A couple of years ago, I wanted to make some button robes, but I didn’t feel like designing them. I guess I was just feeling lazy! So I did what I’ve never done before – I asked another artist for designs! I called up my friend Preston Singletary and asked him if he had any designs on hand that were suitable for button robes. He sent me two; one of the robes is now owned by Crystal Rogers Nelson and the other one is this one: Raven. Made with black and red wool melton cloth and some of the thousands of antique mother-of-pearl buttons I have been collecting for a good 25 years. Little does Preston know that we are 2 of 11 Native American artists invited to submit something for an exhibit that is traveling Russia for over a year.
“Woven Together” is an exhibit intended to share a small part of Native American culture with Russians in the Urals. This will likely be the first exposure to Native American culture for many who visit the exhibit. Typically, the Consulate supports such artistic exchanges in order to encourage contact between Russians and Americans and to promote interest in the diverse people that inhabit the U.S.
The exhibit will travel to three cities in Russia – Yekaterinburg, Orenburg and Surgut. In all three cities there will be opportunities to show objects in display cases as well as on the walls.
Yekaterinburg is an industrial city and the capital of the Urals. Previously, they have hosted an exhibit of Native American photography.
Orenburg is a remote city in the south of the Urals that is simply interested in learning more about other cultures. This will be their first time hosting an exhibit the American consulate and they are very enthusiastic.
Surgut is a city located in a region that is home to the Khanti and Mansi peoples. The region is committed to preserving and honoring the cultural heritage and traditions of the Khanti and Mani peoples, and they are particularly interested in the Woven Together exhibit to learn more about Native peoples in the U.S.