Traditional Art Demonstration and Show

Jesse Christen

Jesse Christen

The South Dakota Art Museum is holding an Artist’s Reception on Friday, Oct. 3, from 4:30 to 7p.m. for the Links in a Chain: The Continuity of Tradition exhibit.

Links in a Chain features area artists who perform traditional folk art. The exhibit documents the Traditional Arts Program; eight master artists and twelve apprentices are showcased.

The reception is free and open to the public.

“I think the biggest thing about this [program] is that it doesn’t stop here, it continues,” says Norwegian woodcarving master Stan Fillingsness, describing the importance of continuing the tradition of folk art.

Live music and artists demonstrations are part of the event. Fiddlers Dwight Lamb and Bill Peterson will play a large repertoire of songs.

Lamb is a Missouri Valley-style fiddler from Onawa, Iowa. He grew up in a musical family; he started with the button accordion learning Danish songs from his grandfather. In the ’50s he listened to local fiddlers on the radio. He soon located his favorite fiddler, Bob Waltersin, who lived across the river in Decatur, Neb. Lamb still play’s Waltersin’s tunes and tells stories that accompany the music.

Bill Peterson is Lamb’s apprentice; he lives in Canton.

Tilda Lone Soldier St. Pierre and Dianne Fields will demonstrate traditional art. St. Pierre will show her Native American quill and beadwork skills while Fields will demonstrate nalbinding – a form of Norwegian rug weaving.

At the age of ten, St. Pierre learned beadwork from her mother’s aunt. She says when she started her craft she would have rather been playing outside. But now she appreciates her early education. Now she does not personally do quillwork; she says her dreams have not called her to do so. But she knows the technique and teaches it.

Quillwork consists of plucking a quill from a dead porcupine then conditioning it for sewing.

Diane Fields, who hails from Aberdeen, learned nalbinding from her grandmother while growing up in Minnesota. Toothbrush handles are used as sewing needles to create intricate designs in rugs. The art of nalbinding is hard work; Fields has spent as long two years on one rug.