The High Desert Museum, in Bend, Oregon, is currently hosting the Creations of Spirit exhibition. The pieces on display include historical artifacts and works by contemporary Native artists.
The beautiful pieces are enhanced by quotes throughout the gallery. I will let their words tell the stories.
Throughout the process, you continually impart yourself in the creation of that object. And when you’ve completed it, it takes on a life of its own.Philip Cash Cash, Ph. D., Weyíiletpuu (Cayuse) and Niimpíipuu (Nez Perce) tribes
I wanted to have my own story in the baskets. I wanted to keep the traditional form and the shape, but I wanted to add iconography that talked to the present.Joe Feddersen, Member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Root bag with multiple figures by Plateau artist (early 1900s); Basket with animal figures by Umatilla artist (mid-1900s); Round Dance pitcher & cup by Joe Feddersen, 2002; Berry-picking container by Vivian Harrison, (StuYat), Yakama/Palouse/Wishram, 2002
Most of my designs are from the petroglyphs along the Nch’i wana [Columbia River]. I love and appreciate where our people came from, and our people left animals as stories in our pictographs and petroglyphs. That’s why I want to instill them in my baskets and keep them alive. I want people to know that we’ve been seeing these animals for tens of thousands of years.Natalie Kirk, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Living art to me is when you’re pouring your soul into something and sharing it at the same time.Kelli Palmer, Enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Everything we make has a spirit. The one who wears the dress brings it to life. You can see that spirit alive when they dance.Roberta Kirk H’Klumaiyat, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs/Diné
These and other works in the Creations of Spirit exhibition can be seen at the Museum through October 1, 2023.