Kah-Nee-Ta hosts Lillian Pitt exhibit
- Madras Pioneer - News
ce her first exhibition at Kah-Nee-Ta in 1984, Lillian Pitt has established herself as one of the most highly regarded Native American artists in the Pacific Northwest.
On Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, her artwork will return to the lodge at Kah-Nee-Ta for display and sale to the public.
A native of Warm Springs, Pitt produces sculpture, prints, jewelry, wearable art, and mixed media compositions featuring clay, bronze, wood, and most recently, glass.
Her artistic approach draws from Native imagery, local and family history, and the ties between ancient and contemporary.
A recurring image in Pitt's work is "She Who Watches," or Tsagaglal, a Columbia River petroglyph featuring a tribal leader turned to stone by Coyote so she could watch over her people forever.
Pitt first encountered the petroglyph while pursuing her family history in the Native communities of the Columbia River Gorge, and found that Tsagaglal had watched over N'xluidix, her own great-grandmother's village.
"I use the ancient stories of my ancestors as a basis for the imagery I create," Pitt said. "By doing this I maintain the memory of an ancient culture and keep the beliefs of my people alive."
"In honoring our ancestors we honor all those who have lived on the earth and shared similar materials, overcome obstacles in our environment, and responded to chaos by organizing principles of homage to legends, love for family, and personal spiritual development."
Pitt is also a noted philanthropist, remaining deeply committed to her Warm Springs community throughout her career. She has donated artwork to charitable causes and community improvement projects across the Pacific Northwest, and has received numerous awards for her contributions to the cultural life of Oregon.
In this spirit of philanthropy, there will be an extended sale of works unavailable at the July exhibition, including jewelry, glass, and mixed media pieces, on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., at Kah-Nee-Ta, with 10 percent of the proceeds donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Warm Springs.