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  • Stories of Cultural Diversity | Meet Storyteller Joanna Winston

    by Linda Montag-Olson, Eiteljorg public programs manager | Feb 13, 2014

    Joanna Winston
     
    Two historical characters of the West spring to life as actor/storyteller Joanna Winston shares their stories with delighted audiences. Winston is part of the Eiteljorg Museum to Classroom project, made possible with funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and Citizens Energy Group. Through the generosity of our sponsors, there is no charge for schools hosting Winston in the classroom.

    Winston’s engaging performances, in which she transforms to “Stagecoach” Mary Fields or mountain man James Beckwourth, include singing, sign-language, and many more surprises.

    “Stagecoach” Mary Fields was the first female mail carrier hired in the US, and she delivered mail in the Montana Territory from 1895 to 1903. Born a slave in Tennessee, Mary’s strength, courage and intelligence shine as Winston tells her story.

    “Mary proved that even though she was African American and a woman, she was just as smart, and strong, and stubborn as any white man,” said Winston. “It’s such an honor to portray her life.”

    Trader, trapper, trail blazer, James Beckwourth, is another character in Winston’s repertoire. Born the son of a white captain in the Revolutionary War and a black slave woman, he spoke three languages, lived with and fought with Crow Indians, and discovered a place for early pioneers to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.  Beckwourth Pass is still in use today as part of a California highway. 
     
    “When I perform the Beckwourth story, I get to share my own experiences about growing up in a biracial household,” said Winston, the daughter of a white mother and an African American father. Joanna Winston“My hope is that my story resonates, and helps listeners to connect the lives of those past and present.”

    Students and families, at the museum and at schools in the Indianapolis area, are amazed to find out that the West was so diverse. Through Eiteljorg curriculum, they also learn that at least 30 percent of cowboys were African American.

    A Butler fine arts graduate, Winston shines during each performance. See her Saturday afternoons at the Eiteljorg. Classroom visits can be arranged for Thursday and Friday mornings through May 23 by calling 317.275.1350.

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  • The Black Cowboy, Storytelling Saturdays and an Ansel Adams Preview

    by DeShong Perry-Smitherman, Eiteljorg public relations manager | Feb 04, 2014

    EITELJORG MUSEUM FEBRUARY EVENTS 
     
    Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo

    New exhibit now open
    Blake Little  features 41 black-and-white images of cowboys and cowgirls from the gay rodeo circuit, taken by award-winning, Los Angeles-based photographer, Blake Little. The Seattle native became captivated by the gay rodeo scene in 1988 and began documenting the lives of its contenders, victors and their devoted fans.  Blake Little and associated public programs, at the Eiteljorg are a part of the museum’s Out West series. The series, created and produced by independent curator Gregory Hinton, illuminates the many contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities of the American West, and celebrates the diversity of the region. Please visit www.eiteljorg.org for details. Photo credit: Blake Little, Chute Dogging, Phoenix, Arizona, 1989, Image courtesy of Blake Little.

    The Girl of the Golden West
    Film Screening
    Saturday, Feb. 15
    1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    In preparation for the Indianapolis Opera’s performance of David Belasco’s The Girl of the Golden West on March 21 and 23, the Eiteljorg will host a screening of the 1938 film starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.


     I, Nat Love: The Story of Deadwood Dick
    Storytelling
    Saturday, Feb. 22
    1:30 p.m.
    Storyteller Rochel Coleman will bring Nat Love’s story to life. Born a slave in Tennessee, Nat headed West in search of freedom and opportunity at age 15. He became one of the most famous Black cowboys of his time.


    Ansel Adams
    preview partywright_0985-2_adams2
    Exhibit preview
    Friday, February 28
    7:30 p.m.
    $45 members, $55 nonmembers

    Ansel Adams exhibit opens, Saturday, March 1.
    Ansel Adams is a collection of more than 80 of this legendary photographer’s personally-chosen photographs. The photographs focus largely on the vast spaces of the American West, ranging from Yosemite to the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, Alaska, Hawaii and the Northwest. Referred to as The Museum Set, this lifetime portfolio includes many of Adams’ most famous and best-loved photographs, including architectural studies, portraits and magnificent landscapes. Photo credit: Ansel Adams in Owens Valley, photograph by Cedric Wright, courtesy of the Colby Memorial Library, Sierra Club.

    Storytelling Saturdays throughout the month
     
    Stories of the West

    Saturdays                                 
    1, 2, 3 & 4 p.m.
    Hear the amazing true stories of two prominent African Americans in the West, Stagecoach Mary Fields and mountain man, Jim Beckwourth, as told by actress and storyteller, Joanna Winston.


    Storytelling

    Saturdays
    1p.m. – 3p.m.
    Meet Teresa Webb (Anishinaabe) and hear about Native American cultures through stories and songs, accompanied by flute, drum and rattle.


    Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, presented by Oxford Financial Group, LTD, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The museum is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN  46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit www.eiteljorg.org.


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  • Don't Miss Josefina Day this Saturday | Games, performances to cure cabin fever

    by Alisa Nordholt-Dean, Eiteljorg Public Programs Coordinator | Jan 22, 2014


    It’s Indiana and Old Man Winter has been rearing his ugly head again. Schools were cancelled or delayed again this week, which means yet another day at home with the kids bouncing off the walls. If you’re itching to get out of the house with your family this weekend and looking for something fun and unique to do, plan an adventure to the Eiteljorg Museum for Josefina Day – a day of games, performances and art-making activities inspired by the New Mexican culture of the American Girl, Josefina. 

    On Saturday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., young guests can create paper flowers, try colcha embroidery, play lotería (a Mexican game similar to bingo) and so much more! At 1:30 p.m. Anderson Ballet Folkorico will take the stage for a lively performance. Watch as the Folklorico dancers twirl across the stage in brightly colored dresses while performing traditional Mexican folk dances from various regions in Mexico.

    At 3:30 p.m. eager young visitors and their grown-ups will gather in the Clowes Ballroom, anxiously awaiting the highly anticipated Josefina Doll giveaway. One lucky child will win his/her very own Josefina, American Girl Doll to take home and love forever. You need not be present to win.

    But alas, if your name is not drawn out of the big red American Girl prize box, do not despair…there are no losers at the Eiteljorg Museum! A sturdy stack of consolation prizes will be given out following the doll drawing. And besides…the real winners are those who came out on a cold winter afternoon and experienced Josefina Day at the Eiteljorg and all it had to offer.

    Josefina Day events and activities are included with regular museum admission.

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  • Day of the Dead | This Saturday

    by Linda Montag-Olson, Eiteljorg public programs manager | Oct 25, 2013


    Skulls, skeletons and marigolds, are important elements of ofrendas (altars) created to honor and celebrate the lives of family, friends and ancestors who have passed on. Fresh foods, candles, photographs and personal items are also placed on the public and private ofrendas, to welcome the spirits return for a brief restful visit on Nov.2. This is the essence of Día de los Muertos, a traditional Mexican holiday, with roots in Aztec culture and Catholic traditions.

    On Saturday, Oct. 26, join us for the annual Day of the Dead celebration at the Eiteljorg. Museum guests will have a chance to remember their loved ones by adding a note or paper flower to the public ofrenda, create a personal altar to take home and pick up a recipe to make their own version of pan de muertos (bread of the dead).

    Ongoing short films (20 minutes) will show traditional Día de los Muertos festivities in the Mexican cities of Janitzio and Oaxaca, and give an authentic glimpse into the culture.

    Visiting artists and musical performers will share lively traditions with museum guests.

    Marvel at artist Beatriz Schlebecker’s intricate, brightly colored works of tissue paper art called papel picado (cut paper). Beatriz lives in Indiana and has been exploring and creating contemporary papel picado for ten years.

    Richard Gabriel Jr. fashions tin into shiny ornaments. He’ll lend you a hammer to make your own piece to take home. Richard lives in Tjeras, New Mexico and is a recent award winner at the Spanish Market in Santa Fe. 
     
    Anderson Ballet Folklorico will delight with swirling skirts and stomping feet - you can’t help but clap your hands and tap your own feet. Comparsa Tlahuicas volunteers will share the history of their amazing traditional costumes, masks and headgear as you sway to the beat of the performers.

    Dia de los Muertos celebrations are held across the United States in November as more and more people learn about the holiday from friends and neighbors and embrace the traditions of Day of the Dead. Plan a visit to the museum on Oct. 26 and join in the celebration!

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  • Artist-in-Residence Norris Chee (Dineh) - through Nov. 2

    by Linda Montag-Olson, Public programs manager | Oct 18, 2013

    Each fall the Eiteljorg connects Indiana students with Native artists from across the United States. This may be the only encounter some students have with someone from another culture and the excitement is palpable as they realize American Indians are alive and well today. The public is invited to the studios on Saturday afternoons where the artists will be available to speak with visitors as they work on their own projects.

    Painter Norris Chee (Dineh) 
    Meet the artist
    Saturdays
    Oct. 19 & 26
    1pm - 4pm
    Meet Norris, learn about his art and culture, and watch as he demonstrates his art-making techniques. 

    Airbrush workshop

    Saturday, Nov. 2
    10am - 3pm
    Fee $10 per participant
    (more info below)   

    Norris Chee (Dineh) is a painter who was raised in a very traditional Dineh home, and first learned to speak English in school. From his first pencil drawing on a second grade school desk, Norris knew he wanted art to be a part of his life.

    Norris will introduce students to Navajo culture and complete a drawing during his time with the group. Norris will share how animals and symbols play a part in the culture and language and how this was significant for the Navajo Code Talkers during WWll. Students will learn a Dineh word and draw a picture to help remember the word.

    Norris travels extensively across the United States entering art shows and winning awards, living his dreams of painting. Norris also works as an Artist in Residence for the state of Nebraska, visiting schools and communities, teaching students his artistic talents, methods and about the customs of his tribe.

    Pictured above:
    Norris Chee
    Eagle's Eye

     
    ABOUT THE AIRBRUSH WORKSHOP:
    This workshop is fun for the entire family! Get to know Norris, learn about his Dineh culture and his artwork, then roll up your sleeves and get to work. With Norris’ guidance, participants will design and create their own stencils, choose colors and create their own airbrushed t-shirt to take home.

    Because exact-o knives will be used for preparing stencils, this workshop is open to ages 10 and up with an accompanying adult. There will be a 1-hour break for lunch.

    Pre-register by calling (317) 636-9378. Please indicate your shirt size when registering (Adult – S, M, L, XL or Youth – S, M, L).

    Fee $10 per participant (covers all materials)

     

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