OFN at the American Folklore Society 2013 Annual Meeting
Traditional Artist Spotlight: Kelli and Eraina Palmer
First Results from the Folk & Traditional Arts Survey
A Few Words For Chris D'Arcy
Native American Heritage Month
OFN at the American Folklore Society 2013 Annual Meeting
by Riki Saltzman
I had the privilege of representing OFN at the American Folklore Society annual meeting this year. My primary task was to speak about how OFN is involved with teaching at the University of Oregon. My colleagues also spoke about their teaching roles and responsibilities.
The main takeaway from this very lively session (lots of audience members, including our own John Fenn) was that public folklore programs based at universities are engaged in a wide range of teachingâ€”from outright classes (Indiana Folklore at IU) to interns (Kentucky Folklife Program, OFN, Traditional Arts Indiana, Missouri Folklife Program) and graduate assistants (KFP, MFP, OFN). We at OFN also have the opportunity to participate as practicum hosts for AAD students (Karen Agocs, MA â€˜13/Arts in the Parks), while students at IU create one-panel exhibits that go on to be part of TAIâ€™s touring exhibit program.
Teaching also means involving students in the nuts and bolts of what we at public folklore programs doâ€”from learning about advocacy by writing letters to legislators (MFP), to planning and implementing the Indiana Governorâ€™s Arts Awards (TAI), and working with local festivals to learn about stage management, running sound, and facilitating narrative stage discussions (KFP). Other venues that provide opportunities for students include working with park rangers, local libraries, and state fairs for such diverse projects as fiddle contests, century farm and ranch awards, or documenting and exhibiting local baskets and basket makers.
As always, AFS provides a smorgasbord of new ideasâ€”more on those as they find their way into OFNâ€™s future projects!
Riki Saltzman speaking at Birds Of A Feather panel at AFS
Traditional Artist Spotlight: Kelly and Eraina Palmer
Kelli and Eraina Palmer are enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Kelli began to learn basket weaving from her mother Eraina about 12 years ago. Kelli started with Wapus sally bags, a traditional style for root gathering and food storage. She later moved to cornhusk basketry with false embroidery.
The term â€œfalse embroideryâ€ refers to a decorative surface treatment in basketry design. This technique is used to decorate twined baskets in which an additional colored weft element is incorporated into the twining. These "embroidered" designs are only visible on the surface of the object.
Like most traditional artists, Eraina and Kelli mix older traditions with innovative techniques and materials in their basketry, which are now used for decorative purposes as well as functional. They teach anyone who wants to learn these skills, especially to Native American women who have children and will pass their knowledge to future generations.
Kelli Palmer also participated in the 2012-13 Traditional Artist Apprenticehip Program as a master artist, one who passes his or her traditional skills and knowledge along to one or more apprentices.
An exhibit of the Palmersâ€™ work, along with that of Kelliâ€™s apprentice, Joy Ramirez, is on display at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History (MNCH) in Eugene. The show is up until May 2014.
If you are interested in the Traditional Artists Apprenticeship Program, or know of someone who is, please contact
Emily Afanador at 541-346-3820
or email the OFN at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of cornhusk basketry by Kelli Palmer and Joy Rameriz.
First Results, Southern Oregon Folk & Traditional Arts Survey
We are so excited to be able to report on what contract folklorist Douglas Manger has discovered so far about folk and traditional artists in southeastern Oregon. During the spring of 2014, Manger will be out and about in Harney and Malheur counties to document more occupational traditions (fishing, fly tying, hunting, farming, ranching, saddle making, taxidermy), as well as traditional crafts (quilting, basket making, wood and chainsaw carving), music, dance, foodways, community celebrations and more.
Our next newsletter will include an update from LuAnne Kozma, our other contract folklorist, who is doing fieldwork in Klamath and Lake counties.
Now all my singing Dreams are gone,
But none knows where they have fled
Nor by what trails they have left me.
Return, O Dreams of my heart,
And sing in the Summer twilight,
By the creek and the almond thicket
And the field that is bordered with lupins!
-Excerpt from Paiute Medicine Song
The Paiute stories and legends handed down through the generations tell of their early ancestors living in the high desert region of present-day Harney and Malheur counties for thousands of years. The Burns Paiute Reservation is located north of Burns, the county seat of Harney County. There, the tribe continues to foster its cherished traditions, which include narrative (the telling of legends), dance, and drumming, among other tribal lifeways.
In Burns, the county seat, Mangerâ€™s research led him to Native silversmith Dean Adams (Jemez Pueblo and Northern Paiute). Dean learned the trade from his father, Delmar Adams, an award-winning silversmith. Adams (Sr.) traveled throughout the Western United States attending shows, often accompanied by Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the former U.S. Senator from Colorado, a renowned jewelry maker in his own right.
Apart from his work in silver jewelry making, Adams and his wife, Elise (Northern Ute), are now learning the painstaking art of juniper basket making from Adamsâ€™ grandmother, Rena Beers. â€œEach basket is made from one piece of bark,â€ Adams said. â€œYou have to peel the bark off by hand, which takes about four to five hours.â€ The bark, harvested at the wettest time of the year, is then shaved and formed into a basket.
Adam's jewelry piece featuring turquoise, opals, mother-of-pearl, red coral, spiny oyster shell, sugilite and blue lapis.
A Few Words For Chris D'Arcy, Executive Director, Oregon Arts Commission and Oregon Cultural Trust
After 19 years of leadership, Chris Dâ€™Arcy recently announced her departure from the Oregon Arts Commission and the Cultural Trust. She is, in her words, â€œmoving on to new and different things.â€
For those unaware of Chrisâ€™s contributions to Arts and Culture in Oregon, some highlights include â€œthe Arts Commissionâ€™s Arts Build Communities program, which shined a light on the incredible grassroots cultural activity that takes place in every corner of Oregon. That program paved the way for Oregonâ€™s cultural, business and community leaders to dream about new funding for culture â€“ and the Cultural Task Force, . . . [which led to the] Oregon Cultural Trust â€“ considered one of the most productive outcomes of the 1999 and 2001 legislative sessions. The Trust is now a national model of innovation, collaboration and engagement around culture.â€
Chris Dâ€™arcyâ€™s contributions to Oregonâ€™s arts, culture, tourism, and economic development have been incalculable, and her regional and national impact have been immense. Her strong, creative and imaginative leadership has given her capable and talented staff the space in which to flourish and thrive.
All of us at OFN wish Chris the very best in her next steps.
Native American Heritage Month Events
Hallie Ford Art Museum of Art
In conjunction with the Native American Heritage Month in November, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art is pleased to highlight newly commissioned artworks and collaborative opportunities as well as its continuing commitment to showcase, preserve, and honor the works, traditions, and culture of the Native American community through the museum's permanent collection and gallery installations.
Activities during the month will include the opening of the â€œCrowâ€™s Shadow Institute of the Arts Biennial,â€ the dedication of a newly commissioned work by Joe Feddersen as well as a demonstration by the artist, the opportunity to donate a blanket to Marie Wattâ€™s sculpture project, and a new online archive of the museumâ€™s Native American basket collection.
Internationally recognized for his prolific output in numerous media, this new body of work by Rick Bartow consists of several small acrylic and gouache paintings alongside large pastel drawings. His subjects are coyotes, crows, kestrels and hawks as well as human forms- these figures seem to be knowing guides or searchers dazzled by strange dreams and visitations from spirits. Exacting rendering and sparse outline meet in fields of bold color; eyes, teeth, wings, faces and cryptic symbols emerge from clouds of active marks in these masterful and haunting compositions.