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  • Olympian Billy Mills To Share His Life Story at the Eiteljorg, 1 p.m., Sat. Nov. 8

    by Martha Hill, PhD | Nov 03, 2014

     
    Billy Mills’ (Oglala Lakota) life has been on an incredible journey: one that started on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1938. That journey has taken him from the reservation to the medal platform at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and beyond.

    On Saturday, Nov.  8, 2014, at 1 p.m., the Eiteljorg Museum will proudly present Running Bravely Through Life - a screening of the film, Running Brave and an inspirational session with Billy Mills. The film chronicles Mills’ early life and journey to the Olympic Games. Following the film, Billy and his wife Pat discuss what it takes to discover your passion and fulfill your dreams. Mills will also sign his book, Wokini: A Lakota Journey to Happiness and Self-Understanding, following the program.

    Running Bravely Through Life will afford community members the opportunity to hear from a man who had a dream and a goal and focused his young life toward achieving that goal. At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Mills took gold in the 10,000 meter race. Considered one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history, Mills outran several international track greats to become the first and, to date, only American to win gold in the 10,000 meter event, while also setting an Olympic record.

    Mills’ early journey is the subject of the 1983 film Running Brave. The audience will be introduced to the young man who was orphaned by the time he was 12 and sent off to boarding school. It wasn’t until high school in Lawrence, Kansas that he discovered he had a passion for running. He earned a full athletic scholarship to the University of Kansas. But Mills’ life was difficult. He even considered suicide and related, “he felt broken by the racism around [him and looked] toward Native American virtues and values to overcome that.”
    “Though, his

    Running Brave is the story of a journey to the Olympics. However his journey did not end with winning gold. That was just the first step. Today he works closely with American Indian youth across the country through his foundation, Running Strong for American Indian Youth. He is an inspirational speaker with the message of looking inside yourself, discovering your passion, working hard and achieving success and happiness. This is the message and the challenge that he will give to the community in Running Bravely Through Life.

    Billy Mills with gold medalRunning Bravely Through Life
    Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014
    1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

    *This event is part of the 2014 Spirit & Place Festival, which runs from Nov. 7-16, 2014.

    Thank you to our sponsors: Citizens Energy Group, IUPUI, NCAA and Purdue University
     

     

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  • New Art 2.0 | Exhibit and sale opens Saturday, Nov. 1

    by Jennifer Complo McNutt and Ashley Holland | Oct 29, 2014
    Bird Hat 

    Rick Bartow (Wiyot of Northern California), Bird Hat, 2013, monoprint, edition 1/1, 30 1/8 x 22 1/2 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.

    Collector. Patron. Donor. These are a few of the words museum insiders like to use. They sound impressive. How can someone become associated with one or all of these words? How do they become more than words that give meaning to people’s lives, both personally and for the public? It is art, but is it good? Who makes those determinations? How? It was these questions and ideas that led to the creation of New Art 2.0.

    Feddersen and Lavadour
    Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes) and James Lavadour (Walla Walla), Untitled (Amongst Friends series), 2010, monotype, edition 1/1, 15 x 22 3/8 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.

    The New Art of the West series is not a new concept. It is the exhibition that helped to establish the Eiteljorg contemporary collection and in particular planted the seed of interest in Native American contemporary work that has become the hallmark of the contemporary collection. The series promoted cultural variety and diverse traditions as well as time-honored practices in landscape, portraiture, and still life. New Art 2.0 takes its cue from the exhibition that produced nine shows and catalogues and highlighted the best emerging and established contemporary artists working in the West today.

    Eva Lake, Golden
    Eva Lake (American, born 1956), Golden no. 2, 2012, lithograph, edition 14/14, 30 x 30 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.
     
    We are grateful to the patrons and collectors who supported our initial efforts at collecting during the museum’s 25 years. As the museum looks to the next 25, it also ushers in a new generation of patrons and collectors with New Art 2.0. This next exhibition is a fitting complement to the collecting opportunities found in Quest for the West and our annual Indian Market and Festival.

    Working in partnership with Crow’s Shadow Institute of Art , with a little help from Todd Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, New Art 2.0 includes prints by Native and non-Native contemporary artists and features many artists whose work is already in the Eiteljorg permanent contemporary collection. Native artists Joe Feddersen, Marie Watt, Jim Denomie, Truman Lowe, and Kay WalkingStick, to name a few, are coupled with non-Native artists such as Dale Chihuly and Storm Tharp.

    Damien Gilley, Everything Incorporated
    Damien Gilley, Everything Incorporated, 2014, lithograph, edition 1/12, 22 x 30 in. Print courtesy Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts. Photograph by Hadley Fruits.

    So to answer a few questions new patrons and collectors may have, owning artwork creates an affinity and affiliation with artists and organizations, and a curiosity and empathy for broadening world views. Patronage at any level indicates a responsibility and embodies idealism toward humanity and the musing of mere mortals.

    Can one piece of art really incite so much? We have seen it happen again and again. Let it happen to you.

     New Art 2.0 is an exhibition of prints, many created by Eiteljorg Fellows and contemporary Native and Non Native artists. It is a blend of “op art,” landscape, political and environmental statements as well as portraiture. Approximately 90 limited edition prints will be on exhibit and available for sale with prices ranging between about $500 - $4000. 
     
     

     

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  • The Kersting Collection of Southwestern Cultural Arts

    by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg vice president and chief curatorial officer | Oct 03, 2014

    NA GALLERY CHANGES 2
    Weavings in the Eiteljorg's Southwest gallery.


    Have you visited the Eiteljorg’s Native American galleries lately? Changes began taking place in July and the major reason for this is that we have taken the opportunity to feature donations from Helen Cox Kersting in the Southwest and California sections.  Helen has continued to actively support the museum, joining us with her companion Donald DeWitt at the 25th anniversary gala in late May. Just a few months ago, collections and curatorial staff visited their home in Arizona to pack and move the last of Helen’s collection to Indianapolis. To date, Helen Kersting has donated an astonishing collection of jewelry, pottery, weavings, Katsina carvings, baskets, paintings and other objects numbering over 1,000 items!

              NA GALLERY CHANGES1 
    Eva Salazar (Kumeyaay), snake basket, 1990-2008, installed in newly created basket exhibit. Gift: Courtesy of Helen Cox Kersting in memory of Dr. Hans Joachim Kersting.

    Helen Cox Kersting 2013For the Eiteljorg staff, working with Helen Kersting has been a highlight of our careers. For the future of the Eiteljorg Museum, we have gained significant strength in our collection with masterworks from Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Acoma, Zia, San Juan, and other cultures. Prior to 2008, our collection expressive of these cultural areas was small and undistinguished.  Today, our holdings are admired by colleagues, artists and the general public. When the original Kersting gift was exhibited and published in 2010 the greatest obvious strengths were in pottery and jewelry. In the years since, Helen has focused on adding to these areas while building strength in other areas of the collection. In particular this is true of Katsina carvings and Navajo weavings. New installations in the gallery are now featuring some of the weavings, more baskets, and jewelry.  In coming months you will see additional evidence of how the collection has been enriched.

                We all deeply appreciate what will be the lasting legacy of Helen Cox Kersting’s collection at the Eiteljorg Museum.  When you visit, admire her contributions. Consider writing a letter of thanks to her and send it to my attention at the museum. I know she would appreciate your thoughts.

    NA GALLERY CHANGES 3Larry Vasquez (Aztec/Mayan/Mescalero Apache, born 1947), necklace of Lone Mountain fossil turquoise and gold. Gift of Helen Cox Kersting, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Eiteljorg Museum.
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  • Navajo Rugs, Buckaroo Bash and a Halloween Event Just for Adults | October Calendar of Events

    by Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Oct 02, 2014

     October gives visitors plenty of chances to learn, play and party at the Eiteljorg!
      

     
    Dawn Dark Mountain (Oneida of Wisconsin), Beneath the Ever Growing Tree 

    Saturday
    Oct. 4
    1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

    Meet Artist-in-Residence Dawn Dark Mountain (Oneida of Wisconsin)
    Dawn specializes in transparent watercolors. In addition to her paintings, she creates linoleum and wood-block prints that are then completed with watercolor. Visitors can learn about Dawn’s culture and watch as she demonstrates her techniques.
     

    Navajo Rug Auction at the Eiteljorg Museum

    Saturday
    Oct 4
    Navajo Rug Auction

    9:30-11:00 a.m.    Preview 
    11:30 a.m.            Auction Begins
    Navajo rugs in traditional and contemporary designs from the R.B. Burnham & Co. Trading Post in Arizona will be auctioned. Prices range from less than $100 to $10,000. 
      
    Presse_When_Thou_Art_Gone
    Quest artist Heide Presse, When Thou Art Gone to Western Land, 2014, Oil on Linen, 26 x 26 inches
    Sunday
    Oct. 5
    Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale closes at 5 p.m.  


    DG House (Cherokee of NE Alabama), Ancestors Yet to Come
     
    Saturdays
    Oct 11, 18 and 25

    1 p.m. – 4 p.m. 

    Meet Artist-in-Residence DG House (Cherokee of NE Alabama)
    Contemporary Native American artist, DG House, will share her art and culture. Guests may also watch her demonstrate her mixed media and painting techniques.
     
    Saturday
    Oct. 18
    10 a.m. – Noon
    Ledger Art Workshop
    Join artist-in-residence, DG House, for this one-of-a-kind workshop and learn about the history of ledger art explained through the story of the Battle of Little Bighorn. With DG’s guidance, participants will create their own personal ledger art to take home. Materials Fee: Non-Members $12. To pre-register by Oct.11, call 317.275.1370.



    Saturday
    Oct. 18
    7 p.m.
    Leather and Lace |The 17th Annual
    Buckaroo Bash
    The Buckaroo Bash is one of the Eiteljorg’s biggest fundraisers. Proceeds from the event purchase art supplies for visiting students and support education programs such as artists in residence, gallery interpreters, and Eiteljorg Museum to the Classrooms: Stories of Diversity. RSVP by Oct. 10. by calling 317.275.1333. Price: $200


    Day of the Dead/ Dia de los Muertos at the Eiteljorg Museum

    Saturday
    Oct. 25

    11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos (photo attached)
    This year NOPAL (an Indianapolis Latino arts and culture organization), is partnering with the Eiteljorg to provide an upbeat experience during the Day of the Dead celebration. The event will include festive and thoughtful ofrendas (altars that honor deceased loved ones); art created by local artists; a mercado; and a Katrina fashion show. Entertainment will be provided by NOPAL Musicians and Anderson Ballet Folklorico. Guests may visit with New Mexican tin artist Richard Gabriel, Jr., and local contemporary papel picado artist Beatriz Schlebecker. Guests will get to create their own papel picado and tin ornament to take home.

    Friday
    Oct. 31
    8 p.m. – Midnight

    Freiteljorg with the ICO and DJ Kyle Long (an adult Halloween party)
    Celebrate the opening of New Art 2.0 by partying until the witching hour in your most haunting attire. Enjoy grown-up trick-or-treating, while grooving to an unforgettable live mash-up of modern DJ experimental sounds featuring DJ Kyle Long and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Costumes mimicking Native Americans or people of other races will not be tolerated. Price: $20 for non Agave members, $30 at the door.
     
     
     Rick Bartow (Wiyot tribe of Northern California), Bird Hat, 2013, monoprint, edition 1/1, 30 1/8 x 22 1/2, Print courtesy: Crow's Shadow Press, Photography by Hadley Fruits. 

    Saturday
    Nov 1

    New Art 2.0 opens
    Dates: Nov. 1 –Jan. 4, 2015

    New Art 2.0 is an exhibition of prints by contemporary Native and Western artists, many of them Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellows. It is a blend of landscape, political and environmental statements as well as portraiture. Eighty limited-edition prints will be on exhibit. Prices range from $500 - $4,000. 

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  • INDIAN ENCAMPMENT at SUNSET a painting by Albert Bierstadt | The Rest of the Story

    by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg vice president and chief curatorial officer | Sep 29, 2014

      

               Albert Bierstadt, Indian Encampment at Sunset, oil on canvas, ca. 1875, gift courtesy of Harrison Eiteljorg. 

                It is a small painting, just 14 inches by 20 inches wide. It rests in a gilded gold frame, possibly the original from the time of the painting’s creation. In the painting, orange-cast clouds reflect the rapidly receding yellow sunlight on the distant horizon while in the foreground trees and Indian teepees are embraced by growing night-time darkness. By the early 1870s, artist Albert Bierstadt was well-known for the moods conveyed in his Western landscape paintings.  He created grand canvases from his travels to Yosemite and other recognizable areas of the great West, but they were not precise documents. They were inspirational and often took liberties with scenes the artist viewed in person. Trees, rock formations, and bodies of water were subject to his rearrangement for the sake of aesthetics.

                 Certainly it was the beauty of Indian Encampment at Sunset, along with the importance of the artist, that drew Harrison Eiteljorg to collect this work in the late 1970s. The inside story is that the hundred year history of the painting was fairly well documented at that time although there was a critical error in the record. Eiteljorg obtained the painting from a gallery in Maryland. According to the gallery, a woman named Marian Townsley sold the painting in 1976, but had inherited it from her mother, Mrs. M. Howland Townsley in 1925. In turn she acquired it from her mother, Florence Little King Howland in 1910. She acquired it, as the story goes, from her “first husband” after his death in 1901. The man who died in 1901 was actually her son, the famed American explorer and geologist, Clarence King. 

       

                Clarence King was the first director of the U. S. Geological Survey and among his many accomplishments was best known for exploring the Sierra Nevadas. For six years beginning in 1867 he led expeditions to survey the 40th U. S. Parallel. He also exposed a famous hoax that claimed the discovery of diamonds in Colorado, and published notable geology texts. At first, King did not trust the paintings of Albert Bierstadt, because of how the artist depicted geological features.  By 1872, however, the two were exploring the Sierras together and King reported in August that Bierstadt would “give me liberty to copy any or all of his studies” for his report. Bierstadt’s field work that summer also became the basis of a number of important large paintings. 

       

                It is possible that the Bierstadt sunset painting was acquired by Clarence King at this time. That the artist was inspired by scenes viewed alongside King is clear from his paintings. King was equally inspired, writing that “I found it extremest pleasure to lie there alone on the dizzy brink, . . . watching that slow grand growth of afternoon shadows. Sunset found me there, still disinclined to stir, and repaid my laziness by a glorious spectacle of color. At this hour there is no more splendid contrast of light and shade.” (Clarence King, Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, Boston, 1872).

              Oh, and the deeper part of the story? It seems that the great explorer, Clarence King, led a double life for the last 13 years of his life. He posed as an African American railway porter named James Todd - having a common-law wife with whom he had five children. Read about the fascinating story of King and his family in Martha A. Sandweiss's masterful book, Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line. New York: Penguin Press, 2009. Oh, and take a look at Indian Encampment at Sunset in the Eiteljorg's Gund Gallery of Western Art.

                  

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