Landmark Exhibition Exploring Beauty, Power, and Spiritual Resonance of Native Indian Art Opens at Metropolitan Museum March 9

A major exhibition (Exhibition location: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Second Floor, Gallery 999) featuring extraordinary works created by Native American people of the Plains region will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning March 9. Bringing together more than 150 iconic works from European and North American collections—many never before seen in a public exhibition in North America—The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky (made possible by the Enterprise Holdings Endowment, an Anonymous Foundation, and the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund and organized by the Musée du quai Branly, Paris, in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in partnership with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City ) will explore the beauty, power, and spiritual resonance of Plains Indian art.  Ranging from an ancient stone pipe and painted robes to drawings, paintings, collages, photographs, and a contemporary video installation, the exhibition will reflect the significant place that Plains Indian culture holds in the heritage of North America and in European history. Many nations are represented—Osage, Quapaw, Omaha, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Blackfeet, Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, Mesquakie, Kansa and others. It will also convey the continuum of hundreds of years of artistic tradition, maintained against a backdrop of monumental cultural change. A selection of modern and contemporary works not seen at other venues of the exhibition will provide a compelling narrative about the ongoing vitality of Plains art.  The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky.

The exhibition was previously on view at Musée du quai Branly, Paris (April 7–July 20, 2014) and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (September 19, 2014–January 11, 2015) before arriving in New York City. In New York, the walls of the galleries –as a special feature of the exhibition–will be decorated with panoramic photographs of earth and sky printed on theatrical scrim. The photographs were taken by Shania Hall, an enrolled member of the Blackfeet tribe, on Molly’s Nipple Road on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Ms. Hall lives in Missoula, Montana.

Drawn from 81 institutions and private collections in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States, the exhibition will represent the art traditions of many Native Nations. The distinct Plains aesthetic will be revealed through an array of forms and media: sculptural works in stone, wood, antler, and shell; porcupine quill and glass-bead embroidery; feather work; painted robes; ornamented clothing; composite works; and ceremonial objects, works on paper, paintings, and photography. 

Organized chronologically, the first gallery will showcase pre-contact works, including important sculptural pieces in stone and shell. One of the highlights in this room will be the 2,000-year-oldHuman Effigy Pipe made of pipestone, depicting a deified ancestor or mythical hero. Influential works from adjacent regions are included in this section.   

The 19th-century works in the exhibition will include key pieces long associated with westward expansion. Among them are calumets, the long and elaborate pipes shared and given as gifts in the systems of protocol that were developed to establish diplomacy and trade between Europeans and the inhabitants of the “New World” whom they encountered on the Plains.

The reintroduction of the horse to North America by the Spanish, beginning at the end of the 16th century, revolutionized Plains Indians cultures in many ways—particularly as a boon to the buffalo hunt. In the exhibition, there will be a section presenting some of the best examples of 19th-century horse gear, weapons, clothing, and shields associated with a florescence of culture in the area. One highlight among them is a Lakota horse effigy, believed to honor and memorialize a horse that died in battle as the result of multiple gunshot wounds.

The substantial changes brought on by reservation life, beginning in the 19th century, engendered various artistic responses, ranging from instances of assimilation to acts of resistance to confinement. They will be conveyed by several masterworks in the exhibition, including important regalia used for the practice of prophetic religions. Among them are an elaborate bead-embroidered Otoe-Missouria Faw Faw coat with symbols, associated with ceremonialism and the desire to restore balance in a world that had become untenable; and a richly painted Arapaho Ghost Dance dress with visionary symbols associated with ritual practices.

Record books, paper, pencils, and ink were introduced on the Plains during the last quarter of the 19th century by settlers and traders. Among many fine examples of those included in the exhibition, the highlight will be The Maffet Ledger, a book consisting of 105 drawings, created by more than 20 Northern and Southern Cheyenne warrior artists to record their exploits in battle.

Modern and contemporary works of art will be exhibited near the end of the exhibition. Traditional-style works were still produced in the early 20th century for Wild West shows, agricultural fairs, and Fourth of July parades, and for the powwow, inter-tribal opportunities for the celebration of culture, dance, and art. Watercolors and “easel paintings” grew from long-standing Plains graphic traditions and through dialogue with other Native North American regions by the mid-20th century. Many fine examples of  paintings from the era will be presented in the exhibition. Brilliantly executed beaded works by such artists as Joyce and Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty (b. 1950 and b. 1969, both Assiniboine-Sioux), Rhonda Holy Bear (b. 1959), Sans Arc, Two Kettle and Hunkpapa Lakota), and Jodi Gillette (b. 1959, Hunkpapa Lakota) will also be included in the exhibition.

The final gallery will also shed new light on 20th- and 21st-century works by artists of Plains descent, as well as by Native American artists from outside the region who have been inspired by its traditions. On view in this gallery will be one element of Edgar Heap of Bird’s (b. 1954, Cheyenne and Arapaho) site-specific installation Building Minnesota (1990), as well as a captivating four-channel video installation piece by Dana Claxton (b. 1959, Hunkpapa Lakota) called Rattle (2003) that incorporates the rhythmic images, colors, and sounds of artistic and spiritual life on the Plains, a perspective that endures in the exhibition galleries through the application of 21st-century media.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum, said: “Through outstanding works of art from the Plains region, this ambitious exhibition demonstrates the long history of change and creative adaptation that characterizes Native American art. It is an important opportunity to highlight the artistic traditions that are indigenous to North America and to present them in the context of the Met’s global collections.”

The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky is curated by Gaylord Torrence, Fred and Virginia Merrill Senior Curator of American Indian Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In New York, the exhibition is organized by Judith Ostrowitz, Ph.D., Research Associate in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum. In conjunction with the exhibition, an array of education programs will be offered, including a Sunday at the Met (March 15) panel discussion with contemporary artists Edgar Heap of Birds and Dana Claxton, moderated by Mario A. Caro. It will be followed by comments from Jodi Gillette, artist and Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs for President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council, as well as by an original performance with video projections composed for the Metropolitan Museum by Ms. Claxton. A gallery talk by Native American artist Brad Kahlhamer (March 13) and a printmaking workshop by Edgar Heap of Birds (March 14) will also be presented. The Audio Guide program (supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies), offers a tour of the exhibition, the curators and contemporary Native artists discuss the rich artistic traditions of Plains culture as seen in painting, drawing, embroidery, and sculpture.

TOMS Launches Its Fourth One for One® Product, The TOMS Bag Collection, To Address Maternal Health

TOMS – the company known for starting a global movement through its One for One® business model – has launched its fourth and newest product, the TOMS Bag Collection, addressing the issue of maternal health worldwide. With every TOMS bag purchased, TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mother and baby in need. The announcement was made today by TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie.

The TOMS Bag Collection features three distinct bag lines including Artisan, Travel-inspired, and Campus and Tech, in canvas, leather and global prints ranging from $28-$298 USDollar and will be made available at TOMS.com as well as select retailers worldwide.
The Artisan line is hand-crafted, hand-beaded and hand-sewn using special construction techniques that have been passed down from generations. The Travel Inspired line draws on TOMS’ employee’s experiences as world travelers, and are extremely lightweight, utilitarian, multi-functional in design and are built to wear-in beautifully with everyday and travel use. The Campus and Tech line is colorful and multi-textured and is designed to carry computers, iPads, tablets and more in style, with many of the offerings being unisex. Key silhouettes for this collection include the tote, baby bags, bucket and the hobo crossbody.

Image courtesy of TOMS (PRNewsFoto/TOMS)

Image courtesy of TOMS (PRNewsFoto/TOMS)

Infection is a leading cause of death among mothers and newborns worldwide, and by providing clean birth conditions and skilled birth attendants, nearly half a million lives can be saved each year. (Source: UNFPA and Every Newborn Action Plan, 2014). Each year, 40 million women around the world give birth each year without the help of a skilled birth attendant (Source: Millennium Development Goals Report, 2014), but with the training of skilled birth attendants and proper materials to help provide a safer delivery, women are up to 80% less likely to develop an infection and nearly half of newborn deaths can be prevented (Source: UNFPA, 2015).

TOMS Maternal Health. Photo credit Jared Chambers (PRNewsFoto/TOMS)

TOMS Maternal Health. Photo credit Jared Chambers (PRNewsFoto/TOMS)

After years in the field, I recognized a need for advancements in maternal health,” said Mycoskie, “so we developed a program with our Giving Partners to identify two key ways TOMS can aid in safer birthing conditions. Being able to give in this way – one that helps save the lives of mothers and newborns – is incredibly special. The issue of maternal health is very close to my heart, as I just became a father this past December. I truly believe people around the world will be amazed at what these bags can do.”

Of the potential impact the TOMS Bag Collection can have around the world, Mycoskie added, “While in the field, I’ve met mothers and entire families who have been affected by the physical and emotional repercussions of giving birth alone, or in unsafe environments. We feel it’s our responsibility to change this through the TOMS business model, and we’re so proud to be able to present the first One for One product that can actually help save lives.”

Funds from TOMS bag purchases will help provide safe births in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti and India. This work will be done by a network of TOMS Giving Partners involved in maternal and child health programs, who will help provide training for skilled birth attendants, along with a safe birth kit that includes vital materials like soap, gloves, gauze, a cord clamp, surgical blade and a clean surface, to help a woman safely give birth. TOMS’ Giving Partners in this area include respected organizations such as United Nations Population Fund, BRAC and ayzh. In addition, TOMS has selected Every Mother Counts as its maternal health advocacy partner.

UNFPA (www.unfpa.org) is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Since 1969, UNFPA has been working in over 150 countries that are home to 80% of the world’s population. BRAC (www.brac.net) is a development organization founded in Bangladesh in 1972 and a global leader in creating opportunities at scale as a means to end poverty. With more than 102,000 employees, it is the world’s largest non-governmental organization, touching the lives of an estimated 135 million people in 12 countries. A for-profit social venture, ayzh (www.ayzh.com) provides health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women worldwide. This includes developing low-cost, appropriate technology designed to meet the unique needs of women in resource-poor settings. Every Mother Counts (www.everymothercounts.org), founded by global maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Every Mother Counts informs, engages, and mobilizes new audiences to take actions and raise funds that support maternal health programs around the world. The organization supports programs in Haiti, Uganda, Malawi, Indonesia, India, Tanzania and the United States that address three critical barriers to maternal health care: lack of education, transportation and supplies.

The TOMS story is one worth retelling. In 2006, American traveler Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One®. Since then, TOMS has given over 35 million pairs of new shoes around the world. Realizing that One for One® could serve other global needs, TOMS launched TOMS Eyewear in 2011 to help restore sight to persons in need with every purchase of sunglasses and optical frames. Since then, TOMS has helped restore sight for over 300,000 people worldwide. In 2014, TOMS Roasting Co. launched with the mission to provide clean water to developing communities with the purchase of premium coffee. Since its debut, TOMS Roasting Co. has provided over 67,000 weeks of safe water to communities in need in seven countries.

 

World’s First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip

Images provided by Marina Nicola and Erika Pope/Vox Solid Communications for Swarovski

Created for Swarovski’s custom pavilion and six-story-tall Starburst, the Swarovski Midnight Celebration was designed to be the centerpiece of the new Grand Bazaar Shops.

Visitors to Las Veags now has a brand new feature to the town-that-never-sleeps to look forward to and be excited about. Last night, at midnight, the Las Vegas Strip welcomed its newest outdoor entertainment spectacle: the Swarovski Midnight Celebration at Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas, a dazzling three-minute-long light-and-sound show designed to mark the dawn of a new day, which was envisioned as a way to bring the annual New Year’s Eve-style excitement to the Strip every night of the year. The production incorporates the Swarovski Starburst–a one-of-a-kind, 14-foot-diameter structure composed of 911 custom-cut Swarovski crystal spheres–as well as a large video screen embedded into the multi-faceted facade of the Swarovski pavilion. Evocative scenes from exotic bazaars, together with the Starburst’s more than 1,800 points of LED light, are choreographed to a dramatic original score featuring enchanting beats of world music.

 

The Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Veags (an outdoor shopping –and dining– mecca at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip inspired by the world’s legendary great open-air markets, located at the busiest pedestrian intersection in Las Vegas) also opened its outdoor shopping attraction earlier that morning, featuring unique international retailers and well-known merchants at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. The dynamic mix of tenants and must-see attractions offers visitors a one-of-a-kind retail experience in Las Vegas that is very much a signature of the town itself. A list of current retailers, service provider and dining establishments can be found at http://www.grandbazaarshops.com/retailers/.

World's First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Swarovski Midnight Celebration to Dazzle Shoppers Each Night at New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's Las Vegas.

World’s First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Swarovski Midnight Celebration to Dazzle Shoppers Each Night at New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas.

Representing a first for Swarovski, the 400-square-foot boutique is a free-standing pavilion whose exterior is composed of dozens of large, angular facets designed to make the structure resemble a cut crystal. Inside, the boutique boasts hand-selected finishes–such as linen, paper and burlap forms and inlays–throughout, as well as eye-catching, crystal-enhanced glass spheres playfully suspended from the ceiling. Specially crafted panels provide an artful platform for the presentation of Swarovski jewelry and decor.

World's First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Swarovski Midnight Exterior Shot of the new Swarovski Boutiqe at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's Las Vegas.

World’s First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Swarovski Midnight Exterior Shot of the new Swarovski Boutiqe at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas.

World's First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Interior Shot of the new  Swarovski boutique at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's Las Vegas.

World’s First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Interior Shot of the new Swarovski boutique at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas.

World's First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Interior Shot of the new  Swarovski boutique at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's Las Vegas.

World’s First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Interior Shot of the new Swarovski boutique at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas.

World's First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Interior Shot of the new  Swarovski boutique at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally's Las Vegas.

World’s First Swarovski Starburst Light Show Spectacular Debuts On Las Vegas Strip. Interior Shot of the new Swarovski boutique at the New Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas.

In keeping with the Grand Bazaar theme, the boutique features Swarovski’s first-ever “bartering window,” allowing passersby to negotiate the price they pay for select items. Among the items slated to be featured in the barter window are limited-edition pieces such as crystallized Beats Headphones; a Martin custom-designed crystal classic acoustic guitar; a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar and crystallized white, black and pink skulls. Specific items for which visitors can barter will change from day to day.

The Grand Bazaar Shops and the Swarovski boutique (3641 Las Vegas Blvd. South) will be open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. For more information, go to Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s Las Vegas and for Swarovski, go to Swarovski.com.