Delina White, 2014 Regional Artist Fellow for the Upper Plains, is going to be busy this fall in five upcoming exhibitions throughout Minnesota. She’s presenting historical to contemporary women’s dress regalia through display and lectures along with meet-the-artist receptions; catch her event if you can. The event is called, “The Great Lakes Native Woodland Skirts” Project. “The project is giving me the opportunity to do what I have always wanted to do – to make beadwork and clothing that focuses on the historical significance of materials that I love and the beautiful way Native people used those materials to adorn themselves to create a culture identifiable as belonging to the woodlands of the Great Lakes region,” says Delina, member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.
The exhibition event will show a collection of twenty traditional skirts including beaded accessories such as: earrings, medallions, collars, bandolier and handbags, baby bonnets, and moccasins. All will be featured in a cultural presentation that defines when and how women’s traditional apparel changed from function to individual artistic expression.
Each show will be introduced by an educational lecture along with a photographic presentation about the history of the traditional skirt. “Historically, traditional skirts have been worn only for special gatherings such as pow-wows and ceremonies,” says White, bead worker and mixed media regalia maker, [however, I see] this project will revitalize a Native identity through the re-emergence of the Native woman’s skirt… how contemporary Native clothing is influenced by traditional design.”
“The NACF Fellowship has given me credibility as an artist,” says Delina, “it has given me confidence to pursue my interests in art and documentation that attests to my abilities to be accepted in the art world… it has opened doors of acceptance to secure shows in fine galleries and my opinions validated. This is a highly valuable and intangible accomplishment.”
“[Thus] I am showcasing my artwork to a broader audience like galleries where my artwork can be appreciated as fine art. My audience is growing and I’m gaining national attention.”
Delina White at work.
The first in a series of openings throughout Minnesota launches October 2nd at The Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork; then October 10th at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post; October 17th at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids; October 24th at Native American Community Development ‘All My Relations Gallery’ in Minneapolis and finally October 30th at the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth. Visit each gallery’s website for reception, meet the artist, and presentation details.
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