MHS Hosts Pottery Exhibition, Health and Art: Master Potters of the Catawba Indian Nation

Health and Art: Master Potters of the Catawba Indian Nation
February 19—April 18
Opening Reception March 12, 4-6pm
Center for Medicine, Health, and Society
300 Calhoun Hall (www.vanderbilt.edu/mhs)

The Center for Medicine Health and Society (MHS) announces the opening of Health and Art: Master Potters of the Catawba Indian Nation, an exhibition of ceramic works by master potters of the Catawba Indian Nation. The exhibition includes 15 works, ranging from larger scale vessels to miniature figurative sculptures. All of the pieces in the exhibition are original, unique works made by hand using traditional methods passed down orally among the Catawba for over 6,000 years.

The exhibition highlights the unique aspects of the Catawba pottery tradition, including a laborious process of “rubbing” or burnishing the pottery for an extended period of time and the delicate etching of the surfaces of vessels with shells found in the modern tribal lands of South Carolina.

Health and Art also calls attention to the urgent health issues facing Native Americans. Much like other tribes of indigenous Americans, the Catawba are subject to disproportionately high incidence of diabetes, heart disease, violence, and other illnesses. Six of the nine master artists represented were diagnosed with diabetes, and several died of complications from the illness. As such, the pottery is accompanied by placards detailing indigenous and western narratives of illness and healing.

Health and Art: Master Potters of the Catawba Indian Nation runs from February 19 to April 18, with an opening reception on March 12, 4-6pm, at MHS (www.vanderbilt.edu/mhs). All events are free and open to one-and-all.

Special thanks to DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren, Wanda George-Warren, Sheena Adams-Avery, and Renee Martin.

For more information contact MHS at 615-343-0916.

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