June 16, 2017
BROWNING, MONTANA: The Museum of the Plains Indian, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board, will host a series of quillwork demonstrations featuring Blackfeet artist Deborah Magee and two emerging Blackfeet artists, Caroline McEvers and Kemuel Bear Medicine. An enrolled member of the Blackfeet Tribe, Deborah Magee is an award winning artist, specializing in quillwork. Growing up on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, she developed a deep love of the outdoors and the natural world around her. She initially learned traditional methods of quillwork under the tutelage of a mentor who also gave her the traditional rights to create quillwork. After perfecting those techniques, Deborah now blends them with a contemporary style that still reflects Blackfeet culture. Through her artwork she feels a deep connection to her ancestors who also created quillwork.
Ms. Magee will be mentoring two emerging Blackfeet artists, Caroline McEvers and Kemuel Bear Medicine, in the art of traditional Blackfeet quillwork. In preparation for this tremendous opportunity, the students received the transfer rights to create quillwork, and have followed appropriate Blackfeet protocol for quillwork. During this mentorship, made possible by the First Peoples Fund, Ms. McEvers and Mr. Bear Medicine will learn the techniques of gathering, sorting, cleaning, dyeing, and stitching quills, as well as making marketable items for sale.
Ms. McEvers, who will be entering her freshman year at the University of Montana this fall, and Mr. Bear Medicine, a rising junior at Browning High School, will have workspaces in the museum, adjacent to Ms. Magee and other professional artists. There they can share history, knowledge and stories of quillwork through interactions with the public, and serve as youth cultural ambassadors for the Blackfeet people. Through this experience they will gain valuable artistic knowledge by demonstrating their craft.
The artists will demonstrate their skills from June 27 through August 19, 2017, during regular hours of museum operation, from 9 A.M. – 4:30 P.M., Tuesday through Saturday. The quillwork mentorship and demonstrations are made possible through a fellowship from the First Peoples Fund.
The Museum of the Plains Indian is managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board. For admission fees and hours of operation, please call the Museum of the Plains Indian at (406) 338-2230.