Yakima Valley Museum

Voices from the Past
Voices From the Past, a cooperative program between they Yakima Valley Museum and Allied Arts, presents lecturers and performers addressing topics of interest to the community.  We have already booked two speakers from the Humanities Washington Inquiring Mind program, Rik Nelson and Jack Nisbet, for the 2006 series:

Sunday, February 19, 2006 • 1:00pm • Allied ArtsCenter
American Quilts/American Voices
For generations, Americans have used quilts to respond to national and world events, to record local and personal history, and to express their creative impulses.  From colonial to contemporary times, quilts have given “voice” to individual Americans.  Artist Rik Nelson will show dozens of examples and discuss what those voices communicate, what they tell us about ourselves and our culture.  From the look and feel of the overall quilt design, to the individual quilt blocks selected, even to the very fabrics employed—voices pour forth which address a variety of subjects.  As we view the quilts, and listen to them, a dialogue is created.  Rik Nelson is a visual artist from Spokane Valley, Washington, whose work has been exhibited across the U.S., including the three-year tour of Trashformations: Recycled Materials in Contemporary Arts and Culture.  Rik creates his collage artworks from post-consumer recyclables (e.g., cracker and cereal boxes, aluminum and tin cans, and plastic shampoo bottles, motor oil containers, and detergent jugs).  Many of Rik’s artworks are inspired by, and incorporate, traditional quilt motifs.  As part of the presentation, Rik will show examples of his own “quilts” and reflect on the dialogue they have with their traditional counterparts.  Audience members, too, are invited to discuss their own families’ quilts and the voices they hear in them. 

Sunday, April 2, 2006 • 1:00pm • Yakima Valley Museum
The Mapmaker’s Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau, 1800-1812
Jack Nisbet grew up in North Carolina, graduated from Stanford University, and moved to Stevens County, Washington, in 1971.  He has taught human and natural history in public school, college, and elderhostel programs and has written for a variety of newspapers and magazines.  His books include Singing Grass, Burning Sage, and Visible Bones: Journeys Across Time in the Columbia River Country.  In this presentation, he integrates the work of fur agent and cartographer David Thompson into the sagas of contemporary Pacific Northwest explorers George Vancouver and Captains Lewis and Clark.  It is based on a comprehensive illustrated book of the same title and a major exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane that will run through September 2006.  The Mapmaker’s Eye explores many aspects of the Columbia Plateau during this period of contact, including Thompson’s voluminous writings, mapwork, and watercolors; oral histories from the specific tribes who lived in the areas he visited; the natural history and landscape Thompson described; sketches and paintings from the first artists who followed the fur trade routes; Thompson’s interactions with Thomas Jefferson and the Corps of Discovery; and the interwoven lives of the furmen and tribes that remained in the area long after Thompson departed.


Voices from the Past 2005



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