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Posts from the ‘philanthropy’ Category

A New American Indian College Fund Blanket for 2017

Pendleton is proud to unveil our blanket for The College Fund for 2017, Gift of the Earth.

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For over 20 years, Wieden+Kennedy, the American Indian College Fund, and Pendleton Woolen Mills have worked together to create this amazing line of blankets as a way to raise money and promote the need for higher education in Native American communities. Our newest blanket, Gift of the Earth, was designed by Patty Orlando. A bold design on a neutral backdrop is inspired by the traditional Hopi pottery of Arizona. Today, Hopi potters draw from generations of knowledge to create their beautiful, unique works of art. This design pays testament to this practice of learning from the past while moving into the future.

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It joins a collection of blankets designed specifically for the American Indian College Fund, many of them designed by Native artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of College Fund blankets provides scholarships for Native students to attend tribal colleges and universities. The College Fund has been the nation’s largest philanthropic effort supporting Native American higher education for more than 25 years.

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Today, slightly more than 13% of American Indians age 25 and older have a college degree, less than half the U.S. national average. What’s more, 40% of the American Indian population is under the age of 18.  The College Fund is helping more American Indians of college age to start and complete their college degree through scholarship support.  The College Fund also provides program support for students once they are in school to help them succeed both academically and in their careers.

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“Pendleton is proud to be a part of the American Indian College Fund’s mission, and its purpose to transform Indian higher education,” said Mort Bishop, Pendleton President.  “By creating an awareness of the unique, community-based accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities and offering students access to knowledge, skills and cultural values, the College Fund enhances their communities and the country as a whole.”

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About the American Indian College Fund – Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 25 years.  The College Fund has provided more than 100,000 scholarships since its inception and an average of 6,000 scholarships per year to American Indian students and a variety of programs to support their academic efforts ensuring they have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers.  The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators.  For more information, please visit www.collegefund.org.

To view the entire American Indian College Fund Collection, click here: The College Fund Blankets.

“Blessing Song” from the album Tribute to the Elders (CR-6318) by the Black Lodge Singers courtesy Canyon Records License 2017-023. All rights reserved.  www.CanyonRecords.com.

Photos courtesy of the always chic  Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

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Native American Inspiration: The Peaceful Ones and Gift of the Earth

Two of our 2017 blankets are inspired by Hopi culture.

“Hopi” is a shortened form of Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, or, “The Peaceful Ones.” The Hopi reservation covers almost 2.5 million acres of northeastern Arizona, near the Four Corners area east of the Grand Canyon. The Hopi reservation is completely surrounded by the Navajo reservation. Its 14 villages sit on three rocky mesas; First Mesa, Second Mesa, and Third Mesa. The Hopis have lived here for over a thousand years. They follow a yearlong calendar of rituals and ceremonies, and carefully maintain their traditions.

The first blanket is our newest American Indian College Fund blankets, Gift of the Earth, which celebrates Hopi pottery.

Gift of the Earth

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The Hopi have a sacred relationship with the ancient caretaker of the earth, Masaw, and respect every gift given to them. The clay they and their ancestors have sourced from the land for centuries is treated with the utmost regard. Because of this, the Hopi people maintain a beautiful and unique pottery tradition on the mesas in Arizona. Craftsmanship and creativity drawn from generations of knowledge flow through the potters today as they work. This blanket draws on the design elements from these brilliant pieces as a testament to learning from the past while moving into the future.

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(source – photo by Holly Chervnsik)

Interesting facts about Hopi pottery:

  • The golden hues of early Hopi pottery might have sparked the tales of fantastic wealth that lured early Spaniards to the Seven Cities of Cibola.
  • Smooth, symmetrical vessels might appear to be wheel-thrown, but are formed by hand through “coil and scrape.”
  • The most common shapes are shallow bowls and flat-shouldered jars.
  • Paints are made from natural materials, such as tansy mustard and beeweed.
  • Hopi pottery is open-fired with sheep dung and cedar.
  • Today, most pottery is made on First Mesa.

Like all our College Fund blankets, sales of Gift of the Earth help support scholarships to Native American Scholars. Learn more here: The College Fund

Our second Hopi-inspired blanket for 2017 is The Peaceful Ones.

The Peaceful Ones

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They call themselves Hopi, a shortened version of their true name: Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, the Peaceful Ones. Members of this Southwest nation follow the Hopi Way, based on the instructions of Maasaw, the Creator and Caretaker of Earth. The Peaceful Ones strive to be mannered, polite, and peaceable in all interactions. Their path will eventually lead to a state of complete reverence for all things. This design is based on an embroidered Manta, the garment worn by Hopi women in ceremonies that follow the lunar calendar. Through their traditional ceremonies, the Peaceful Ones hope to bring tranquility and harmony to the entire world.

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Interesting facts about the manta:

  • The manta is a rectangular cloth, fastened at the right shoulder and held by a sash.
  • Mantas were originally woven of undyed cotton. Over time, dyed threads and geometric patterns added beauty to the garment’s simple shape.
  • The practice of wearing blouses or shift dresses under mantas came much later, under pressure from missionaries.
  • Once the everyday wear of Navajo, Pueblo and Hopi women, the manta is now worn during important ceremonies.

We are excited to be sharing these blankets soon at  www.pendleton-usa.com.

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Gifts that Give Back: The American Indian College Fund Blankets

2016_fall1_blankets_throws_aicfToday is #GivingTuesday. Each year, as you plan your holiday shopping, please remember gifts that give back. Since 1990, Pendleton Woolen Mills has been proud to support the work of the American Indian College Fund. Sales of these blankets fund scholarships to tribal colleges, and make a difference in the lives of students throughout the country.

We have already featured this year’s blanket, the Naskan, so we’re showing you some others. Go see them all here: The College Fund Blankets

Nike N7

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Innovation meets tradition with this collaboration between Nike N7 and Pendleton Woolen Mills. For inspiration, Nike designer Derek Roberts (the design genius behind our popular Star Wars blankets) looked to traditional Native American dress and how the patterns work together to create a garment.

Return of the Sun

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This graphic design was created in partnership with Native American artist Larry Ahvakana. The changing of the seasons plays a central role in many Iñupiat traditions and activities, and in Mr. Ahvakana’s sculpture work. This blanket celebrates the arrival of the sun back to the Arctic and the start of hunting season.

Raven and the Box of Knowledge

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Internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals

Earth Blanket

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Inspired by a blanket in an Edward S. Curtis photograph, the Earth Blanket embodies the elements of earth and sky, with a grey triangular step pattern in the center called the mountain design. Each cross represents the four directions.

Water Blanket

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Also inspired by an early 20th-century photograph by Edward S. Curtis, this blanket is inspired by the peerless weaving of the American Southwest. It incorporates classic Navajo elements in an eye-dazzling pattern. The central dragonfly, an emblem of water, symbolizes life.

We’ve shown you only four of these beautiful blankets. See the other choices, including saddle blankets and two children’s sized blankets, at our website: The College Fund Blankets

Learn more about the work of the College Fund here:   www.collegefund.org

Adopt a Native Elder fundraiser: 100% of proceeds going to benefit a Navajo weaver

Editor’s note: It’s Native American History Month. The Navajo /Dine elders are part of a living history; keeping alive the traditional ways of living, weaving, and producing food. We are offering a handwoven 100% Pendleton wool rug at auction to benefit the Adopt a Native Elder program. Please read more, and visit the auction. Thank you!

pwm_10_2016_-837_webThis authentic Navajo rug is being offered by Pendleton Woolen Mills in support of Utah’s Adopt-a-Native-Elder program. This outreach program helps Navajo elders, as they carry on the oldest cultural and spiritual traditions of the Dine People. Many elders are located in remote areas, living in hogans and raising sheep. The program provides food, clothing, fabrics, yarns and other needs. In return, the Elders share their expertise, especially in weaving.

For this project, Pendleton donated bales of dyed virgin wool, which ANE volunteers divided into bags and distributed after an Adopt-a-Native-Elder dinner. The Grandmothers were invited to choose their own wool, and were quite enthusiastic to be involved.

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The weavers returned fifteen completed rugs for judging. From a host of beautiful entries, this rug was the winner.

It was woven by Gloria Hardy with assistance from her mother, Louise. It is spun and woven from 100% Pendleton wool. Mother Louise spun the wool, and daughter Gloria designed the pattern and did the weaving. The size is impressive (48″ x 46″), and it is a beautiful pattern.

See the rug here: Hand-woven Navajo Rug

The stripes in the pattern represent the calm and steady wind of the desert sky. The crosses represent the Prayer of the Four Directions:  I pray with beauty before me, behind me, above me and all around me. May I walk in beauty.

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This rug is one-of-a-kind, authentically Navajo, and is being offered to support the fine work of Adopt-a-Native-Elder. Pendleton is proud to support Adopt-a-Native-Elder.

More information on Adopt a Native Elder can be found here: http://www.anelder.org/

See the rug and bid on it here: Navajo handwoven wool rug

PENDLETON AND ©MARVEL: Super Hero for a super cause

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In collaboration with MARVEL, we are commemorating the 75th anniversary of Marvel  Super Hero, Captain America, with the introduction of a registered, limited-edition series of blankets, available as a numbered boxed set, or individually.

The Captain America blanket is leading the charge, and is available for pre-order now at www.pendleton-usa.com. The other blankets will be up soon–but we’re letting you have a sneak peek.

We’re also celebrating Veteran’s Day by dedicating part of the proceeds from the sale of the Captain America blanket to the Fisher House Foundation, effective November 4-11, 2016. The Fisher House Foundation recognizes the special sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, and their families, and supports America’s military heroes, both Veterans and active duty service members, in their time of need.

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Marvel’s Captain America Blanket (available for pre-order NOW)

A special limited edition ©Captain America blanket in shades of red, ivory and blue from the American flag reflect the patriotic storyline and Steve Rogers’ dedication to serving his country. In the center is a design inspired by Captain America’s trusty shield, surrounded by geometric shapes, stars and stripes for a distinctive finishing touch. Pendleton’s state-of-the-art looms and weaving expertise mean this design is both intricate and reversible, making it a true collectible.

Exclusive Pendleton design. Hand-numbered edition of 1,939 with a custom Marvel label and Certificate of Authenticity. Order it here: PREORDER

  • 64″ x 72″
  • Unnapped, felt-bound
  • Custom box
  • Pure virgin wool/cotton woven in our American mills
  • Dry clean
  • Made in USA

 

Marvel’s The Avengers Blanket

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Pendleton celebrates Marvel’s iconic Super Heroes with a special limited edition Avengers blanket. Born from lab accidents, high-tech advancements, science experiments and the pages of mythology, these elite Super Heroes are ready for battle. Foes stand no chance against the collective superpowers of ©Black Widow, ©Spider-Man, ©Iron Man, ©Thor and ©The Incredible Hulk.

The characters appear to be bursting out of the blanket. The patterns support the strong comparison, creating directional movement and energy. Red triangles and ombré blues reflect the film’s patriotic palette, while striking black geometric shapes add a distinctive finishing touch.

Exclusive Pendleton design. Hand-numbered edition of 1,939 with a custom Marvel label and Certificate of Authenticity.

  • 64″ x 72″
  • Unnapped, felt-bound
  • Custom box
  • Pure virgin wool/cotton woven in our American mills
  • Dry clean
  • Made in USA

 

Marvel’s The Avengers Muchacho Blanketmuchacho_avengers_pendleton_blanketPendleton celebrates Marvel’s classic Super Heroes with a special edition child-sized blanket. Bad dreams stand no chance against the collective superpowers of Black Widow, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk. The littlest fans will love vibrant ombré blues and red alongside striking geometric shapes and iconic symbols from the comic books.

  • 32″ x 44″
  • Unnapped with whipstitched edges
  • Pure virgin wool/cotton woven in our American mills
  • Dry clean
  • Made in USA

 

Marvel’s Spider-Man Blanket

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Marvel’s limited edition ©Spider-Man blanket in a striking and versatile monochromatic palette, featuring the iconic hero in action on a dynamic backdrop that fuses spiderwebs with classic Pendleton geometric shapes. Spider-Man wears The Symbiote costume, also called the Black Suit, in tribute to Peter Parker’s very first costume change in the Amazing Spider-Man #252. A subtle, stylized spider adds a distinctive finishing touch. Pendleton’s state-of-the-art looms and weaving expertise mean this design is both intricate and reversible. Exclusive Pendleton design. Hand-numbered edition of 1,939 with a custom Marvel label and Certificate of Authenticity.

  • 64″ x 72″
  • Unnapped, felt-bound
  • Custom box
  • Pure virgin wool/cotton woven in our American mills
  • Dry clean
  • Made in USA

 

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s  most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years.  Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing.  For more information, visit-marvel.com. © 2016 MARVEL.

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Pendleton Weaves New American Indian College Fund Blanket

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-17Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

We are proud of this year’s blanket to benefit the American Indian College Fund.  Naskan Saddle Blanket tells the story of Johano-ai, the Navajo sun god, who begins his day in the east and rides one of his five horses across the sky to his post in the west while dragging his shining, golden orb – the sun. As his horse gallops across the sky, gorgeous hides and ornately woven blankets, known as naskan, lie beneath its hooves.

aicf_naskan_saddleblanketNaskan Saddle Blanket derives its mountain pattern and name from sacred Navajo blankets. It joins a collection of ten blankets designed specifically for the American Indian College Fund, designed by Native artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of College Fund blankets provides scholarships for Native students to attend tribal colleges and universities. The College Fund has been the nation’s largest philanthropic effort supporting Native American higher education for more than 25 years.

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-3Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

Cheryl Crazy Bull (Sicangu Lakota), American Indian College Fund President and CEO, said “The American Indian College Fund is delighted with the  Naskan saddle blanket, the newest design in our collaboration with Pendleton Woolen Mills. Just as this blanket represents a path taken by a sacred being across the sky, our students also take a journey toward realizing their dreams by walking a sacred path toward success. We honor and celebrate both our students’ journey and our longtime successful partnership with Pendleton Woolen Mills as they work alongside us to make our students’ visions for success a reality.”

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-2Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

Today, slightly more than 13% of American Indians age 25 and older have a college degree, less than half the U.S. national average. What’s more, 40% of the American Indian population is under the age of 18.  The College Fund is helping more American Indians of college age to start and complete their college degree through scholarship support.  The College Fund also provides program support for students once they are in school to help them succeed both academically and in their careers.

shondina_yikasbaa_04_10_ww_home_acc_f16-1Photo courtesy of Shondina Lee Yikasbaa

“Pendleton is proud to be a part of the American Indian College Fund’s mission, and its purpose to transform Indian higher education,” said Mort Bishop, Pendleton President.  “By creating an awareness of the unique, community-based accredited Tribal Colleges and Universities and offering students access to knowledge, skills and cultural values, the College Fund enhances their communities and the country as a whole.”

 

About the American Indian College Fund – Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 25 years.  The College Fund has provided more than 100,000 scholarships since its inception and an average of 6,000 scholarships per year to American Indian students and a variety of programs to support their academic efforts ensuring they have the tools to graduate and succeed in their careers.  The College Fund consistently receives top ratings from independent charity evaluators.  For more information, please visit www.collegefund.org.

 

Our gorgeous model is photographer Shondina Lee Yikasbaa of New Mexico. See more of her work on Instagram: @shondinalee

See the blanket here: NASKAN SADDLE BLANKET

A Special Blanket Supports Native Women’s Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we thought that would be a terrific time to tell you about a special version of our Chief Joseph blanket.

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A purchase of this beautiful cherry-pink blanket benefits the women’s health program of NARA, the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, INC.  NARA is a Native American-owned, Native American-operated, nonprofit agency.

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NARA is an Urban Indian Health Program that provides integrated healthcare in the Portland Metropolitan area.  They offer a broad array of services including medical, dental, mental health, addiction treatment, and culturally based services.  Culture is a critical and integral part of everything they do.

We had a conversation with Yolanda Moisa, most current director of the newest clinic run by NARA and the BCCP Director (Breast and Cervical Cancer Program), to learn about NARA’s women’s health program.

PWM: Can you tell me about your organization’s mission?

YM: Our mission at NARA is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and anyone in need. Our purpose is to achieve the highest level of physical, mental and spiritual well being for American Indians and Alaska Native people.

Our women’s health program is a critical part of our larger physical health outreach.  It’s the women who make this program so rewarding.  Throughout the 20 years of this program, we have helped women from all backgrounds. Each person is unique and has a story to tell. We save lives daily.  Our hope and goal is prevention and no cases of cancer ever, however, the reality is that catching cancer sooner than later makes for a much better prognosis.

PWM: Can you tell us about some of your more rewarding moments?

YM: There are so many stories of success and how we help women, we are helping generations of women.  A story that comes to mind is that we had a woman who had just moved to the Portland area and came in for another visit and our staff noticed she was due for her yearly women’s exams.  When she received her results from her mammogram a small lump in her breast was detected. She did find out that it was cancerous, it was caught at Stage 1.  We walked her through her options and our team was there to answer all her questions.  Just having someone listen to her and help manage the many appointments that come with cancer treatment was a comfort.  More importantly, she brought her daughter in and sisters in to be tested, again changing lives.

PWM: When did NARA form and how many people have you served?

NARA has been in the community since 1970, and offering medical care since 1993. Since 1996 we have helped Women receive 5,160 MAMS and 6,391 PAPS.  We have two clinics, one at North Morris Street and our new Wellness Center on East Burnside. The women’s health program is housed in our clinic at 12360 E Burnside, Portland, OR 97233. The program offers women’s services at both clinics where screenings, and references for mammograms to low income, uninsured Native women. We want to provide early detection for breast and cervical cancer. As an urban facility, we’ve been able to serve members from over 250 tribes, nations, bands, who are all able to access any of the services here.

PWM: That’s fantastic. What drew you to this program, Yolanda?

YM: I came to NARA after many years in the corporate legal field. I’m a member of the Tule River Tribe in Porterville CA, and it was always my intention to return to working with Native Americans–to give back. Throughout my career I have volunteered and advocated for women and children.  Coming to NARA was like finding a family that truly “got it”, understanding what it means to help our community.  I see my family in the many faces in our waiting rooms: my grandmother, aunties, uncles, mother and siblings. I came in as a grants manager and was here for almost two years. I became clinic director  two years ago, and was pleased when we received a HRSA grant that helped set up the pharmacy and pediatric program at the site. I’ve been here close to five years and have continued to appreciate all that NARA does. It’s pretty amazing!

PWM: Are there special challenges within the Native American community?

YM: For Native women, there is a history of trauma around medical services. Along with assault, abuse and harassment, there is a documented history of forced sterilization. This painful history plays into fear and mistrust of medicine.

Our CDC (Center for Disease and Control)  grant  allows us to do something special for Native American and Alaska Native women—weekend clinic sessions that we call the Well Women’s Event. These events are designed as a safe place for women.  It’s not uncommon to have generations of women from families come together. The grandmother, mother and daughter will all come for the daughter’s first mammogram for support.  We open the clinic to women only. Our guests are welcomed to a Native crafts night, and a women-only talking circle. The nurse on staff gives one-on-one advice and education.  We offer cervical cancer screens here, and transport woman safely to and from an off-site mammogram facility.

Any woman who gets a screening receives culturally specific books about women’s health, including  “Journey Woman: A Native Woman’s Guide to Wellness”. Through the generosity of Pendleton we were allowed to use  Pendleton art forms in the books.

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When women see themselves in health materials, it builds trust and adds warmth to what can be a very cold environment. Some women come just for the community events, and that’s fine. Our goal is to make women’s healthcare safe and communal, almost a celebration of womanhood.

PWM: How does the Pendleton blanket help?

YM: Each purchase of the blanket generates a donation to NARA. The money will go into the women’s health program, helping us expand our outreach to various underserved and marginalized communities within Portland.  We hope to start momentum that leads to continuing healthcare. If we can save one life, we’re proud.  Hopefully with these added donations we will continue to help many more women.  Thank you Pendleton!

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If you would like to help NARA through direct donation, feel free to contact Yolanda Moisa at [email protected] or 503-224-1044.

If you would like to help through the purchase of the special edition Chief Joseph blanket, see it HERE: Chief Joseph.

Wishing the National Park Service a happy 100th birthday with a Crater Lake Memory…and a bear!

To help celebrate the centennial year of the National Park Serivce, Pendleton sent out a call for national park memories to our Pendleton employees. We received so many fun responses–memories and photos and close encounters of the wildlife kind. We’ve shared many with you, and have a few more to share as the year rolls along.

This response came in the form of a stack of black and white photos taken with a Kodak Brownie camera. And so, a sweet little movie was born. Thanks to Margaret for sharing this with us, and thanks to you all for sharing the fun.

And happy official 100th birthday to the National Park Service–it’s today!

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Preston Singletary at Seattle Pendleton: Meet the Artist

Preston Singletary in his Seattle Studio

We are honored to host Preston Singletary this Friday evening at the opening of our new Seattle Pendleton store. Singletary is an internationally reknowned glass artist who incorporates traditional Pacific Coast elements in his work. He draws upon his Tlingit heritage with a special concentration on motifs found in Chilkat weaving.

Traditional Northwest Coast tribal art uses formlines and ovoids fluid to create work that is vigorous and stylized; paintings, weavings, baskets, masks and totem poles and more. Singletary’s uncommon choice of media–glass and light—invests traditional motifs with breathtaking dimensionality and luminosity.

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At Pendleton, we have enormous respect for traditional arts done with traditional materials. Glass was traditionally only used in Native American beading. Anyone viewing Preston Singletary’s work in glass would probably agree with the artist when he says that glass “transforms the notion that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used.”

 

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Singletary’s show at the Museum of Glass left viewers in a state of awe. See more in this show catalog: ECHOES, FIRE AND SHADOWS

Glass may seem static, but it is extremely visually interactive with its environment. In this excerpt from a documentary by filmmaker Todd Pottinger, Singletary talks about his inspiration, his studio, and the crucial role of light in his work.

And here is his TED talk.

When Preston designed a blanket for the American Indian College Fund, he chose to tell the tale of Raven and the Box of Knowledge. You can see that this design carries the same glowing dimensionality of his art pieces, with ombred stripes of color that meet in the heart of the design to light it from within.

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Raven and the Box of KnowledgeThis intriguing blanket is based on a work by internationally renowned glass artist Preston Singletary. Mr. Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest–both of his great-grandparents were full-blooded Tlingit Indians. His works explore traditional images and legends of his Tlingit heritage translated into glass. The image on this blanket represents Raven, a shape shifter and trickster who often employed crafty schemes to achieve his goals. In the story, the old chief who lived at the head of the Nass River kept his precious treasure –the sun, the moon and the stars– in beautifully carved boxes. Raven steals the light, and making his escape carries the sun in his mouth. The sun is a metaphor for enlightenment or knowledge. The ombred background shades meet in the center in vibrant colors of sun and light. Mr. Singletary’s artworks are included in museum collections from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Art Museum. A portion of the proceeds from this blanket will be donated to the American Indian College Fund.

You can meet Preston Singletary this Friday evening at the opening of our new Seattle Pendleton store. The artist will be on hand to discuss his work and sign your blanket boxes. Friday’s Grand Opening events are a fundraiser for the American Indian College Fund. You can help support the work of this fantastic organization through your blanket purchases, with Pendleton making an additional donation for every College Fund blanket sold.

More Seattle Pendleton information here: SEATTLE PENDLETON

See the College Fund blankets here: American Indian College Fund Blankets

 

Taking a Blanket Home with a #pendle10park Explorer: Yosemite National Park

Taylor_IMG_9272_BYosemite Valley, carved by glaciers and the Merced River, came to public attention in the 1860s, through the journalistic efforts of a Scottish immigrant named John Muir. He wrote countless articles describing the wonders of Yosemite, raising awareness that helped contribute to the eventual preservation of the area for generations to come.

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Yosemite is not America’s first National Park. The Yosemite wilderness and Mariposa redwood grove were designated as protected wilderness areas in 1864, with legislation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. But Yellowstone National Park was created a full eighteen years before Yosemite.

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The original wilderness did not include Yosemite Valley and its world-famous landmarks—El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. The park as we know it was expanded after Teddy Roosevelt asked John Muir to guide him on a camping expedition to Yosemite in 1903.

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Their night in the Mariposa Grove inspired one of Teddy’s most memorable quotes, in which he compared his night in the grove to “lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hands of man.” Muir lobbied the president to expand the park to include lands already in California’s possession, and in 1906, President Roosevelt signed a law that brought the Yosemite Valley under federal jurisdiction.

Here at Pendleton, we’re dismayed to write this, but domesticated sheep were once the primary threat to Yosemite. One threat? Shepherds who set meadow-fires to promote the growth of more edible grasses for their far-ranging flocks. The sheep caused trouble, too, destroying sub-alpine meadows and passing diseases to the native bighorn sheep. This prompted naturalist John Muir to call them “hoofed locusts.”

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The original Yosemite Park Rangers were Buffalo Soldiers. According to the Yosemite National park website:

Buffalo Soldiers, like their white counterparts in U.S. Army regiments, were among the first park rangers, in general, and backcountry rangers, in particular, patrolling parts of the West…Approximately 500 Buffalo Soldiers served in Yosemite National Park and nearby Sequoia National Park with duties from evicting poachers and timber thieves to extinguishing forest fires. Their noteworthy accomplishments were made despite the added burden of racism.

You can read the entire (fascinating) history, listen to a podcast and watch a video of a modern-day re-enactor who works in Yosemite here: Yosemite’s Buffalo Soldiers .

Another item of interest? The Buffalo Soldiers inspired the traditional Park Ranger hat. Many were Spanish-American War veterans who had shielded themselves from tropical rains of Cuba and the Philippines by pinching their high-crowned, broad-brimmed hats into symmetrical quadrants. This distinctive peak was known as the “Montana Peak” on the home front, and eventually became part of the National Park Service ranger uniform.

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Some Yosemite numbers:

Over 4 million visitors arrive each year to experience the 747,956 acres of wilderness, on 840 miles of hiking trails.

The mountains at Yosemite national park are still growing at a rate of 1 foot per thousand years.

Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest falls in the world, 2425 feet in height. That means in 1000 years, it will be 2426 feet tall, but of course we won’t be around to see that.

There are three Sequoia groves in Yosemite. Sequoias are the largest living things on the planet, with some reaching 300 feet in height, living for 3,000 years.

At 4000 feet high, El Capitan is the largest block of granite in the known world.

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Are you ready for your own adventures? We’d love to come along. And remember, your purchase of our National Park Collection helps support preservation and restoration of America’s Treasures.

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Yosemite Blanket photos: Allie Taylor @alliemtaylor