Artists’ display help remind all is ‘Under One Sky’ | NevadaAppeal.com

Artists’ display help remind all is ‘Under One Sky’

Sam Bauman, Appeal Staff Writer

A new chapter in the continuing Nevada State Museum exhibit “Under One Sky” was celebrated Thursday night with a fine display of art by Native Americans of the Great Basin.

Co-curator Ben Aleck, whose work is displayed on the flyer announcing the “Under One Sky” show, welcomed the 100 guests, saying, “We wanted this show to demonstrate some of the work contemporary Native American artists are creating.

“It’s a kind of work-in-progress as we plan to hold several more shows during the life of the ‘Under One Sky’ exhibit, which ends December 2004.”

In the J.W. Calhoun Changing Gallery, the show offers 19 Native American artists’ works in a variety of media — watercolors, abstract oils, representational drawings, sculpture, mixed media and leather works.

Some of the most striking pieces on exhibit were:

— A leather quiver and hand-crafted arrows using natural materials by artist Breton Pete, exquisitely finished.

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— A “Dancer Stick” by Jason Eben, authentic in its execution.

— Three cradle boards representing styles of the Western Shoshone, Washoe and Northern Paiute tribes. Each was beautifully finished.

— A mixed media painting by Jean Lamarr, titled “We Danced, We Sang, Until the Matron Came.” In the semi-abstract painting four Native American girls stand in poses of defiance, a clear reflection of the work’s poignant title.

Aleck, who is also co-curator of the Pyramid Lake Museum, greeted the guests, pointing out that the art display is linked closely to the original “Under One Sky” in the newer museum building. “See both,” he urged.

“We think there is a big range of art by Native Americans that few people see. This exhibit is meant to change that.”

Also welcoming the guests was Alanah Woody, collection manager for the museum who helped organized and hang the show.

Other Native Americans serving as co-curators for the show include Melvin Brown, Margery Hall Marshall, Melissa Meleo and Martlin Thompson.

Guests were encouraged to visit the “Under One Sky” exhibit — an elaborate, instructive panorama of the Great Basin, its tribes, history and natural resources. It celebrates Nevada’s Native American history and exhibits many cultural artifacts.

The Nevada State Museum on Carson Street is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 687-4810.