The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian opens two new shows
REDLETTER DAY: OPENINGS AT THE WHEELWRIGHT MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN
A new exhibition about the arts of the Jicarilla Apache people opens on Sunday, June 12, at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, with a free day of art demonstrations and a storytelling performance. Basketry, beadwork, and micaceous pottery are the focus of Jicarilla: Home Near the Heart of the World, on display through April 16, 2017.
The show includes more than 80 objects dating from the mid-19th century to more contemporary work. Among the most recent artworks are pieces produced by artists affiliated with the Jicarilla Arts and Crafts Department, a tribal enterprise with the mission of encouraging the perpetuation of the tribe’s traditional arts. Home Near the Heart of the World also includes baskets and beadwork collected by Hortence Goodman more than half a century ago and since purchased by the Jicarilla Apache Nation. Goodman was the owner of Goodman’s Department Store in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, from about 1920 to the 1960s, and was known for accepting baskets for blankets and other merchandise.
The Jicarilla have lived for centuries along what is now the New Mexico/Colorado border. Their survival was aided by the fact that they nurtured a network of commerce relationships with other tribes in the region. Among the renowned products traded by the Jicarillas were micaceous cookware, beadwork, and baskets of the types visible in the show at the Wheelwright.
The exhibition, staged in collaboration with the Jicarilla Apache Nation and the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, also includes pottery from the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Also opening at the Wheelwright on June 12 is a show of jewelry by Eveli Sabatie. Born in Algeria and educated in Paris, Sabatie became a protégé of Hopi jeweler Charles Loloma. In her early thirties, she left the Loloma studio and moved to Santa Fe to begin her own career in jewelry.
At the public opening on Sunday, Jicarilla Apache artists offer demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and there is a storytelling performance by Kate Hodges on the life of Eveli Sabatie at noon. The Wheelwright (505-982-4636) is located at 704 Camino Lejo. Entrance is by museum admission after the free public opening day. — Paul Weideman
Above, Jicarilla Apache headdress, circa 1870, Collection of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; left, Snake Pendant by Eveli Sabatie, circa 1990