NCAC Emerging Artisan 2018/19 (Weaver)
Personally, I took it as a true test to see how confident I was in setting up a loom. The very first part of the process was to start with the warping. What would be an adequate size for a community loom? Enough that it could get finished within a week? I was taking into consideration to many things….on the day of setting up the loom, I packed what I thought we needed. Surprise! Of course, the zip ties I brought weren’t long enough, so now to look for wire. The words of our weaving instructor came to mind, “Make sure you have everything on hand, you don’t want to say ‘I don’t have it’ and put off weaving”. Should have packed the wire! Eventually, it was set up and ready to be created. I sat to the loom first; we were taught that the first couple of wefts are the foundation of your creation. You think positive thoughts about the weaving, the process it takes to complete and the journey upon completion. My thoughts were that whomever took the time to add a few or even more wefts would find themselves in complete peace and contentment. There is so much going on in the world and in our own lives today that sometime we forget to think about the present, “the here and now”.
If you have had the chance to sit down to the community loom to weave or even just to admire it, I hope that you had a moment of tranquility. I encourage you to make a visit to the museum exhibit, have a seat and add a few lines. You will not walk away disappointed.
NCAC Emerging Artisan 2018/19 (Silversmith)
I could become familiar with the tools, materials, and time that it would take to make these earrings.While that was a pretty cool learning experience - it was the workshop itself that took place on April 17th that truly made this experience worthwhile.
We had a tremendous amount of fun getting to know each other. After introductions were given and the “Ayes” were had, the safety gear went on. With their natural talent for designing, we got to do some stamp work and rolling plate designs on 24 gauge brass and 20 gauge silver. The end results were spectacular pairs of earrings they got to take home with them! They were both very inspiring to get to know and demonstrated that the student can sure teach the teacher. They revealed to me that everything an artist touches is art even if the materials are different. Although I am sure it was a transition for them - working with the rough destruction process of metal work instead of with gentle spinning of wool - swapping metal tools for their cedar tools they were used to.
It took a little bit of elbow grease and teamwork to complete the rolled earring. Very much well worth the sweat though. We had a lot of laughs and fun with the rolling plates. The biggest challenge we found was getting the perfect amount of pressure for the end result we wanted. My goal was to convey to the participants that the first thing silversmithing asks of you is the ability to channel your passion for creation. I hope that message came through!
I had a ton of fun connecting and encouraging! I hope to visit this mother and daughter duo in from Spider Rock sometime this summer. Ahe’hee for this experience!
Posting by Christine M. Ami, NCAP Grant Manager
The 1st Navajo Cultural Arts Week was a tremendous success! I would like to thank the 100+ community members from various chapters across the Navajo Nation as well as those visitors to our unique college campus who attended the exhibit, workshops, and lecture throughout this past week.
For our inaugural year, the NCAP transformed the northwest corner of the Ned Hatalthi Center Museum into a colorful exhibit of Emerging Artisan creations. Exhibit attendees were greeted with 3 large cases of NCAC silverwork, beading, and weavings. In addition to gathering various demographic data, we asked attendees to vote on your favorite piece. Of the 89 votes casted, Delia Wauneka's "Skittles" took home the Diné College Community Choice Award!
In addition to Delia's award, Carlon P. Ami's "Clouds From All Directions" received the 2016 Best of Show as well as Diné College President's Choice Award. His work was selected for his level of design, execution, and presentation for the medium of his selection.
Ilene Naegle's natural churro wool purse captured the eye of Greg Bigman for the Board of Regents President Choice Award and also contributed to her earning of the Preserving the Legacy of a Master Weaver, an award sponsored by Regent Theresa Hatalthie in honor of Bessie Zahne Hatathlie of Coalmine Mesa Arizona.
While exhibit attendees marveled at this student work during the day, 19 community members attended a variety of workshops led by our Emerging Artisans during the evening. Delia led a stamping workshop, Dawayne Bahe guided participants through an extremely popular beading workshop, and Carlon finished the week with an overlay workshop. All students left with some more knowledge, more friends, and, of course, more bling! Workshops were filled a week prior to the event, so we will be hosting more in the very near future.
Students in the workshop were also able to view the newly framed archived photos gathered from the Ruth and Bob Roessel Archive Center. NCAP's next project is identifying those individuals in the photos - so stop on by if you know someone who took Navajo cultural arts classes during the 1970's.
The week's events culminated with a Lecture and Museum Exhibit Reception. The inspiring Invocation from Dr. Henry Fowler, words of encouragement from Board of Regents President, Greg Bigman, heartfelt explanations of NCAP logo by Corey Begay and beautiful benediction offered by Marie Etsitty-Nez contributed to the positive atmosphere of not only the evening but the journey ahead of the NCAP. All of these happening surrounded our keynote speaker, Dr. Wilson Aronilth, Jr., who took the evening to introduce Navajo Cultural Arts Philosophy. Introduced by our gracious Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Navajo Nation 2014, McKeon Dempsey, Wilson spoke for an hour on significance of silverwork and weaving to the Navajo people. His shared stories, songs, and prayers that helped to provide a frame for what the Navajo Cultural Arts Program stands for: Intergenerational teachings of skills, philosophies, and ways of life that are promoted through and by Navajo cultural arts.
Everyone on the Diné College campus pulled together to make this event a success. I would especially like to thank various departments and divisions such as Ned Hatalthi Center Museum, Ruth and Bob Roessel Archive, Maintenance, Business Office, Custodians, Aramark, BASET, Center for Diné Studies, Social and Behavioral Sciences and Diné Policy Institute. Without all of your support and assistance, none of this would have been possible. To the Spring 2016 Business Interns (BUSI), Sharon Begay, Malcolm Bob, and Falencia Brown, thank you for your dedication to the program and preparation for this week's event. And of course there are the ever so delightful Emerging Artisans to thank. Carlon, Delia, Dawayne, and Ilene, thank you for pushing our program to be the best it can be.
A huge thank you also goes to Indian Jeweler Supply, Inc, Silver Dust, and Butler's Office Supply of Gallup and Griswold's Trading Post of Tse Bonito whose constant attention to detail have helped to make sure our Emerging Artisans and workshop participants have a safe work environment and supplies to produced their amazing pieces.