MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — A new exhibit of contemporary Native American art curated by famed Pomo weaver and cultural educator Corine Pearce will open at the Middletown Art Center this weekend.
The public is invited to the opening reception for “Earth Sky and Everything in Between,” which opens at the Middletown Art Center from 6-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. An introduction and blessing will take place around 6:30 p.m.
This is the first exhibit of its kind in Lake County.
The exhibition includes baskets, paintings, photos, digital media and installations.
The artworks on display celebrate traditional cultural arts and resilience while highlighting current and long-standing challenges and issues including ongoing colonialism, land access and place-based land management – also known as Traditional Ecological Knowledge or SET – as well as intergenerational trauma, missing and murdered Indigenous women, identity and bloodshed.
“The Earth Sky and Everything in Between Expo is a very exciting event for the small town of Middletown and Lake County,” said Middletown Rancheria Tribe Elder Millie Simon. “Indians honor the works of art of our ancestors. Our past, present and future connect through the arts of basket weaving and badge making. Art is education, and cultural education is very important among the tribes.
The exhibit is part of the MAC’s year-long project, ‘Weaving Baskets Weaving Bridges’, co-designed by Corine Pearce with Millie Simon, Elem Cultural Educator Rose Steele, Adult Education Specialist at the Lake Campus of Woodland Community College and MAC Board Member Mary Wilson, and MAC Executive and Artistic Director Lisa Kaplan.
“Weaving” uses the art of basket weaving as a vehicle for cross-cultural healing and understanding through cultural exposure and the holistic practice of weaving – from the cultivation and preparation of native plants to community weaving.
Lake County Historical Museums will simultaneously display Pomo baskets that are normally in storage. Learn more about the project at www.middletownartcenter.org/weaving.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to create an Indigenous space at the MAC that brings together Indigenous artists from this region and from all over (the country). It has been my pleasure to weave artists together and include family, friends and colleagues,” said Pearce, an enrolled Redwood Valley Rancheria member with Lake Tribe and Mendocino County ancestors. “Sharing a culturally significant topic with a wider audience benefits everyone. I hope this show is just the beginning of growing understanding and communication between diverse cultural communities.
Learn more about Corine Pearce, her weaving practice and work in communities to revitalize, maintain and share cultural traditions at www.corinepearce.com.
The Weaving project and the exhibition Earth, Sky, and Everything in Between are funded in part by Middletown Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, Charlotte Griswold, and the California Arts Council, a state agency.
The MAC is located at 21456 State Highway 175 at the junction of Highway 29 in Middletown.
To learn more about Earth Sky and Everything in Between or other events, programs, opportunities, and ways to support MAC’s efforts to weave arts and culture into the fabric of life in Lake County, visit www. .middletownartcenter.org or call 707-809-8118.