Home Education Student-selected Navajo weavings exhibit featured at the Kennedy Museum of Art

Student-selected Navajo weavings exhibit featured at the Kennedy Museum of Art

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The Ridges is home to a former asylum, and from now until Dec. 23, it is also the home of an art exhibit featuring traditional Native American artwork.

“Two Grey Hills: Navajo Weavings” is now on display at the Kennedy Museum of Art, an academic museum with a teaching mission.

According to exhibitions and collections manager Jeffrey Carr, the Navajo weavings were brought from the southwestern states, specifically from the Arizona and New Mexico area.

“They contain no dye and are composed of sheep’s wool,” Carr said. “Thus the natural colors of grey, brown and white are interwoven. They are different from any other kind of weaving.”

The style itself is called Two Grey Hills and earned recognition in the early 20th century. It is characterized by extremely fine tapestry weaving with geometric patterning and its natural, handspun wool in earth shades.

The exhibition at the Kennedy Museum features a smaller selection of weavings by master Navajo weavers from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a display of “pre-regional” weavings from 1910.

The weavings were previously on display at the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, West Virginia. A team of five Ohio University students worked with Sally Delgado, the curator of education at the museum and Lisa Quinn, the educational programs coordinator, to bring the pieces to Athens.

The students, Abby Carlson, Greg Hatch, Jeremiah Myers, Jaci Mullalley and Samantha Rommel, selected pieces and conducted research to write the artwork labels.

According to Delgado, the students also put together educational materials that have been used by ninth graders in Hocking County.

In 2006, the Kennedy Museum put together a book based on the collection edited by Jennifer McLerran called, “Weaving Is Life: Navajo Weavings from the Edwin L. and Ruth E. Kennedy Southwest Native American Collection.” The book included photos, essays and how-to guides for readers interested in learning the weaving style.

Caitlyn Lustt, a freshman majoring in fine arts, said she felt the weavings told a story.

“The fact that someone was willing to put that much work into a weaving adds a lot more meaning to it, and it tells you a lot about their life,” Lustt said.

Other current exhibits being shown at the Kennedy Museum include Art as Information: Maps, Plans and Diagrams, and Insights: The School of Art + Design Faculty Collection.

According to the museum’s website, Art as Information “explores how art conveys information through data, text, the body through physical records, spatial information through maps and the self-reflexive intentions of the artists through plans.” The maps and diagrams in the collection seek to express the process of artistic thought through abstract concepts.

Insights features work from college faculty and was gifted to the museum by the creators. The various portfolios seek to display the diverse work professors in the School of Art + Design have contributed to the art world.

Upcoming events include Wax and Gold: Contemporary Artists from the Horn of Africa.

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