An exhibit of contemporary Native American art opens this Saturday at Middletown Center for the Arts – The Bloom

Photo: Corinne Pearce installs Earth, Heaven and everything in between exhibit

The public is invited to an opening reception Earth’s sky and everything in between – an exhibition of contemporary Native American art curated by renowned Pomo basket weaver and cultural educator Corinne Pierce. The exhibit opens at the Middletown Art Center (MAC) this Saturday evening, July 9th from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. The introduction and blessing will take place at approximately 6:30 p.m. This is the first exhibition of its kind in Lake County.

The exhibition includes baskets, paintings, photographs, digital media and installations. The artworks on display celebrate traditional cultural arts and sustainability while highlighting current and long-standing challenges and issues, including ongoing colonialism, land access and place-based land management (also known as traditional ecological knowledge or TEK), intergenerational trauma, missing and murdered Native women, identity and amount of blood.

“The Earth’s sky and everything in between exhibit is a very exciting event for the small town of Middletown and Lake County,” said Millie Simon, Middletown Rancheria Tribal Elder. “The Indian people revere the works of our forefathers. Our past, present and future are connected through the art of basket and regalia making. Art is education, and cultural education is very important among the tribes”.

The exhibition is part of MAC’s year-long project Basket weaving Bridge weaving co-designed by Corinne Pierce along with Millie Simon, Elem Cultural Educator Rose Steele, Woodland Community College’s Lake Campus Adult Education Specialist and MAC Board Member Mary Wilson, and MAC Executive and Artistic Director Lisa Kaplan. WEAVING uses the art of basketry as a vessel for cross-cultural healing and understanding through cultural exposure and the holistic practice of weaving – from native plant cultivation and preparation to community weaving. The Lake County Historical Museums will simultaneously display Pomo baskets that are normally kept in storage. Learn more about the project at middletownartcenter.org/weaving.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to create a local space at the MAC that features local artists from this region and all over (the country). It was a pleasure to bring artists together and include family, friends and colleagues,” said Pierce, a member of the Redwood Valley Rancheria who hails from the Lake County and Mendocino tribes. “Sharing a topic that is culturally relevant to a larger audience is a win-win. I hope this show is just the beginning of growing understanding and communication between different cultural communities.”

Learn more about Corine Pearce, her weaving practice and work in communities to revive, maintain and share cultural traditions at www.corinepearce.com. The WEAVING project and the exhibition Earth, Heaven and everything in between are funded in part by Middletown Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, Charlotte Griswold, and the California Arts Council, a state agency (www.arts.ca.gov).

MAC is located at 21456 State Hwy 175 at the intersection of Hwy 29 in Middletown. To learn more about Earth’s sky and everything in between or other events, programs, opportunities and ways to support MAC’s efforts to weave arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County, visit middletownartcenter.org or call 707-809-8118.

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