47 East 200 North, St. George, Utah 84770
Phone: 435.627.4525 Fax: 435.627.4526
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10-5 3rd Thursdays 10-9pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 10, 2011
Contact Person: Deborah Reeder
ST. GEORGE ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW EXHIBITS
March 21 through 31, 2011
Main Gallery Into the Mysteries of the Super Real: Charles Becker Paintings
April 2nd through May 21st, 201
Main Gallery Into the Mysteries of the Super Real: Charles Becker Paintings Continue
Mezzanine Gallery Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art
Legacy Gallery Willow Stories: Utah Navajo Story Baskets & Navajo Children: Weaving the Future
Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art opens on April 2nd at the St. George Art Museum. This exhibition traces the histories of coiled basketry in Africa and America and explores the evolution of an ancient art. Featuring baskets from the low country of South Carolina and Georgia as well as from diverse regions of Africa, the exhibition traces the story of coiled basketry from the domestication of rice in Africa, through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Carolina rice plantation, and then into the present day.
Visitors to the St. George Art Museum will experience diverse artifacts including baskets, basket-making tools and, historic rice cultivation artifacts. Grass Roots highlights the remarkable beauty of coiled basketry and shows how the market basket can be viewed simultaneously as a work of art, object of use, and container of memory. In this exhibition the humble but beautifully crafted coiled basket, made in Africa and the southern United States, becomes a prism in which audiences will learn about creativity and artistry characteristic of Africans in America from the 17th century to the present. A beautifully illustrated catalog is available in the Museum Store.
Also on view at the same time are Willow Stories: Utah Navajo Story Baskets, as well as Navajo Children Weaving the Future. You will have a marvelous opportunity to learn about the differences and similarities between Southwestern & Southeastern baskets.
Museum hours are Monday-Saturday 10-5pm. Art Conversations take place each 3rd Thursday at 7pm. Call 435.627.4525 for more information or visit our website at www.sgartmuseum.org. Admission is $3 per adults & $1 for children.
The exhibition has been made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art was organized by the Museum for African Art in New York City in collaboration with the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture in Charleston, SC. It was co-curated by Chief Curator Enid Schildkrout, Museum for African Art, and Curator and Historian Dale Rosengarten, College of Charleston. The exhibition is toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance through NEH on the Road. NEH on the Road offers eight different exhibitions for small to mid-sized communities across the country. Mid-America Arts Alliance was founded in 1972 and is the oldest regional nonprofit arts organization in the U.S. For more information, visit: www.nehontheroad.org or www.maaa.org.
In conjunction with Grass Roots, the St. George Art Museum presents, Willow Stories: Utah Navajo Story Baskets, a Utah Arts Council Traveling Exhibition, from April 2nd through May 21st, 2011. Willow Stories features basketwork created by four generations of Navajo women, and illustrates how the role of the basket has changed over time in their society.
In Navajo society, baskets have traditionally held dual roles, both as vessels to hold household goods and as containers in various sacred ceremonies. Over time, a combination of factors, including the gradual replacement of these functional baskets with modern containers, and the strict taboos dictating how and when to weave ceremonial baskets, led to a decline in Navajo basket weaving. During the 1970s, a revival of traditional basket weaving took place, with the focal point of activity located in the Utah Navajos communities living in the Monument Valley area. Inspired by the art of the prehistoric Mibres and Anasazi, neighboring tribes, and their own native patterns, these modern Navajo weavers developed a new hybrid style that use animal images, human figures, and illusionary geometric designs to depict traditional beliefs, stories, and legends.
Curated by the Utah Arts Council's Folk Art Program, Willow Stories features the work of ten of contemporary Navajo basket weavers from Utah, and includes photographs as well as artist biographies.
Additionally, the St. George Art Museum presents, Navajo Children Weaving the Future, a Utah Arts Council’s Traveling Exhibition featuring traditionally woven rugs created by young Navajo children educated in the traditional art form through the Adopt-an-Elder Program. The textile work will also be on display from April 2nd through May 21st, 2011.
Hand-made rugs and blankets have always played an important role in the culture and economy of Native Americans. Traditionally, weaving techniques and patterns are passed down from mother to daughter; yet, the encroachment of modern life and technology threatened the continuation of this practice. Today, groups such as the Adopt-an-Elder Program are helping to counter this trend. These organizations provide an environment in which traditional weaving techniques can be passed on within a community. This allow for youth to perpetuate the practice, and tap into the global tourism market inspired by a renewed interest in history and culture, as well as economic development activity.
The rugs included in this exhibition were created by Navajo children, and are on loan from the non-profit organization and “Adopt an Elder Program.” Adopt an Elder fosters rug sales directly from traditional weavers, who in turn get one hundred percent of the profits. Adopt an Elder also organizes donations of wool, food, and other essentials for the less fortunate elders. For further information or to get involved in the program please contact Lynda Myers, Director, 435.649.0535.
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ Traveling Exhibit Program is a statewide outreach program that provides schools, museums, libraries, and community galleries with the opportunity to bring curated exhibitions to their community. This program is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on participating in the program, please contact Laura Durham, TEP Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801.533.3582. For media inquires, please contact Wendi Hassan, Communications Specialist, at email@example.com or call 801.236.7548.
The Utah Division of Arts & Museums is a division of the Utah Department of Community and Culture with a goal to promote innovation in and the growth of Utah’s arts and culture community. The Division provides funding, education, and technical services to individuals and organizations statewide so that all Utahns, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or economic status, can access, understand, and receive the benefits of arts and culture. Additional information on the programs and services can be found at artsandmuseums.utah.gov or by calling 801.236.7555.