Thursday, June 24, 2010

Haida Totem Pole Dedication

By Eva Fognell, Curator of the Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of American Indian Art

At the end of a very busy & exciting week we finally had our big splash - the Haida Totem Pole Dedication. The weekend-long event began with a great dinner for our guests, The Rainbow Creek Dancers, on Friday night. Then there was Saturday – the big day. Please do not let it rain! (Please don’t let it rain…) I think everyone that was involved checked the weather daily (hourly?) for the week leading up to May 29th. When I woke up in the morning, there was a light mist in the air. (Oh no…no rain). But it cleared up and became slightly hazy which kept it from getting too warm. By noon people started to crowd onto the front lawn of Fenimore Art Museum and eventually it seemed that every chair, and most of the lawn, was covered by people, children and blankets. Everyone was excited and anxious with anticipation because they didn’t know what to expect.

After remarks, the covering was dropped and as it fell to the ground there was a collective “oooohhh” sounding over the lawn. Reg Davidson, the artist of the Haida Totem Pole, and his dance troupe, The Rainbow Creek Dancers, put on an amazing performance of traditional Haida dances and wore traditional regalia and masks. The day turned out FANTASTIC and the museum has a magnificent contemporary artwork that we hope will welcome people to stop and see all we have to offer.

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