Museum features beaded artwork

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2001

A beaded tunic, a raven headdress and beaded moosehide mittens will be among the artwork displayed at an new exhibit opening this weekend at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.

A reception at 1 p.m. Saturday will open the "Showcase of Juneau Beadwork," an exhibit of art by Juneau bead artists with selected pieces from the city museum's collection. The event includes demonstrations by the artists, a youth bead workshop and the first meeting of the family bead circle. The exhibit launches a series of events this fall focusing on beadwork.

This show highlights the variety of works created today by Juneau bead artists, said city museum staff member Jane Lindsey. Glass beads have been a creative material used in Juneau and throughout Alaska since the 1850s, when maritime traders bartered with Alaska Natives for trade goods.

"There's tons going on Saturday," said Salty Hanes, a Juneau bead artist who helped organize the exhibit. Hanes teaches in Juneau and owns the shop Spirit Beads.

Children are invited to make beaded rainbow catchers with Hanes in a workshop Saturday morning at the museum. Children ages 5 to 8 will meet from 11 a.m. to noon and ages 9 to12 will meet noon to 1 p.m. There is no charge for the instruction but preregistration and a $3 materials fee is required.

Saturday marks the first meeting of the family bead circle, a new weekly bead circle facilitated by Hanes. She invites families to bring in their beadwork and other handicraft projects and spend creative time together. The family bead circle will meet from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and continue every Saturday through April. Future meetings will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and Hanes said individuals are welcome.

"The family bead circle has been a long time in coming," said Hanes, who has led bead groups in Juneau since 1987. "The city museum is the perfect place for it and the timing is good for families to come together and share community and creativity."

Hanes leads a kid's bead circle from 4 to 6 p.m. every Thursday at Spirit Beads, working with children 4 years and older. She also leads an adult bead circle from 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday at the Fireweed Place. These are free and open to new beaders.

This month the museum will also host Tlingit beadworking classes, taught by artist Florence Sheakley. Sheakley will offer a class in the Tlingit two-needle beading technique from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 13, 20 and 27 at the city museum. Students will make a geometric design on felt and then move on to other simple projects. Pre-registration and payment, $45 plus a materials fee, is required one week before class starts.

This winter the museum is offering free admission, thanks to a donation by Harold Fossum in memory of his late wife Helen. Museum hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is at Fourth and Main streets and is a program of the Juneau Parks and Recreation Department. For more information call 586-3572.

"Showcase of Juneau Beadwork" runs through Dec. 1.

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