Media Release

Trio of visiting artists to share Haida culture through talk and performances

LAWRENCE, KS, September 8, 2015—Three renowned indigenous artists from the Pacific Northwest Coast will visit the University of Kansas in September to share visual and performing arts of the Haida people. Their visit will include art demonstrations for students as well as a public lecture and performance. The artists include weaver Evelyn Vanderhoop, basket-maker Delores Churchill, and musician Gloria Burns.

“This is an incredible occasion for students and the community to learn about Haida culture through the diverse talents and experiences of these artists,” Spencer Museum Global & Indigenous Art Curator Cassandra Mesick said.

The three women will meet with students in KU Textile Studios to view their work and demonstrate Haida textile weaving, fiber spinning, and basket-making.

“We’re all incredibly excited about their visit to the Textile Studios and recognize what a special opportunity it is,” Associate Professor of Textiles/Fibers David Bracket said. “The students are especially eager to learn about unique weaving techniques and meet with practicing artists with such deep historical and cultural knowledge.”

On September 15, Vanderhoop will give a public artist talk about Naaxiin textiles, an indigenous weaving tradition of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She will then formally unveil a Naaxiin robe she recently completed at her studio in Masset, British Columbia. The robe depicts Qingi, the Monarch of the Sea, and replicates another robe collected in the late 1800s that now resides in the Royal British Columbia Museum. Vanderhoop will wear the robe in a traditional Haida dance performance joined by Churchill, who will wear another robe woven by Vanderhoop. Burns will accompany the dancers with Haida singing and drumming.

The artists’ visit is sponsored by the Spencer Museum of Art, The Commons, and Beth and Valentino Stella.

“The first dancing of a robe is a very rare opportunity to witness the ceremonial unveiling of a beautiful and powerful work of art,” Beth Stella said.

Programming Information

September 15

Artist Talk & Performance: Evelyn Vanderhoop, accompanied by Delores Churchill and Gloria Burns
7pm, The Commons, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.

Haida artist Evelyn Vanderhoop speaks about an indigenous weaving tradition of the Pacific Northwest Coast, followed by a formal unveiling and traditional dancing of a Naaxiin robe. Basket-maker Delores Churchill joins this performance wearing another of Vanderhoop’s robes, and Gloria Burns accompanies with drumming and singing.

Media Contacts

Elizabeth Kanost

Elizabeth Kanost
Communications Manager