NCAP Intern - Student Affairs Project for Success Internship Program
Upon my first day with NCAP I met the program assistant Sheryl, who was very nice and also very busy. Despite her schedule, she set aside time to make me feel welcomed. When she introduced herself, I found out that she started with NCAP as an intern too! Sheryl let me know about the in's and out's of the Program as well as the current major project we were working on. It just so happened that the time I had joined the NCAP team was during the last week of preparations for the “Celebrating Cultural Arts Teaching: Silversmithing with Wilson Aronilth Jr.” exhibit opening. I have never had the opportunity to be apart of a big event like the exhibit before. It’s a different experience to be the person “behind the scenes”.
Now that the Navajo Cultural Arts Exhibit is in full swing, I’m learning about silversmithing. Which seems funny for me because my brother is a silversmith. Prior to the exhibit I wasn’t curious enough to ask my brother about it. Now I want to know more and, as part of my job, I have too! Here is where I am working out the kinks to my people skills. Everyday I practice my public speaking because, as part of the exhibit, I get the opportunity to give tours to visitors. My supervisor, Christine walked me through how to engage with visitors and gave me the backstories to each artisan’s work. She made it look so easy - the stories just rolled off her tongue. My confidence and body language didn't come off as natural the first time around but I have seen progression in myself and I intend to keep it that way.
I’m enjoying my internship with NCAP. I work with a great team and I’m honored to be apart of something that has so much cultural value behind it. I’m positive I will take away many skills that will have major benefits as a student, and in my future profession. I’m looking forward to upcoming events that NCAP has in store and completing the rest of my internship.
PS - The "Celebrating Cultural Arts Teaching: Silversmithing with Wilson" Exhibit just got extended to April 13th!!! Stop by for a tour and an application for our 4th Navajo Cultural Arts Certificate Cohort. Just ask for Jazzmine!
Sue V. Begay
Hi blog readers! Do you remember me?! My name is Sue V. Begay an Emerging Navajo Artist from Dennehotso, AZ-Navajo Nation-USA. I am a proud member of the Navajo Nation. My clans are the Hashtl’ishnii clan born for the Kinyaa’aanii, my grandfathers are the Tabaaha and paternal grandfathers are the Kinlichii’nii. You may remember me from the 2017/18 Navajo Cultural Arts Certificate Cohort – I was learning the cultural art of Moccasin Making and enhancing my skills in Weaving. Last year, my moccasins “White Shell Woman” took home the Board of Regents’ Choice Award at the 2017 Navajo Cultural Arts Exhibit.
I am now in the NCAP Apprenticeship Program and under the guidance of Master Weaver TahNibaa Naataanii. The Apprenticeship Program is for NCAC graduates like myself who want to continue their learning in a more specialized fashion. During the application process, we submit interest to work one-on-one with a mentor.
This is my fifth week in the apprenticeship. I can honestly say that my learning about weaving has grown tremendously since day one when I met with TahNibaa and her mother Sara. That day we spent getting to know each other – our strengths (and my weaknesses). It’s a good thing I know when to ask questions – because I sure had a lot of them! My first lesson was on terminology. I didn’t know what some of the rug weaving terms were and I got a quick lesson that first day. The vocabulary words that I learned are the “S” and the “Z” twists, rolags, skein, fine weight, medium weight, and heavy weight.
With TahNibaa’s assistance, I ordered my a Niddy Noddy, drop spindle, and carding tool for myself. If you are going to do things right – you need to have your own tools, she stresses. This way I can practice at home the proper way of handling my spindle. With the tools ready, I learned how to do the “Navajo three ply,” which is also called the “chain”. I learned how to do the “Andean wrap” on my hand. And with those first meetings under my belt, I was sent off with more homework – to use those techniques to make the edge cords of one of my rugs.
Things that I learned are going to help with my future rugs. Proper warping and how to “dress a rug” have been just a few of the techniques that I have learned. All this new knowledge, I just soak up the information like the wool soaks up the water. I can only get better and I plan to work hard at the skills that were introduced to me.
NCAPERS (Alumni and Current), if you are (1) a NCAC graduate or will be by Summer 2018 and (2) are interested in the being an apprentice, you should check out the NCAP website for the Apprenticeship Program. The application period for the Apprenticeship Program has just opened and will close April 20th!