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Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota - Delta Arts Center

Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota

Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota

November 3, 2013 – January 25, 2014

Delta Arts Center Opening:  Sunday, Nov. 3, 3-5 pm

WFU MOA Opening: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7-9 pm

The Delta Arts Center will co-present an exhibit with Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA) entitled Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota.  The exhibit combines two independent but related exhibits. Creating: Quilts of the Lakota is organized by The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, and the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania.  Contemporary Creations: Arts and Crafts by Lakota Artists is organized by C-H Jacobson Produktion AB of Stockholm, Sweden.   The exhibition will open on November 3, 2013  at Delta Arts Center and on November 5 at MOA, and run through January 25, 2014.

The combined exhibit presents 20 eye-dazzling quilts and 32 items of apparel and dance regalia made in traditional style by Lakota artisans.  The MOA will share the combined exhibit with Delta Arts Center.  Each venue will display about half of the quilts and crafts.  “We are extremely honored to present this exciting exhibit in partnership with a fellow cultural institution,” states Daphne Holmes Johnson, Interim Director of the Delta Arts Center. “ It not only displays the fascinating craftsmanship of the Lakota but also opens up an avenue for dialogue about African and Native American relations and ancestry.”

Quilting has long been a part of the cultural heritage of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota. However, some of the most exquisite works produced by tribe members have never been seen outside of the reservation. The exhibit highlights outstanding examples of 20th century and contemporary works.  Although similar in construction to other American quilts, the iconography of these Lakota textiles reflect a Sioux Oclala religious and cultural heritage that is largely unknown in this part of the country. The insertion of symbols  in contemporary quilts from popular culture (e.g. the basketball or flag) makes these works different from other folk textiles.

The contemporary, traditional Lakota crafts in the exhibit were made by members of different Lakota tribes across South Dakota between 1982 and 1992.  The craftspeople are considered to be among the best and most skilled in their fields.  The crafts play an important role in the preservation of old tribal traditions as craftspeople often teach the younger members of their families the necessary skills.

For the exhibition’s opening on November 5, the Swedish curators of the exhibit’s crafts, Claes Jacobson and Eva Anderson, will present “The Legacy of John Anderson’s 45 years at Rosebud: Photographers and Artists Preserving Lakota Cultural Heritage,” an illustrated lecture, at 7:00 p.m. at the Museum.

A series of activities are planned in conjunction with the exhibit at the Delta Arts Center:

  • Community Day – Saturday, November 9, 10 am – 12 noon
  • Black Native Americans in North Carolina, Lecture by Shonda Buchanan –  November 14, 6:00 pm
  • Lakota Quilts & The Craft of Quilting, Lecture by Shonda Buchanan – November 15, 1:00 pm

Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota is supported by grants from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Humanities Institute at Wake Forest University, the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Wake Forest University, and a Milton Rhodes Innovative Project Grant from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.