Traditional American Indian artists from several area tribes will display their work and discuss their creative techniques during the annual Gathering of Native Artists this weekend at the Skagit County Historical Museum.
This popular event, now in its 14th year, has been expanded to two days, with a special evening performance of American Indian songs, dances and stories with the group Neqáx Kwélengsen (which translates to Black Eagle), formerly known as the Samish Singers.
"It began as a commemoration of Treaty Day," the 1855 accord with the original Coast Salish tribes, said Jo Wolfe, the museum's fundraising and publicity coordinator.
"Native artists will come and demonstrate their crafts and sell their crafts," Wolfe said. "They'll each have a table and they'll be demonstrating their craft - they'll be doing actual work. It's a great opportunity to talk to the artists."
It's from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, and Sunday, Jan. 20, at the museum, 501 S. Fourth St. in La Conner. Black Eagle performs from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the museum.
Admission to the Gathering of Native Artists is included with regular museum admission of $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and children 6-12. Museum members and children 5 and younger are admitted free. There's a special family rate of $10 for two adults and two children. Admission to the Saturday evening event is the same as museum admission.
In addition, Wolfe said several examples of early baskets, stone tools and other artifacts will be on display.
"We'll bring out some of our Native American collection in a special mini-exhibit," she said.
Among the exhibitors are Robert Eagle Bear, a Lummi Nation bead artist; Mary Snowden, a weaver who works primarily in red cedar bark; Fran James and Bill James, who are mother-son Lummi knitters and weavers; and noted Swinomish wood carver Kevin Paul.
"He does amazing things," Wolfe said. "It's a fun event. We get big crowds; people really enjoy it. Robert Eagle Bear has been known to bring out his drum."
Artists and displays will be in the museum's East Gallery with its view of Skagit Valley, Mount Baker and the North Cascades. The museum's permanent collection of pioneer artifacts will be open during the show.
Many of the artists' works will be for sale, and there will be a silent auction, Wolfe said.
Because the event often draws large crowds, the museum offers a free shuttle from free off-site parking in a lot at Moore and Caledonia streets behind City Hall. It's two blocks off the downtown area and there's a small playground nearby.
To get there, take Interstate 5 south to Highway 20 westbound. Turn left (south) at La Conner-Whidbey Road. Turn right (west) at the Morris Street traffic circle and a quick left on Maple Avenue. Turn right on Caledonia Street to Moore, which is labeled Third Street by some online maps.
The museum is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-466-3365 or go online to skagitcounty.net/museum.
Suggest your ideas for family-friendly events or day trips to Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or email@example.com.