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Continuous Rythm: Designs in Navajo Weaving and Children's Art on View at Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Navajo, Germantown outline blanket, ca.1900, woven wool and cotton, gift of Judge and Mrs. Willis W. Ritter, UMFA #1975.078.020.010
SALT LAKE CITY, UT.- Discover the ingenuity and rhythm of Navajo design in Continuous Rhythm: Designs in Navajo Weaving and Children’s Art, on view in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building from June 4, 2009 – October 25, 2009. This installation of works from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts’s permanent collection offers Museum visitors a deeper understanding of one of Utah’s native tribes.

Presented in the Emma Eccles Jones Education Gallery, Continuous Rhythm comprises nine exquisite Navajo textiles from the early twentieth century and eleven contemporary works on paper by Navajo children. By juxtaposing the dazzling patterns used in both bodies of work, Continuous Rhythm reveals a shared visual language between generations of American Indian artists.

From its beginnings, Navajo design reflected the process of weaving, expressed in simple and harmonious stripes. This Navajo art form evolved throughout the nineteenth century as Navajo artists responded to modern influences such as the development of commercial yarn. Continuous Rhythm highlights Navajo textile patterns ranging from zigzags and diamonds made with handspun wool to intricate “storm patterns” and “eye dazzlers.”

These dynamic designs resonate with works on paper by Navajo children in a series of drawings that were originally created as part of the Have You Ever Seen a Rainbow at Night community project, coordinated on the Utah Navajo reservation by artist Bruce Hucko in the 1980s. The eleven children’s works in Continuous Rhythm reveal how young artists internalize and continue the artistic traditions of their heritage.

Interactive stations will allow Continuous Rhythm visitors to take an in-depth look at the creative process of Navajo artists. Busy hands of all ages can practice weaving on a loom, learn about how yarn is created, read about the cultural significance of “Spider Woman,” and make a unique Navajo eye-dazzler design of their own.

Continuous Rhythm is presented in conjunction with the UMFA’s current landmark exhibition Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art, which showcases 18th and 19th century art objects by Plains, Plateau, and Northeastern American Indian artists.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts | Bruce Hucko | Navajo |  |

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