Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • 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
    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

    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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  • Buckaroo Bash, Navajo Rug Auction and Botanical Architecture Workshop | October at the Eiteljorg

    by User Not Found | Oct 02, 2013

    Here's a look at what we're doing this month at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

    Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale
    Through Oct. 6
    See paintings, drawings and sculptures from 50 of the world’s most celebrated Western artists. Many of the pieces on exhibit are still for sale at the Eiteljorg. A portion of Quest proceeds helps the Eiteljorg build its world-class collection. 

    Craig Tennant, Staying Close, 2013
    Oil on linen, 14X20 inches
    Still for sale during Quest for the West

    OCT. 5, 12, 19, 26
    1 p.m.
    Meet Teresa Webb (Anishinaabe) and hear about Native American cultures through stories and songs, accompanied by flute, drum and rattle.

    Navajo Rug Auction
    OCT. 5
    Members only preview 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
    Public viewing 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    Auction - 11:30 a.m.

    Browse and bid on more than 200 vintage and contemporary weavings during this year’s auction, presented by R.B. Burnham & Co. Prices ranges from $100 to $10,000.

    Inuit Art Trunk Show
    OCT. 12 and 13

    Members shop 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
    General public shops 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Get your questions answered about Inuit art by the owners of Iqaluit Fine Arts Studio. Located in the capital of Nunavut Territory in Canada, this gallery has a wide selection of Inuit paintings, tapestries, sculptures and jewelry. For one day only, the owners of this incredible gallery will sell their artwork at the Eiteljorg. Prices range from $50 to $20,000.

    Botanical Architecture Workshop
    OCT. 12

    9 a.m. – Noon
    Price: $15 for non-members and $10 for members – includes discounted admission to the museum
     Bring your imagination to this Eiteljorg workshop and create your very own replica building to take home. Bits of natural materials, such as pods, tendrils, twigs, nuts, and moss will be used. Fee includes materials and instruction; pre-register and pre-pay by calling (317) 275-1310 by Oct. 4. Workshop is designed for adults but suitable for ages 12 and older. Participants will be using a hot glue gun and cutting tools.

    Artist in Residence: Norris Chee (Dineh)
    OCT. 19 & 26
    1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  
    Meet award-winning painter Norris Chee (Dineh) and watch as he demonstrates his art-making techniques.

    Buckaroo Bash: Carats, Corsets & Cowboys
    OCT. 25
    Start preparing your finest jewels and corseted saloon wear for a night of daring elegance! The museum’s annual fundraising event for Eiteljorg education programming returns to the museum for its 16th year. Attendees will be entertained by the Endless Summer Band, and enjoy innovative and delicious food from Harrison College’s Chef’s Academy pastry students and Kahn’s Catering. Plus, attendees will get to participate in both live and silent auctions, a wine pull and the chance to purchase raffle tickets for a piece of fine jewelry from G. Thrapp Jewelers. Tickets can be purchased online

    Day of the Dead
    OCT. 26
    11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    The Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a time to remember and honor deceased loved ones. Experience Día de Muertos at the Eiteljorg. See traditional papel picado, the cut paper decorations hung for Hispanic celebrations and get ideas for your own memorial by seeing the elements on the museum’s community ofrenda (offering place). Watch performances by Anderson Ballet Folklorico and Comparsa Tlahuicas. Meet artists in residence, Beatriz Schlebecker and Richard Gabriel Jr., and create your own papel picado and tin ornament to take home.

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  • Eiteljorg Insider | Five Questions with TWO SPIRITS director Lydia Nibley

    by Jaq Nigg, Eiteljorg festivals and events manager | Sep 25, 2013

    Two Spirits director Lydia Nibley

    Lydia Nibley's Two Spirits is the powerful documentary that tells the story of Fred Martinez – a Navajo boy who was beaten to death because his killer believed he was gay. Martinez actually considered himself “Two-Spirit,” or “nadleehi” – a Navajo term for a male-bodied person with a feminine essence.

    At 12:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28,  Two Spirits will be screened at the Eiteljorg. The film explores the bullying and violence commonly faced by LGBT people, and the epidemic of LGBT teen suicide. It also reveals the range of gender expression long seen as a healthy part of many of the indigenous cultures of North America.

    Lydia will join an expert panel this Saturday, at the museum, to discuss her award-winning film. But we wanted Eiteljorg visitors to learn a little more about our honored guest before she arrives.

    What is your favorite piece of artwork at the Eiteljorg?
    I feel drawn to historic artifacts that connect me to the people who came before—clothing and objects that were used every day.

    What inspires you?
    Finding stories to tell that can make a difference by opening hearts and minds to a new perspective.

    If you could spend an afternoon with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
    With my film Two Spirits in mind, Hastiin Klah, 1867-1937, the great Navajo medicine person, sandpainter and weaver who was third-gender. It would be fascinating to spend an afternoon in his company.  

    What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    Patti Smith, who provided music for Two Spirits says, “It’s the artist’s responsibility to balance mystical communication and the labor of creation.” I love that.

     What is one of your favorite quotes?
    “Work is love made visible.” – Kahlil Gibran

    What should we ask you that you want us to know about?
    Will you ask me what’s next for Two Spirits? Thanks for asking! We’re working hard (with mixed success) to make the case to philanthropists and foundations that the film needs to be available in more colleges, universities, high schools and libraries nationwide. We get such great reports about the impact of the film—suicide prevention, anti-bullying, deepening the conversation around sexuality and gender in ways that make a difference now and in the future. We’re just going to keep asking for support and hoping…and asking.

    For more information about Two Spirits, visit


    The museum is asking for the community's support through the Power2Give project -which empowers you to give directly to local arts projects you are passionate about. It will cost $4,900 to bring the Two Spirits presentation to the Eiteljorg. Chase Bank is matching the dollars - but if we don't raise the full amount, the matching money goes away.

    As of Sept. 26, the Eiteljorg needs $1,635 to fully fund this LGBT program.  Any dollar amount helps.

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  • Meet Native American Artist-in-Residence Iva Honyestewa this Saturday

    by Linda Montag-Olson, Eiteljorg arts programming manager | Sep 16, 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.
    Iva Honyestewa (Hopi)
    Meet her at the Eiteljorg, Saturday, Sept. 21
    1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

    This Saturday will be your last chance to meet Iva Honyestewa (Hopi).

    Iva is an award winning artist, who has been creating jewelry and baskets for nearly 20 years. Born in Gallup, NM and raised on the Hopi reservation, Iva owns an arts and crafts gallery in Second Mesa, AZ. Iva will share her basketry and the story of the Hopi baby naming ceremony, as well as talk about the Hopi path of life with visiting classes.  Students will consider and draw their own path of life, setting goals for the future as they work. 

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