in Columbus, Ohio
The Short North M
y Eleth Ann James
By Elizabeth Ann James
HEAD, HEART, AND HANDS
Native American Craft Traditions in a Contemporary World
This fine exhibit closes at The Ohio Craft Museum on January 24, 1999. This show shines, literally and figuratively.
From the intricate bead painting, "Butterfly Maiden: Brooke Shields with Wings" by Marcus Amerman to the intricately etched pottery spheres (worlds!) by lecturer Rosemary Apple Blossom Lonewolf, there's a hard edge glisten to this appealing show, which is definitely "modern." It includes fabric art, blankets, baskets, implements, and constructions.
There are deep traditional echoes, but the aspect is 100% Contemporary. One sculptural piece honors the new blackjack tables now popular on the reservation. A fabric work shows a black-toupeed Native American woman walking away, her back toward us.
There are twenty-five artists in this five-star show. Their tribal affiliations are listed.
All Ohio Craft Shows are good. The Ohio Craft Museum is the space where art and craft meet. Heart and Hands is colorful and should evoke popular appeal as well as the professional accolades it has already received. If you have guests who haven't yet gone to a gallery and who think they "don't like art," take them to this show.
Curator Brion Clinkingbeard has provided both substance and variety. These are artists "incorporating their tribal traditions into modern artistic visions."
Lakota Dancers and Drummers from Columbus appeared at a Phillip Morris sponsored gala before the "Hearts and Hand" show opened to the public. They provided an elemental and inspired balance to the beautifully catered event.
There was at least one A.I.M. tee shirt among the drummers. Behind the dark haired, prize winning dancers, a solemn blonde woman danced slow. She was wearing a red perma-press shawl appliquéd with white buffaloes.
A spiritual leader danced, prayed, and burned sage to the four winds. He blessed the art and the onlookers with grass-roots words. He spoke in an ancient language . . . On one hand, five fingers. It was a long way from Wounded Knee. The beat goes on.