Andrea Wilbur, Spindle Whorl

asta'bsHil3b axW ti qa'qtu
"The Return to the Swing"
Gathering of Indigenous Visual Artists
    June 23-30, 2001


There will be two exhibits that will result from this gathering. "The Return to the Swing" will be held in conjunction with the gathering and will feature work by the participants. Another exhibit, titled "Within the Circle of the Rim," will be a traveling exhibitin that will feature work produced during the gathering.

"The Return to the Swing"

International Exhibition of Pacific Rim Indigenous Artists

The Return to the Swing is an outstanding exhibition of emerging and established artists what will reflect contemporary and traditional artistic expression across disciplines and across cultures of indigenous peoples of the Pacific Rim. The exhibition is mounted as part of a larger Gathering of more than 68 artists representing more than 30 indigenous nations from among the United States, Canada, the Philippines and New Zealand/Aotearoa. Taking place in Evergreen Gallery IV, The Return to the Swing exhibition will include representative work by all participating Gathering artists and will include various media as well as traditional and non-traditional techniques. Much of the artwork will also be available for purchase. The exhibition-scheduled to coincide with important Gathering events-will be available for free public viewing during the following dates and times. Everyone is welcome to these free, public events. Daily parking permits ($1.25/day until 9 PM) can be purchased at the parking booth. Parking is free on Saturday and Sunday. A parking attendant can also provide directions to the campus Library Building (Gallery IV) or the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center. If an attendant is unavailable, a campus map is posted in the window of the parking booth.

Organized by the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center on the campus of the Evergreen State College, The Return to the Swing Gathering brings together five internationally recognized artists who will lead workshops for 63 additional participating artists. The five lead artists - each respected masters of their field - represent the five distinct art media in which the workshops will be conducted. Weaving Hazel Pete (Chehalis) Painting Frank La Pena (Wintu Nomtipom) Wood Sculpture Dempsey Bob (Tlingit/Tahltan), Pottery Nora Naranjo-Morse (Tewa Pueblo) Printmaking Joe Feddersen (Colville)

Each workshop is designed to unite and inspire the participating artists to work collaboratively throughout the week during which the Gathering takes place. The Gathering will also feature open studio time for the artists, exhibitions of their work, public tours of the artists' studios and numerous receptions. Not to be missed, the Opening Ceremonies of the Gathering will feature a Nez Perce horse parade, a traditionally prepared Native dinner ($20/person, limited seating available), keynote speaker Vi Hilbert (Upper Skagit), a living cultural treasure and former Evans Chair Scholar at TESC. Dinner will be followed by a performance by the Tsimshian Haayuuk Dance Troupe at the Longhouse. As noted above, Opening Ceremonies will take place on Sunday June 24th between 4 and 7 PM. The "asta'bsHil3b axW ti qa'qtu" (The Return to the Swing) Gathering and Exhibition received its name from Bruce Subiyay Miller (Skokomish). The name is derived from a Coast Salish creation story in which all the people of the world disperse from a sacred place where a swing has been lowered down to earth. According to the creation story, one day all people will return to the swing. This Gathering will reunite indigenous peoples from across the Pacific Rim, who will come together to share across cultures and across disciplines. According to co-curator Ann McCormack (Nez Perce), "Indigenous people have always gathered together from great distances to feast, sing and dance, to witness special events and to exchange ideas. We will be continuing a long-time tradition with this Gathering and exhibit." Mario A. Caro, co-curator of the exhibition and a member of the visual arts faculty at Evergreen, anticipates that "This event, and the exhibition that will represent its output, will provide a venue for indigenous artists to affirm traditional perspectives on art production, which do not always operate within a simple binary of western/non-western aesthetics."

In order to preserve the vitality of the creative synergy expressed during the Gathering, a thirty-piece traveling exhibition will be developed from the work created throughout the week. This future exhibition will begin traveling in June of 2002 and will be accompanied by an exhibition catalog and video documenting some of the working processes of the artists involved in the gathering. This new exhibition and catalog will be called "Hitemelkil`isix" (Within the Circle of the Rim) and will bring the voices and artistic excellence of indigenous people to a broader audience beyond the Gathering.

         Mask by Dempsey Bob (Tahltan/Tlingit)
Gathering Lead Artist