A carving will be dedicated at 2:30 p.m. Monday at the new Fiber Arts Studio at The Evergreen State College in Olympia. The event will include a groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the college’s new president, George Bridges.
The event is open to the public, according to Erin Genia, program coordinator for the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen.
“It will be followed by a public presentation by artist Lyonel Grant at 4 p.m. in the Longhouse,” she said.
Grant, a Maori artist, was the lead designer and primary carver of the artwork that will be dedicated at the event. He will be joined by Northwest carvers Peter Boome (Upper Skagit), John Edward Smith (Skokomish), Alex Swiftwater McCarty (Makah) and Taylor Krise (Squaxin Island), all of whom collaborated with him on the piece.
The Fiber Arts Studio will be the latest facility in what’s being referred to as Evergreen’s Indigenous Arts Campus, according to Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, director of the Longhouse, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in October.
The facility will join a carving studio in the shape of a replica longhouse, which opened in August 2012 and has been the site of several workshops and residencies, including ones for bentwood drums and model canoes.
The Fiber Arts Studio will pay an “architectural, cultural and artistic tribute to the Longhouse’s relationships with Maori artists and arts organizations in New Zealand,” according to a description on the Longhouse’s website. The studio is slated to open in 2016.
Eventually, a cast glass studio is planned for the Indigenous Arts Campus, and the college plans to establish a master of fine arts in indigenous arts, according to the Longhouse’s website.