June 30, 2017

Storytellers, Fiber Arts, and Community Connections

By LaRita Chapman
Storytellers, Fiber Arts, and Community Connections

Last year at this time, Raven Makes Gallery was opening its doors July 1 on Hood Avenue in Sisters, Oregon.  We knew about the world-renowned Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, held the second Saturday in July, but until one has experienced this small community's celebration of the fiber arts, put on with infinite care and class, it's difficult to comprehend. Admittedly, I was rather ignorantly unappreciative about the art and craft of quilting ... until that Saturday of the show.  To put it mildly, it is a mammoth celebration of quilting along with the deep history and story behind it.  For us, instant enlightenment!

Raven Makes Gallery is now one of the "Rising Star Sponsors" for the Quilt Show, and we're reaching out to as many quilters in the Native American community as we can, with the goal of having American Indian artists become part of the exhibition, both this year and in the future. 

American Indians have long been recognized for superb artistry when creating woven baskets, rugs, and blankets.  In fact, the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian (NMAI) has curated one of the largest collections of a particular and rather unknown American Indian art form--the cotton quilt.  Beautiful cultural motifs and stories are reflected in the Native art form, be it the classic star quilt patterns or more elaborate and contemporary designs honoring veterans, cultural images, animals, or plants.

Before the Quilt Show in Sisters, however, it is the 4th of July weekend--a celebration so appropriate for the atmosphere of a small town such as ours. Whether it's a hamburger and shake at the old school Sno-Cap restaurant, watching a summer blockbuster at the friendly Sisters Movie House, or walking a local trail with awesome views of the snow-capped Three Sisters mountains, the long weekend here in Central Oregon should be relaxing, safe, friendly, and restful. 

The third Saturday of July in Sisters will have the Glory Daze classic car show on Main St.  For those old enough to remember, its quite nostalgic, and for those who are younger, it's time to hear a story or two about cars without a back-up camera or Blue-tooth wi-fi!  Perhaps best of all, there are Butterfly, Golden Eagle, and Wildflower hikes led by volunteers of the Deschutes Land Trust throughout the month. 

At Raven Makes Gallery, life during July is about being committed to welcoming visitors and appreciating those who have returned after a year.  It remains fascinating and inspiring to see new interest in Pacific Northwest Coast masks along with stone and wood sculpture.  We welcome the dialogue about what intrigues collectors as we look forward to our winter buying trips. 

So many of us are traveling and exploring this time of the year.  We wish everyone rich experiences and the safest of travels as you pass through the lovely state of Oregon.