Sunday, February 9, 2014

Making Marks: Prints from Crow's Shadow Press

Where: National Museum of the American Indian

When: through May 2014

The exact closing date for this show is not listed on the Smithsonian website, although I seem to recall seeing May 26 as the last day somewhere.  You've got some time to wander over to that side of the Mall, in any event.

Crow's Shadow Press is located in Oregon and provides an artistic home for both Native and non-Native contemporary artists.  Founded in 1992, its purpose is to provide opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development.  It provides spaces to teach, create and show art; the classes are on a wide variety of topics, not just print-making (copyright is among the offerings).

Although I'm just not a fan of prints generally, the works of James Lavadour did hold my interest.  The work shown in this display is of places he visited on camping trips with his family when he was a child.  All of the land has now been clear-cut; it's as if this part of his past has simply been erased.  As he says, "the places that I remember do not exist anymore."  I suppose all of us could make this same comment, as nothing remains static.  There's a certain poignancy to this idea that has remained with me since I saw the show.  It's so easy to take our regular haunts for granted, but they can be "paved over" at any time.  Best to appreciate them now.

Verdict: If you like prints, this is a nice small show, easily managed in a lunch hour.

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