Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Middletown Art Center hosts Nov. 11 Pomo design workshop

“Pomo Dancer” by Eric Wilder.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — The Middletown Art Center will host a design workshop with Pomo Culture bearer and artist, Eric Wilder, on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 1 to 5 p.m.

This free workshop is part of the Water Basket project’s education series and is designed to support native people in bringing expressions of their innate cultural heritage into public space and non-native people in learning more about Pomo cultural heritage.

Water Basket honors the first people, their culture, and the rich legacy of Pomo basketry that is unique to this region and renowned worldwide.

“We use basket designs to weave a foundation to teach our history to our children so that they know who they are and where they come from,” said Wilder. “At the basket design class I will help participants clarify what kind of story they are wanting to share to teach people about this area. Perhaps it will be a story of protection or one of nurturing?”

Wilder will lead participants in creating designs for 360-degree murals for the two water tanks on Rabbit Hill. The tanks can be seen from a distance of over a mile and from above.

Like the designs woven into Pomo baskets, design proposals should reflect the area’s history, people, and ecology utilizing geometric and organic shapes that are symbolic of the land, plants, and animals native to this region.

By sharing a process he uses in his own work, Wilder will guide participants in articulating the concepts or stories they wish to communicate and selecting the pattern design elements they want to incorporate.

He will address aesthetic considerations including legibility and scale particular to this project. Individual, collaborative, and intercultural or multi-generational proposals for the water baskets are encouraged.

Wilder is from the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians. He is a freelance artist with a rich background in graphic design, and animation and illustration from the gaming industry.

He has served in his tribe’s government and carries traditions and wisdom of his tribe and family that have been passed down for generations.

Wilder is passionate about storytelling and designing cultural resources that are accessible to his people, especially younger generations, to preserve cultural knowledge and traditions.

Sign up for this enriching, informative and supportive workshop this Saturday, and learn more about the call for work and Water Basket project at www.middletownartcenter.org/waterbasket.

Water Basket is a collaboration between Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians, Pomo artists, Callayomi County Water District and the Middletown Art Center. It’s funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding from the Middletown Rancheria, the water district and public support.

Middletown Art Center is a Lake County nonprofit dedicated to engaging the public in art making, art education and art appreciation. Through exhibitions, performances, workshops and community events, the center provides a platform for diverse voices and perspectives, striving to create an inclusive and accessible space for all.

To learn more and donate to support Water Basket and other MAC programs visit www.middletownartcenter.org or call 707-809-8118. The MAC is located at 21456 State Highway 175 in Middletown.

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