The two-month “In the Spirit” exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma will culminate Saturday with a free Native American arts festival and market.
And there’s a bonus: “The museum worked it so that admission to the museum is also free,” said Laura Grabhorn, assistant director of The Evergreen State College’s Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, which is co-sponsoring the event.
The festival will feature performances by the Puyallup Canoe Family, flutist and singer Rona Yellow Robe and storyteller and musician Cochise Anderson, among others.
The festival also will feature the Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers, which have performed at In the Spirit events for several years.
“Both groups feature new bentwood box drums that artists in the groups made at the Longhouse’s first residency in the new carving studio under master artist David Boxley,” Grabhorn said. He is a Tsimshian artist who is internationally recognized for his carvings and prints.
The festival and market are designed to complement the two-month “In the Spirit: Contemporary Northwest Native Arts” exhibit at the museum.
The show features the works of 21 artists, including Vickie Era Pankretz of Olympia. She entered a piece called “Cotton on Rye,” which is a grass weaving over a curved vase.
The Alutiiq artist is retired from the Legislature, where she worked as a Senate staffer. She has weaved for about 20 years.
Pankretz said she’s been a vendor at several In the Spirit festivals, but this is the first time she’s participated in the juried show, which she describes as a mix of contemporary and traditional Native American techniques.
“There are such a variety of different tribal artists,” she said. “I think it’s really a good representation of tribes that are not only Northwest, but by people who do arts from other tribes who live in the area.”
If you go
The 2013 In the Spirit Northwest Native Arts Market & Festival, featuring performances, demonstrations and artwork, will be from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Saturday at the Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Admission to the festival and the museum is free for the event.