Friday, February 21, 2020 at 5:30 pm the Coe Center is pleased to host in conjunction with the exhibition How It Was Handed to Me: The Caesar Family Legacy a conversation with Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose (Navajo/Southern Ute), Kenneth Johnson (Muscogee/ Seminole), Samuel LaFountain (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa/ Diné), and LeOreal Wall (Ute Mountain Ute, Northern Ute) along with the award-winning students of the Santa Fe Indian School jewelry program, The conversation will focus on the role of mentorship and education in contemporary Native jewelry and the powerful impact these relationships have on careers and craftsmanship.
Pinnecoose, Johnson, LaFountain, and Hall will provide guests with the opportunity to learn about how each jeweler has honed their craft through hands-on learning passed down by their mentors. Each jeweler will share their own personal experiences while providing a lens through which to consider the historic and contemporary roles of apprenticeship in Native jewelry making. The students of the Santa Fe Indian School jewelry program will join the conversation to discuss their own educational experiences and their preparations for this year’s Heard Market. The Santa Fe Indian School jewelry program has long been a leader at the Heard Market, consistently winning awards in the student art show over many years.
The evening’s discussion will be within the backdrop of How It Was Handed to Me: The Caesar Family Legacy, organized by Kenneth Johnson (Muscogee/Seminole), which gathers jewelers and jewelry from New Mexico, Oklahoma, and beyond into a complex story of generational and creative legacies. It is the first exhibition to be mounted in Santa Fe that focuses on Plains jewelry created from nickel (or German) silver. Nickel silver is an alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel and actually contains no silver— despite its name and appearance. It is widely used across Plains communities for dance regalia and for Native American Church ceremonies. Because it is lighter, brighter and more affordable, nickel silver is favored over sterling silver and tarnishes easily when exposed to heat and moisture. Sadly, because of the purely functional element of this material, it has led it to be often overlooked by outside collectors and institutions and deemed “less valuable.”
Exhibition and public programs are generously sponsored by Palace Jewelers at Manitou Galleries.
Above image (clockwise from top left): Adrian Standing Elk Pinnecoose (Navajo/Southern Ute), Kenneth Johnson (Muscogee/ Seminole), Samuel LaFountain (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa/ Diné), and LeOreal Wall (Ute Mountain Ute, Northern Ute).