Southwest on display at Hansen

Special to The Hays Daily News

LOGAN -- The Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum will present "Pueblo To Pueblo: The Legacy of Southwest Indian Pottery" through Aug. 11. The exhibit contains approximately 60 objects and 10 photographs and graphics that date from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.

Pueblo pottery of the Southwest is one of the most beautiful and enduring artistic traditions in all of native North America. It is a tradition rich with history -- not only as an expression of cultural identity, but also to serve as a reflection of the relationship between Pueblo people and the influences from outside their own community.

Today, there are approximately 20 pueblos with a total population of more than 50,000. It is a practice flexible enough to adapt as necessary over time, while still adhering to established social norms.

Pottery-making in the American Southwest is a tradition that emerged 2,000 years ago. Historically, it was a functional art form, passed from generation to generation over the span of centuries by people living in permanent villages known as pueblos. The pottery of each pueblo was unique and distinguished by a variety of characteristics, such as the individual clay source and shape of the vessels and designs, or lack thereof, painted onto the surface.

By the latter part of the 19th century, these traditions were well-established. As more and more people began to travel and move to the Southwest, pottery production was quickly transformed from a functional art form (used primarily within Pueblo communities) to a highly marketable cultural expression.

The Hansen Artist of the Month for June is Michelle Lytle, McCook, Neb. She has an exquisite display of ink drawings on bone and feathers.

The next continuing education class will be the Vollbracht oil painting workshop from July 10 to 13. For more, call (785) 689-4846 or visit www.hansenmuseum.org.