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Press Releases


June 26, 2013, by Aili Schreiner

The Dalles, Oregon (June 25, 2013) – Young artists will showcase art work inspired by traditions of the Columbia River at a traveling exhibit opening Saturday, July 6th, at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, Oregon. The “Gifts from Our Ancestors” exhibit will kick off with a public reception at 12 pm, followed by a free art workshop led by artist Jefferson Greene of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

On view will be select examples of student art created in the "Gifts from Our Ancestors" program, including digital storytelling, ceramic masks, documentary films, books of poetry, multi-media journals, tile mosaics, film costumes and props, watercolor paintings, clay sculptures, collaged story circles, painted wood salmon, and tule weavings.

From 12 to 4 pm, Jefferson Greene will lead a workshop for families to create their own Story Circle and to make a traditional Shaptakai- the Sahaptin name for Indian Suitcase. Leader of the N'chi Wanapum Canoe Family, Jefferson will also share his stories, songs and experiences of the Canoe Journey, a 315 mile ancestral journey down the Columbia River. This event is open to the public- arrive early to guarantee your place!

"Gifts from Our Ancestors" is a place-based, K-12, arts-education program that features multiple forms of artistic and oral expression practiced by Native Americans along the Columbia River. The program incorporates shared knowledge and traditional art practices of tribal artists and culture bearers into classrooms. Throughout the 2012-2013 school year, 41 teachers and 1,900 students collaborated with local Native American artists on 15 projects that explored themes of cultural and ecological sustainability of the Columbia River Basin. Artworks on display tell the story of each project, resulting in a permanent gift by the school to its community. With project stipends awarded by the Confluence Project,
participating schools engaged in over 80 cultural/artist visits and received $45,000 in direct project support.

Traveling Student Art Exhibit Venues
The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center- opens July 6, 2013
Hood River County History Museum- opens August 3, 2013
Maryhill Museum of Art- opens September 7, 2013
Columbia Center for the Arts- opens October 5, 2013

About the Confluence Project
The Confluence Project employs place-based art as the lens through which to explore confluences of culture, environment, and regional heritage of the  Columbia River and its tributaries. We are a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest Tribes, acclaimed artist Maya Lin, and local communities from Oregon and Washington to reclaim public spaces of cultural, physical, and ecological significance to the Columbia River Basin. We do this through public art installations, environmental restoration, and educational programming. Four of the six planned sites featuring art by Maya Lin have been completed. In 2010, these sites served 1.7 million+ visitors at Cape Disappointment (Ilwaco, WA), Vancouver Land Bridge (Vancouver, WA), Sandy River Delta (Troutdale, OR), Sacajawea (Clarkston, WA). Chief Timothy and Celilo Parks will be complete in 2014 and 2015 respectively.


For more information about the Confluence Project arts education programming, please contact Program Director Aili Schreiner at: or call 360.693.0123.

Lead Exhibit Sponsor:
Mid-Columbia Medical Center

2012-2013 Gifts from Our Ancestors Program Support:
Brot & Mary Bishop
Oregon Cultural Trust
Ray Hickey Foundation
Native Arts & Culture Foundation
The National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town”
Roundhouse Foundation
Herbert A. Templeton Foundation

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