Contemporary Native American Art Exhibit Opens This Saturday at Middletown Art Center

Photo: Corine Pearce installing the Earth, Sky, and Everything in Between exhibit

The public is invited to the opening reception of Earth Sky and Everything in Between – an exhibit of contemporary Native American art curated by acclaimed Pomo basket weaver and cultural educator Corine Pearce. The exhibit opens at Middletown Art Center (MAC) this Saturday evening July 9th, from 6-8:30pm. An introduction and blessing will take place around 6:30pm. This is the first exhibit of its kind in Lake County.

The exhibit includes baskets, paintings, photos, digital media, and installations. Artwork on display celebrates traditional cultural arts and resilience while highlighting current, and long-time challenges and issues including ongoing colonialism, land access and place-based land management, (also known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge or TEK), intergenerational trauma, Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, identity, and blood quantum.

“The Earth Sky and Everything in Between exhibit is a very exciting event for the small town of Middletown and Lake County,” said Millie Simon, Middletown Rancheria Tribal Elder. ‘Indian people honor the artwork of our Ancestors. Our past, present, and future connect through the arts of basket and regalia making. Art is education, and cultural education is very important amongst the Tribes”.

The exhibit is part of MAC’s year-long project Weaving Baskets Weaving Bridges co-designed by Corine Pearce together with Millie Simon, Elem Cultural Educator Rose Steele, adult education specialist at the Lake Campus of Woodland Community College and MAC Board Member Mary Wilson, and MAC Executive and Artistic Director Lisa Kaplan. WEAVING uses the art of basketry as a vessel for cross-cultural healing and understanding through cultural exposure and the holistic practice of weaving – from native plant cultivation and preparation to weaving in community. The County of Lake’s historical museums will concurrently exhibit Pomo baskets that are normally kept in storage. Learn more about the project at middletownartcenter.org/weaving.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to create an indigenous space at the MAC that includes native artists from this region and from all over (the country). It’s been my pleasure to weave together artists and include family, friends, and colleagues,” said Pearce, an enrolled member of the Redwood Valley Rancheria with ancestry from both Lake and Mendocino County Tribes. “Sharing subject matter that is culturally significant with a larger audience is beneficial for everyone. My hope is that this show is just the beginning of growing understanding and communication across diverse cultural communities.”

Learn more about Corine Pearce, her weaving practice, and work in communities to revitalize, sustain and share cultural traditions at www.corinepearce.com. The WEAVING project and the exhibit Earth, Sky, and Everything in Between are funded in part by Middletown Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, Charlotte Griswold, and the California Arts Council, a State agency (www.arts.ca.gov).

The MAC is located at 21456 State Hwy 175 at the junction of Hwy 29 in Middletown. To find out more about Earth Sky and Everything in Between or other events, programs, opportunities, and ways to support the MAC’s efforts to weave the arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County, visit middletownartcenter.org​ or call 707-809-8118.

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