrast between traditional and modern cultures.”

There will be nearly 30 pieces in this year’s exhibit, including paintings, prints, basketry, sculpture, woven clothing, beadwork, cast glass, and mixed media pieces. This year welcomes an impressive eight past In the Spirit award winners and six first-time exhibitors. Each artist, representing 20 tribal groups, presents a different perspective and aesthetic.

During the opening night reception on June 8, museum members are invited to view the full exhibit and discuss the works with the artists and curators. The three-person judging panel, comprised of Native American art experts and artists, will present this year’s winners in four categories at the opening reception: “Best of Show,” “Celebrating the Northwest,” “Celebrating Tradition” and “Celebrating Innovation.”  A “People’s Choice” award is voted on by visitors throughout the exhibit and awarded during the August festival. 

“The interest and enthusiasm for this exhibit continues to grow year after year, and it shows how important these artists and cultures are to Washington history,” said Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, Director, Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College. “Each piece this year is rich with stories that tell of the various challenges, values and triumphs of Northwest Native communities.”

What: In the Spirit: Contemporary Northwest Native Arts exhibit 
Where: Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma
When: June 8 – August 18, 2013. Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., extended hours and free admission every third Thursday, 2 – 8 p.m.
Cost: $9.50/adults; $7/seniors and students; free for members and children age 5 and younger. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, active duty military with valid ID can receive free admission along with up to five of their family members.

The In the Spirit exhibit and festival are organized by the Washington State Historical Society and The Evergreen State College; made possible in part by the Tacoma Arts Commission, Tulalip Tribe and Nisqually Tribe, and media sponsor KUOW 94.9.

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In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival

8 Aug

Margaret Morris of the Northern Star dance group performs at the 2011 In the Spirit Festival. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

In the Spirit: Northwest Native Arts Market and Festival, the region’s largest Native American arts event, returns to the Washington State History Museum this weekend for its biggest celebration yet. This popular outdoor festival will feature a mix of performances by new and returning Native American artists, and for the first time, free museum admission.

Festival activities take place inside and adjacent to the museum. Through partnership with The Evergreen State College Longhouse Education & Cultural Center, Native American dancers, musicians and storytellers will perform in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater. In the plaza, adjacent to the amphitheater, some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented artisans, including weavers, printmakers, carvers, and beaders, will gather to display and sell their exquisite works.

“Festival participants and families will have an opportunity to experience these cultural traditions, purchase fine art and jewelry, and support Pacific Northwest Native American artists,” said Jennifer Kilmer, Director of the Washington State Historical Society. “As we enter the final days of this year’s In the Spirit exhibit, closing August 26, the festival gives visitors a chance to celebrate the culture and artists in a vibrant, public forum.”

The day’s schedule is full of standout performances, including returning favorite Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers and a group new to the festival, Scatter Their Own, from South Dakota. Visitors can also enjoy demonstrations inside the museum on basket weaving, carving and how to make a dream catcher. All artists participating in the events are skilled masters of their craft and offer adults and children alike an introduction to generations of knowledge and tradition. Continue reading

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