May 17, 2007

Traveling exhibit features stereotypes

"Bittersweet Winds"

A Traveling Exhibit on Native American Imagery

Partial contents of the exhibit:A. We were sent a sign that was in the window of an establishment in the Dakotas. It reads: "No Alcohol Served To Indians Past Sundown". The date on the sign is 1929. Right next to it we have a collectible porcelain beer stein that is fully adorned in Native American images, was made in Brazil to be distributed by the, "Avon Company" and then right next to this we have a full bottle of, "Crazy Horse Malt Liquor", which is no longer made.

B. We have a series of hand made, fictitious named sports teams banners that we hang but include a, "Cleveland Indians" banner and we ask the question: "Can you pick out the real one?"

C. We have framed photos, comics and other images from various media that show positive and negative images of Native Americans.
History of the exhibit:Christine Rose and I (Richie Plass) began collecting and assembling items. We made phone calls and sent letters to people across the country who we felt would be interested in assisting us in this project. Rob Schmidt, of Blue Corn Comics, contributed many images that he had collected over the years. I also wrote to every school in Wisconsin (Over 70) who still use Native Americans as their names and/or mascots. I was sent back only eleven, which are now part of our exhibit.

When we had our first exhibit in Green Bay, WI., in October 2006, we had one small box, about 60 items and took about 45 minutes to set up. As of today, we have over 150 items and takes almost three hours to set up. Plus, we still get items sent to us and donated at least once every week. The acceptance and involvement by organizations and communities continues to ensure the growth and significance of the exhibit.
Comment:  As indicated above, "Bittersweet Winds" includes a lot of images from the Blue Corn Comics website.

P.S. If you want to host this exhibit, please contact me or the exhibit's organizers.

Pix of the Bittersweet Winds exhibit

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