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.