Each summer, the Washington State History Museum (WSHM) partners with the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) and the Museum of Glass (MOG) to host a free community festival celebrating the Native American cultures of this region. The 2022 festival will take place on Saturday, August 6, from 10 AM-5 PM, and includes an outdoor artist vendor market, cultural music and dance, art-making, free admission to all three museums, and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, including the Price Family dishing up their famously delicious fry bread tacos.
“The IN THE SPIRIT festival is a day full of lively opportunities to engage with diverse Native cultures, meet and talk with artists, and explore three of Tacoma’s top museums,” said Michael King, education and public programs manager at the Washington State Historical Society. “We really value this annual Museum District partnership and we are grateful to the artists and performers who come together to participate. We’re proud to be able to provide a dynamic cultural event that is free for everyone to enjoy.”
The three museums are within walking distance of each other and easily connected along Pacific Avenue and via the Bridge of Glass. Paid parking is available at WSHM, TAM, and MOG, as well as street parking; multiple bus lines reach the Tacoma Museum District, as well as the Link light rail with a stop in front of the History Museum.
Festival visitors can shop for hand-crafted art, jewelry, leather work, glass, wood carvings, paintings, prints, and more among artist vendor booths at the WSHM and at TAM. Two award winning musicians, Rona Yellow Robe, Cree, and Vince Redhouse, Navajo, will delight guests with their talents, as well as the exciting Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers, in the History Museum’s outdoor amphitheater. Live demonstrations include Tacoma artist Paige Pettibon, Salish, at TAM and Manolo Aguilera, Indigenous-Mexican from the Veracruz region, in the MOG Hot Shop. TAM will also offer a curator’s tour, and the Puyallup artist Qwalsius, creator of spuyaləpabš/Welcome Figure, will talk with visitors about his work in Tollefson Plaza.
The runway fashion show at TAM is always a festival favorite. Designers will include Jacinthe Demmert, Haida, Shana Yellow Calf Lukinich, Northern Arapaho, and Mary Kelsay, Unangax Village of Nikolski. Kelsay is has been a garment maker for 11 years and has participated in the IN THE SPIRIT festival since 2014. Her love for fashion and her heritage inspire her to design unique and classic clothing. “This year, MEKA will showcase pieces that create awareness of and honor our sisters who are still missing and who have been taken. Being a part of IN THE SPIRIT brings our community together while celebrating and supporting Indigenous artists,” she shared.
Another special highlight this year at MOG is the rare opportunity to see the The Hazel Pete Institute of Chehalis Basketry Weave-In, with weavers demonstrating their skills in person.
In addition to the arts market, several vendors have opted to sell their work online via the IN THE SPIRIT festival website; the online vendor marketplace will be open from August 6 through September 2, 2022.
Visitors will want to explore the 17th annual IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition in the Washington State History Museum’s fifth floor galleries, and vote for the People’s Choice award, to be announced at the end of the festival. The jury’s artist awards were presented in June and include: Best in Show award, In Remembrance of the Missing and Murdered by PḰȺELWEȽTEN Charles W Bloomfield, Pyramid Lake Paiute; Spirit of the Northwest award, Through the Smokehole by Alison Bremner, Tlingit; Honoring Innovation award, Yo:weo’ Floral Glass Box by Linley Logan, Seneca Nation; Honoring the Ancestors award, Antidote by Terresa White, Yup’ik; Purchase Prize award, Time Back by Cynthia Masterson, Comanche; and a second Purchase Prize award, ƛum̓ šinmsči by Annette Pierre, Kalispel Tribe. The awarded artists’ works and statements can be viewed on the exhibition web page (https://www.washingtonhistory.org/exhibit/in-the-spirit-contemporary-native-arts-2022/).
For full details about IN THE SPIRIT Arts Market & Northwest Native Festival, visit www.InTheSpiritArts.org, and come to the museums on Saturday, August 6.
All-day Events, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
· Arts Market – Meet artist vendors to learn more about their crafts while you shop for original art, jewelry, textiles, and a wide range of hand-crafted products.
· Art Making – Take part in activities at all three museums. In the TAM Studio, make prints inspired by Native artworks on view, and make buttons at all three museums.
· Exhibitions – Explore the IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts exhibition and vote for the People’s Choice awards at the Washington State History Museum. Experience new pieces of art in Native Portraiture: Power and Perception as well as On Native Land, featuring landscape paintings paired with land acknowledgments to recognize more than 75 Native American communities whose homelands are pictured, at the Tacoma Art Museum. View stunning glass art exhibitions at Museum of Glass.
· 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Museum of Glass – Manolo Aguilera, Indigenous-Mexican from the Veracruz region, will create in the Hot Shop at Museum of Glass. Note: Manolo will take a break from 1:00-2:00 PM.
· 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM Museum of Glass – Weave-in with The Hazel Pete Institute of Chehalis Basketry
· 12:00 PM Washington State History Museum – Community blessing and welcome with Connie McCloud, Cultural Director of the Puyallup Tribe
· 12:15 PM Washington State History Museum – performance by renowned flute musician Vince Redhouse, Navajo
· 12:00-1:00 PM Tacoma Art Museum – Curator’s Tour of the Haub Family Wing
· 1:00 PM Tacoma Art Museum – Native Designers Runway Fashion Show
· 2:00 PM– Tollefson Plaza (Pacific Avenue across from the Tacoma Art Museum) – Puyallup artist Qwalsius (Shaun Peterson) will lead a short tour of his work, spuyaləpabš/Welcome Figure. Carved in a style unique to the Puyallup People, spuyaləpabš/Welcome Figure is a modern take on a local traditional art form.
· 2:00-4:00 PM Tacoma Art Museum studio – Watch live painting by Tacoma artist Paige Pettibon, Salish, whose work is on view in TAM’s exhibition Native Portraiture: Power and Perception.
· 2:00 PM Washington State History Museum – Award-winning musician, singer and songwriter Rona Yellow Robe, Cree
· 3:00 PM Washington State History Museum – Returning visitors’ favorite, Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers
· 4:00 PM Washington State History Museum – People’s Choice Award – Museum staff will announce the results of in-gallery voting for People’s Choice award in the 17th annual IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts juried exhibition.
· 5:00 PM Festival ends. Museums and vendors close for the day.
Festival Food options
· Price Family Fry Bread Tacos – The Price Family, Navajo and Port Gamble S’Klallam, will have tasty fry bread and delicious fry bread tacos for purchase on the plaza at the Washington State History Museum.
· Anthem Café at the History Museum, serving from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM.
· TAM Café in the museum’s main lobby, serving 10:00 AM–4:00 PM.
· Incalmo at Museum of Glass, serving from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Artist vendors – booths at the Washington State History Museum and at Tacoma Art Museum:
· PḰȺELWEȽTEN Charles W Bloomfield, Pyramid Lake Paiute, W̱SÁNEĆ, Lummi
· Jacinthe Demmert, Haida
· Denise Emerson, Navajo, enrolled Skokomish
· Carly Feddersen, Colville Confederated Tribe
· John Goodwin, Makah
· Vicki Harlan, Colville Confederated Tribe
· Shaadootlaa Iyall, Tlinigit
· Kayla Wave Jurgens, Tlingit
· LaVerne Kearns, Kansas Kickapoo/Muscogee
· Mary Kelsay, Unangax Village of Nikolski
· Linley B. Logan, Onondowaga (aka Seneca Nation)
· Shana Yellow Calf Lukinich, Northern Arapaho
· Cynthia Masterson, Comanche
· Alexander McCarty, Makah
· Melissa Meyer, Tsimshian Nation
· Vince Redhouse, Navajo