The Delta Arts Center will co-present an exhibit with the Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology (MOA).
“Creating: Quilts and Crafts of the Lakota” combines two independent related exhibits. “Creating: Quilts of the Lakota” is organized by The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 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 Nov. 3 at the Delta Arts Center, 2611 New Walkertown Rd., and on Nov. 5 at MOA, where it will stay through Jan. 26.
The combined exhibit presents 20 eye-dazzling quilts and 32 items of apparel and dance regalia made in traditional style by Lakota artisans. Each venue will display about half of the quilts and crafts.
“We are extremely honored to present this exciting exhibit in partnership with our sister organization,” said Daphne Holmes Johnson, interim director of the Delta Arts Center. “It not only displays the fascinating craftsmanship of the Lokota 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 Nov. 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 p.m. at the Museum.
A series of activities are planned in conjunction with the exhibit at the Delta Arts Center, including Community Day on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon; “Black Native Americans in North Carolina” on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.; and “ Lakota Quilts & The Craft of Quilting” on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m.