Crossroads of Continents Belt

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The “Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberian and Alaska” exhibition, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the Soviet Institute of Ethnography in 1990, highlighted indigenous cultures of Siberia and far northwestern North America.  The Crossroads of Continents belt shows five Siberian and five Alaskan figures separated by silver and scrimshaw oval elements.  Each of the ten individual figures portrays a distinct people: the Koryak, Even, Chukchi, Yukaghir and Nanai from Siberia, and the Alaskan Inupiat, Aleut, Kodiak Alutiiq, Northern Athabascan and Tlingit from Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia. 

Excerpt from Arctic Transformations, The Jewelry of Denise and Samuel Wallace by Lois Sherr Dubin, 2005

The Crossroads belt was created in 1990 in our studio in Santa Fe, NM.  I wanted to create a belt that spoke from my heart about the pride I feel as a native person from an arctic land.  The exhibition “Crossroads of the Continents” spoke to me in a way that sparked that pride.  When I first saw the Crossroads exhibit, I was inspired by the detail of the garments.  All the painstaking hours and thoughtful use of the materials gave me a wonderful feeling of pride.  My vision was to create an arc of the different tribes from Siberia across to Southeastern Alaska in their different but similar traditional garments.  This piece is an expression of appreciation and pride for these northern people, my ancestors.

Denise Wallace 2000

The Crossroads of Continents belt is a work of singular beauty, a total tour de force-yet a private and deeply personal homage to peoples with a common lineage of sixteen thousand years.  “It didn’t come to me at the time of first seeing the exhibition,” says Wallace, “but five or six months later, I started to work on the designs.  I wanted to put so much into these piece.  I wanted them to be a tribute to my own culture and to the connections the exhibition was making.”

Taking the greater part of 1990, it is estimated that approximately twenty-five hundred hours were spent executing the belt.  Working towards its completion was an arduous creative journey.  Wallace describe the physical and emotional voids left from such an enormous undertaking as unlike any artistic experience she has yet encountered and the exhaustion as numbing, unfolding like waves.

The personal intensity and drive it took to complete the Crossroads of Continents belt is a too rare instance of artistic collaboration transcending individual ego to produce a work of lasting cultural and creative importance.

Excerpts from Ornament Magazine Winter 1991

For the full version of Ornament’s Article

I will be showing this belt along with two other belts and numerous other pieces FOR SALE at the Collector’s Courtyard in the Hotel de Chimayo, 125 Washington Street, Santa Fe, NM.  Look  for the Waddell Group on the first floor.   I’ll be showing with my friend, Dorothy Grant, the premier Haida fashion designer on August 15 & 16 from 10AM-5PM and August 17 & 18 from Noon-5PM

Please visit my website for more information

www.denisewallace.com

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Aloha New Year

2013

Welcome to my world and my studio.  I want to show you the work space I share with my daughter, my son and my grandson. The studio is really an inviting place to spend time, but it is a private area and we currently do not have an open studio policy..so please enjoy the photos and the environment around the studio via photographs… You’ll notice that there are a few things outside the studio that lure us away from the work…ah such is life

 

 

Outdoor sawing area

Outdoor sawing area

Jack Fruit Tree

Jack Fruit Tree

Jack Fruit

Jack Fruit

Grapefruits

Grapefruits

Grapefruit tree

Grapefruit tree

Avocados

Avocados

Avocado Tree

Avocado Tree

Bird of paradise 2

Bird of paradise 2

bird of paradise 1

bird of paradise 1

blue jade vine

blue jade vine

hawaiian chile peppers

hawaiian chile peppers

front of studio..chickens

front of studio..chickens

view from studio 2

view from studio 2

view from studio window 1

view from studio window 1

view of the studio

view of the studio

container of stones and tusk bits

container of stones and tusk bits

my daughter's work bench

my daughter’s work bench

stuff on my work bench

stuff on my work bench

my work bench

my work bench

IMG_7973

Outside studio area

Outside studio area

Outside studio area

Outside studio area

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Hawaii Collaboration 2012

The week of October 16-21, 2012 I spent at the Lake Family home/studio in Holualoa with 30 plus other artist/craftspeople working on collaborating art. The artwork was then shuffled off to the Holualoa Art Center where it was auctioned off in a beautiful evening setting with great food and drinks.

Their facebook page has wonderful photos and insight to the concept of this gathering.

This is a copy from their facebook page to give you an idea of their mission statement and the concept of this gathering

About

30 invited artists will collaborate to bring you creative, original art pieces. All proceeds benefit art scholarships and future events.

Mission

“Ho’o hui a ho’opa’a, Olelo no eau.” “Bringing together all skillful artists and the talented/wise, to gather as a people and stand together.”

General Information

There is no better way to expand as an artist than to come together with like minded individuals. These individuals can create a ripple effect in their communities and help begin an explosion of creativity. From October 20 – 24, twenty five master artists representing 14 different media gathered together for three days and nights to share, learn, and create art together. The concept was intriguing, but the experience was life changing as the creative process was compressed and then exploded. Modeled after larger events in Canada ( the Emma Collaboration) and New Zealand, this event hopes to expand into a multi-cultural and international gathering that will build bridges between worlds. The 58 pieces produced are currently on exhibition in Holualoa at the Loveins’ Holualoa Gallery and at the Cliff Johns gallery and a no reserve auction will be held on November 19th with funds going towards more collaborations. The support for this idea has been most encouraging. Thanks to all who helped make this happen.

I had a fantastic week with all of the artists. I worked with Kapa Artist Ben Ka’uhane Haloca and collaborated on several pieces with different artists, including ceramicist Amber Aguirre, blacksmiths Henry Pomfret, Spike Blaine and Ethan Froney, encaustic artist John Matsushita, wood worker John Mydock and glass artist Hugh Jenkins.

The week started out with a pule by Ben Haloca and Kala Willis and their ohana. This helped to unify us as a group and to call in our protectors to keep us from hurting ourselves or anyone else. Since I had never been to this type of gathering I was nervous and excited to see what would happin. Well it was more that I can express in this post, but it started off with a yard full of antique junk, wood, metal and lots of equipment, where the more experienced collaborators ran out of the starting gates and starting grabbing stuff and making their piles. The first madman was Australian John Van der Kolk who cut of the head of a wooden bull and gave me the impression he had no inhibitions to jumping off the cliff artistically. Next was Amber Aguirre who had these ideas already forming in her head for a teleidoscope and a prasinoscope…she got busy right away forming her concepts and drawing in anyone who would show an interest. Amber who is a fantastic artist also put out about 5 pieces of scrimshaw that she had done back in the mid 1980’s and described by her in terms of time, as two husbands ago…they were fabulous detailed dot type scrimshaw that she had sitting around for 30 years waiting for a new life. I ended up setting one of them, but not until I went back to her the next day and asked about them and they were all taken…sheesh. I guess I wasn’t fast enough out of the gate, but with some talking, I found one that Elizabeth Spotswood Alexander had and she graciously handed it to me.

Here are some photos from the week.

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Alaska Federation of Natives Convention

Also known as AFN will be held in Anchorage, Alaska next week from October 18-20, 2012 at the Dena’ina Convention Center.

This is the largest annual representative gathering in the United States of any native peoples…

Here is a video on their history

https://vimeo.com/51014105

From their Website at http://www.nativefederation.org/annual-convention/

The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community.

For Native people in Alaska it is also a time to renew friendships and exchange cultural foods, art and dance.

The highlights for me are the Annual Art Show, Quyana nights, the Alaska Market Place and seeing all my relatives and friends.  The art show showcases over 150 artists from all around the state and is held on the ground floor of the convention center.  You must get there early on the opening day October 18 at 8:00 am to get the items you want, because people flock in to see their favorite artisans and things sell out fast.  Quyana nights feature 14 different dance groups from different regions in the state over two nights of pure native entertainment. And finally the Alaska Market Place, from their website

http://www.alaskamarketplace.org/about-the-marketplace/history/

The Alaska Marketplace brings together visionaries, financiers, technical experts and entrepreneurs in an ideas competition that promotes new organizational concepts which employ innovative ways of driving economic development and serving our communities in rural Alaska.

Innovators are invited to submit Alaska Marketplace Application describing their unique ideas for creating jobs, stimulating village economies and bettering our communities.

The innovators with the most promising proposals become finalists and receive entrepreneurial training and implementation plan coaching to refine their concepts.

Alaska Marketplace Application forms are available online prior to each competition. Business/Nonprofit Plan finalists are required to submit a detailed implementation plan for their project, then showcase their ideas at the Alaska Marketplace event. A world-class panel of experts grant award money to each of the innovators judged most likely to turn their ideas into results.

The Alaska Marketplace was created to draw from, inspire and encourage the development of viable and sustainable businesses and organizations by tapping into the creative passions, cultural knowledge and enthusiastic drive of Alaska’s residents.

This year I won’t be attending the convention, but many of my relatives and friends will be there.  I send them all a warm wish for a great week of sharing and reconnections.  I will be there in spirit and I’ll be watching on live stream.

With aloha,

Your thin blooded relative, Denise

 
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WEBSITE

Happy Fall to you all.

Please check out my new website.

denisewallace.com

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Indian Market

For those of you who don’t know about the Indian Market in Santa Fe, NM here is some brief information.
The Southwestern Association on Indian Affairs, aka SWAIA has been producing this show for over 90 years in downtown Santa Fe, NM. The Market attracts over 1000 artists from all over the country and has some of the most exquisite work of Native Americans being shown today. The show itself is held for 2 days usually the 3rd weekend of August. But in actuality there are activities all through Santa Fe at art galleries, museums and performing art spaces for the week prior to the Market.
You can find out more about SWAIA Indian Market by going to their website: http://swaia.org/

I have been attending or participating in Indian Market since 1977, when I first arrived in the southwest to attend school at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Here are some pictures from our recent trip to market.

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Siberian Man


This figure pays tribute to the Koryak People of Northeast Russia. The traditional clothing of the Koryak people was made of furs similar to our Alaska Native people including reindeer fur. Reindeer fur was warmer than any other because of the insulating nature of its hollow hair. The women paid particular attention to the detail on their garments to show respect for the materials, as well at the hunter. The designs were mostly geometric and beautifully produced by sewing regular and perfect stitches so that the hunter wearing the garment would please the game. I have replicated some of the details of their applique work through the scrimshaw. The gold detail in the lower garment represents the main mode of traditional travel, a man being pulled by a reindeer on a sled, thereby allowing the piece to become a more complete representation.

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Aloha and Camai

Welcome to my blog site.  I look forward to sharing with you my jewelry and the wonderful things in this world that inspire me.

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