Breakfast with the Curators
August 17, 2012 8:30 am through 10:00 am
2012 MIAC Breakfast with the Curators: Breakfast with Terrol Dew Johnson (Tohono O’odham), award-winning basket maker, teacher, and activist along with Valerie Verzuh, MIAC exhibit curator, followed by a talk about native basketry of today, his contemporary pieces and the Tohono O’odham Community Action basketry co-op.
Terrol Dew Johnson, Tohono O'odham, started basketry weaving at the age of ten. He soon learned that he was a born natural and found that it was one of the few things in life that he found intrinsically effortless. He is now recognized as one of the top Native American basket weavers in the U.SS.
The traditional basketry weaving techniques that Johnson learnt at an early age, have allowed him to expand into the world of contemporary fine art basketry, while still keeping hold of his traditions, which he uses as a foundation or anchor point for his subsequent career as an artist.
He uses plant materials traditional to his tribe in his work but in experimental in his weaves and techniques. One of his pieces is, Quilt Basket: a virtuoso display of different weaving techniques, suspended from a single branch. The materials he uses include bear grass, yucca, devil’s claw, and gourds. He is most known for his gourd baskets, in which pieces of the gourd are cut away and the negative space is filled with finely woven bear grass.
Johnson has won major top awards at Santa Fe Indian Market, O’odham Tash (the Tohono O'odham annual festival held in February), the Heard Museum Indian Market, and the Southwest Museum’s Indian Art Fair. A number of prestigious museums and galleries have examples of his work for their collections, including a new acquisition for the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
In 1996, Terrol co-founded Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA), a grassroots community organization dedicated to creating positive programs which are based in the O’odham Himdag – the Desert People’s Way. In 2002, Terrol and TOCA Co-Director Tristan Reader were recognized as one of the nation’s top leadership teams when they received the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award. It is his commitment to basketry weaving and more particularly how that can be used to help his Tohon O'dham community, that will perhaps be his greatest legacy.
Breakfast with the Curators, a series of lectures and artists presentations, will be held over three weeks in August at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture on Museum Hill. This popular program provides an opportunity to meet and learn about Native American Artists and arts through talks, tours of our exhibits, or behind the scenes with MIAC curators, scholars and artists. Reservations are required for all Breakfast with the Curators presentations and seating is limited.
Program begins at 8:30 am and runs to 10:00 am. We start with with Breakfast at the New Museum Hill Café, followed by programs at the Museum. *Cost is $35 per person, or $30 per person for MNMF members ( MNMF members attend all four breakfasts for $100). Museum admission included. Please call the MIAC shop for tickets at 505-982-5057 or purchase in person in advance at the shop.
Call 476-1271 for more information. (All topics subject to change, please call to confirm)