Mixed Me­dia

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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

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