Museum of Indian Arts and Culture honors Margarete Bagshaw, Josephine Myers-Wapp, and Jeri Ah-be-hill
Margarete Bagshaw (1964-2015), the daughter of artist Helen Hardin and granddaughter of Santa Clara Pueblo artist Pablita Velarde, was a painter and potter whose interest in making art came about during a spell of insomnia when she was in her late twenties. In the intervening years before her death she participated in gallery and museum exhibitions across the United States, but her influence extended beyond the visual arts. After the death of her grandmother in 2006, she cofounded ISW Studios, a recording studio in St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands. While there, she continued to paint, sending her works back to New Mexico. While her dynamic compositions are reminiscent of the modernist works of Hardin and Velarde, she developed her own techniques for surface treatment in her abstractions, layering colors and patterns for a luminous and dazzling effect. The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture honors Bagshaw along with Josephine Myers-Wapp (1912-2014) and Jeri Ah- be- hill (1934-2015) on Saturday, March 26, as part of Women’s History Month.
According to Native Times, Myers-Wapp was the oldest living Comanche at the time of her centennial. Known for her finger-weaving, she also learned traditional techniques on treadle and hand-frame looms and studied with renowned potter Maria Martinez. She was one of the first instructors at the Institute of American Indian Arts in the 1960s and taught fiber arts as well as fashion design and Native dance, working to revitalize indigenous art and culture. Her textiles have been exhibited internationally, in shows in South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Ah-be-hill was a Kiowa-Comanche elder and the mother of artists Teri Greeves and Keri Ataumbi. She was chairwoman of the Traditional Native American Clothing Contest at the annual Indian Market in Santa Fe for 17 years and was known for her impeccable sense of style and dress. Ah-be-hill and her husband, Richard Greeves, founded the Washakie Trading Company on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming in the mid-’60s. She moved with her daughters to Santa Fe in 1988 and worked and volunteered at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, IAIA, the Indigenous Language Institute, and SWAIA, and was a collector of traditional Native fashions.
The event celebrating Bagshaw, Myers-Wapp, and Ah-be-hill is from 1 to 4 p.m., includes stories and short films presented by their family members and contemporaries, and is free with museum admission. The museum is at 710 Camino Lejo. Call 505- 476-1269 for information.
— Michael Abatemarco
Margarete Bagshaw; top, Josephine Myers-Wapp, courtesy Museum of Indian Arts and Culture