Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • First Snow of the Season

    by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Dec 06, 2013

    Kenneth R. Bunn, American, born 1938
    Whitetail Deer, 1989
    cast bronze
    The Richard D. and Billie Lou Wood Deer Fountain
    George Carlson, American, born 1940
    The Greeting, 1989
    cast bronze
    Gift: Courtesy of Harrison Eiteljorg 

    Allan Houser, Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache, 1914 – 1994
    Morning Prayer, 1987, cast 1997
    cast bronze
    Museum purchase with funds provided by Joan and Mel Perelman
    (far left) Truman Lowe, Ho-Chunk, born 1944
    Water Whispers, 2005
    stainless steel, formed glass, stone, concrete
    Museum Purchase made possible with the support of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission, and the Efroymson Fund, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation

    (far right) Doug Hyde, Nez Perce, Assiniboine and Chippewa, born 1946
     Southwest Summer Showers, 1989
    cast bronze
    Gift of the Friends of the Museum

    Other beautiful pictures outside the Eiteljorg Museum.

    Go comment!

  • Eiteljorg Winter Market | Handmade art for sale Saturday, Dec. 7

    by Jaq Nigg, Festivals and Markets Manager | Nov 29, 2013

    From 10 a.m. - 5p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, shop the season’s best regional art market featuring handmade jewelry, purses, crafts and edible art and more from over 30 artists.

    What makes the Eiteljorg Winter Market so special? We asked the artists:

    Cathy Claycomb
    Saddlebag Purses 
    Cathy Claycomb
    The time of year is just right for holiday shoppers and Winter Market is perfect for my product.  Where would be a better place to offer purses made from cowboy boots than the Eiteljorg?  The shoppers are excited about the museum and the artists.  It’s a fabulous day and one of my favorite shows!

    Tom O. Reed 
    Artistic Wooden Cooking Utensils

    Winter Market is lovely because the Eiteljorg is so beautiful and pleasurable to be in. Visitors are smart and seem to truly appreciate the arts. The mood of the event is full of the holiday spirit... and that makes for a pleasant and rewarding day for everyone.

    Holli La Vigne
    Boris Loved Natasha – Fun and colorful bags

    Winter Market brings together a diverse group of high-quality artists in a beautiful setting. The museum patrons, those first time museum visitors, the staff, and the fellow vendors make for an exciting, holiday-anticipating, fun-filled day that shouldn't be missed!

    Peg Neal 
    I’ve had the privilege of participating in Winter Market since its origin in 2002. The things that bring me back each year:
    1. The quality and mix of the art for sale.
    2. The audience the market attracts is fun and has the holiday spririt. 
    3. The staff obviously has the artists in mind throughout planning.
    4. The ease of booth set up and tear down.
    5. The wonderfully helpful volunteers.
    6. I just love being in that beautiful building.

    Carrie Abbot
    New Fangled Confections – Sweet Treats

    I sell wholesale to many stores and restaurants, but interacting with people face-to-face at Winter Market feels right. I love to see the reaction when someone tries my crazy-delicious candy for the first time. I believe in the importance and power of local partnerships. The Eiteljorg has such an obvious respect and love for every kind of artisan – visual, musical, performance, edible. 
    Winter Market features activities for the whole family, including Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, a locomotive wonderland featuring trains racing past astonishingly detailed local and Western landmarks made of natural materials.

    There's also our amazing Fellowship exhibit in our main gallery. There, you'll see the work of five Native contemporary artists whose work and respect in the field earned them a cash prize and the extraordinary opportunity to exhibit their work at the Eiteljorg.

    Kids of all ages can also explore The R.B. Annis Western Family Experience, an interactive area that immerses visitors in the lives of a diverse group of Westerners and offers the chance to decorate and raise a totem pole, build a sod house, climb aboard a true-to-life stagecoach and more.

    After a day of holiday shopping and exploring the West, take a break in the Café and warm up with some Southwestern fare. Finish your visit to the Eiteljorg with a stop in at the Museum Store, to find great gifts for your whole family.

    Go comment!

  • From Provincial to Palatial | Two new Jingle Rails scenes

    by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Nov 19, 2013

    applied imagination In August Eiteljorg PR Manager, DeShong Perry-Smitherman, took a short trip to Applied Imagination in Alexandria, KY, to get a sneak peek of two new additions to the Jingle Rails exhibit.

    Tucked away from the bustle of tight Cincinnati traffic, on a rough gravel road that’s easy to miss, is a place where nature and inspiration meet. Void of pinstripes, briefcases and WiFi codes – Applied Imagination is a space where visitors are gently lulled by the chirps of crickets and the rustle of dried leaves beneath their steps.  

    It is inside this small hillside workshop that the Eiteljorg’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure was born in 2009. Four years later, the hands that crafted the museum’s largest holiday attraction have been sculpting, plucking, priming and molding two new scenes for more than 40,000 visitors to enjoy.

    When the show opens at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, families will experience the palatial snow-capped mountains of an Aspen, Colorado ski resort. They will also get to see a replica of the Indy-based N.K. Hurst building - a small family-owned bean distributor that’s been a downtown staple since 1938.

    This is the top of the N.K. Hurst building replica, designed by AI designer Elizabeth Laskey. You can see the final product when Jingle Rails opens at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 23. at the Eiteljorg Museum.
    AI Designer Elizabeth Laskey spent several days building the nine inch Hurst model. The challenge, for Laskey, was bringing a provincial brick building to life without compromising its downhome-Hoosier feel. So she played around with natural materials until the architectural ingredients felt perfect in her hands.

    “I wanted to kind of cutesy it up - and not make it [look] just so industrial,” she said. “And so I focused mainly on the arched tops of the windows and the cute little loading dock on the side of the building.” Using shelf fungi, poinsettia pods, grape vine tendrils and red oak leaves, Laskey’s version of the Hurst factory is warm, filling and unpretentious – like 15 Bean Soup® on a cold winter’s night. It will be a wonderful 80th birthday gift to N.K. Hurst - whose father founded the family-owned company. The building also marks Hurst Bean Company's 75th anniversary. 

    Workers at AI don’t rely on technology to get them through the day. Their work spaces are filled with things like tree moss, birch twigs and acorn caps - the natural items they use to adorn model monuments, towers and mountains like Aspen – the second new point of interest this year. Cindy Johnson (pictured below), its botanical architect, says the mountains of Aspen will be eight feet high - the tallest point of the train show.“Trains will run through the mountains and through the tunnels we build,” said Johnson who has designed for AI some 15 years. “There will be a ski slope that comes through the middle of the mountains and an Aspen [city] scene with buildings and store fronts.”

    The Hurst and Aspen scenes will be welcome additions to the locomotive wonderland that takes visitors on a journey from Indianapolis landmarks like the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and Indiana State Fair Ferris wheel to the Great American West.

    “There will be trains running above your head, trains running at your elbows,” said Johnson. “We’ll have Old Faithful’s geysers going off  - and waterfalls coming from 10 feet in the air. There really is nothing like it.”

    Downtown Indianapolis.

    Interior and exterior of Lucas Oil Stadium.

    The Grand Canyon.

    Jingle Rails is presented by Indiana Railroad.

    DeShong Perry
    DeShong Perry-Smitherman


    Go comment!

  • Meet Mary & Lorenzo Tafoya | Award-Winning Jewelry Artists from the Santo Domingo Pueblo

    by Linda Montag-Olson, Eiteljorg public programs manager | Nov 13, 2013

    Meet Artists in Residence, Mary and Lorenzo Tafoya (Santa Domingo Pueblo)
    1P.M. - 4P.M.


    Lorenzo and Mary Tafoya combine their artistic talents to create unique, traditional and contemporary jewelry.  These skills were acquired at an early age from their parents – Lorenzo’s parents versed him in silversmithing, lapidary work, and jewelry design, while Mary’s background is in handmade turquoise and shell heishe work. These award winning artists are best known for their whimsical, multi-colored inlay jewelry work based on the traditional Santo Domingo Pueblo heishe and depression era art of the 1940s and 1950s. Mary and Lorenzo will greet visitors in the studios and talk about their art and culture.

    Go comment!

  • Meet the Fellows | Shan Goshorn (Part V of V)

    by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Nov 06, 2013

    Over the past five weeks the Eiteljorg blog has profiled artists who will be featured in RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship. The exhibit opens Nov. 9. Details below!

    What follows is an excerpt from Shan Goshorn: Leaning in to Shan Goshorn's Baskets, by heather ahtone (Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations of Oklahoma)
    (from RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship exhibition catalog).

    Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band of Cherokee)
    Shan Goshorn

    I strive to educate an audience about some of the unique issues that continue to impact Indian people. - Shan Goshorn

    Since 2008, Shan Goshorn has become one of the most fearless weavers. Recognized nationally for her hand-painted photography and abstract paintings, Goshorn has always been a multi-media artist. By integrating her vision for photography and human rights activism into woven baskets, she has silently given voice to her culturally driven messages.

    Goshorn lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and regularly travels home to North Carolina to connect with her extended family and her Eastern Band Cherokee community. As a full-time working artist, she credits working with the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual cooperative for giving her a broad knowledge of traditional Cherokee crafts. While working there as a teenager in college, Goshorn contracted with the Indian Arts and Crafts Board to prepare book illustrations of traditional basket designs. This job required her to look closely at how baskets are woven together. It seeded within her the desire to try weaving, but she never attempted the medium unti 2008, when she conceived the idea that a basket could serve as a metaphor of complex concepts related to traditional Native identity and contemporary issues. Her first conceptual basket addressed sovereignty, a metaphor expressing the interwoven and convoluted relationships between tribes and states. She employed the Tobacco Compact between the State of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation printed on paper as the material. Titled Pieced Treaties; Spider’s Web Treaty Basket , her technical success confirmed to her that she had found a new vessel for conveying her complex ideas.
    Pieced Treaties; Spider’s Web Treaty Basket, 2008. Arches watercolor paper splints, first printed with archival inks. Image courtesy National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution (266080.000). Photo by Ernest Amoroso.

    (Above left) Removal (Ancestral Homeland) and (right) Removal (Indian Territory), 2012. Mixed media.

    The aspect of the baskets that is perhaps most poignant, critical to their metaphorical currency, is found in the preparation process. Goshorn’s thoughtfully selected visual material, often a historic text document and a photographic image, must be prepared and scaled for printing in a final size that suits the intended form. It takes multiple prints of the primary source, each meticulously cut to an exact width and length in both vertical and horizontal strips, if not diagonal strips, from which Goshorn will then begin the weaving process.


    shan goshorn
    Unsolicited Gifts or How to Eliminate a Culture, 2012. Archival watercolor paper splints, first printed with archival inks.

     It is in the cutting, this physical deconstruction of history—both text and image, the slicing and dissecting—that the metaphor takes root. For many tribes, paper has been used as a weapon against their cultures, their sovereignty, and their identities. Goshorn takes the pieces she has broken down and reconstructs them into baskets. These forms, all built following traditions that reach farther back than federal history, speak to the continuum that lives within the cultures, the legacies that breathe in each new generation of Native artists, ready to be picked up and carried through the twenty-first century by the young people Goshorn is inspiring with her art.

    Meet Shan Goshorn, Friday, Nov. 8 at the Eiteljorg.

    Schedule for opening weekend of RED:Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
    NOV 8
    5:30–7:30 p.m.
    $40 – includes Saturday’s activities
    To commemorate the opening of RED: the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, the museum will honor the five Native Fellowship winners with an intimate gathering that celebrates their artistic accomplishments.

    7:30 p.m.–12 a.m.
    Contemporary Arts Party
    $15 at the door, $10 in advance – includes Saturday’s activities
    Celebrate the opening of RED by partying all night to the sounds of A Tribe Called Red and DJ Kyle Long of the Cultural Cannibals. Additional entertainment will be provided by the comedy improve group the 1491s, Big Car, Know No Stranger, and more!
    Tickets are available for purchase at


    NOV 9
    All Day
    RED: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship
    Be among the first to experience RED.
    Opening Day a
    ctivities include a gallery tour with the Fellows from 10 a.m.-12 p.m and from 1–3 p.m. a presentation by comedic cultural critics, the 1491s. Saturday's event is in collaboration with the 2013 Spirit & Place Festival. This festival reaches 20,000 people each year through dozens of “never before seen” programs that promote growth of the human spirit.

     Shan is one of five 2013 Fellows and her artwork will be featured in the exhibition RED: The Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, opening Nov. 9. This biennial program recognizes the accomplishments of one invited and four juried Fellows, which are chosen by a panel of independent experts. As part of the Fellowship, each artist receives a $25,000 unrestricted cash award and their work is exhibited and further explored in an accompanying catalog. In addition, the museum purchases a total of over $100,000 worth of art from the Fellows for the permanent collection, adding to a body of work that has given the Eiteljorg Museum a collection of Native contemporary art that has been referred to as the “greatest in the world.” - See more at:

    Go comment!
© Eiteljorg Museum. All rights reserved.