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Native Witness reception a hit
new slt BCC shafer followup
Great Bend resident Bob Button puts detail into the feathers of one of his many wood-carvings at the Shafer Art Gallery reception Sunday afternoon. Some of his projects can take up to 150 hours or more to complete. You have to have a lot of patience, he said. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The latest efforts from Shafer Art Gallery Director Dave Barnes are drawing attention from diverse interests.

From a film festival and live musical performance to eye-catching Navajo blankets and wood carvings, the current exhibit, Native Witness: Indians in the Shafer, is a multi-faceted approach to displaying the art and culture of Native American life.

Dozens maneuvered through the gallery Sunday afternoon, during the exhibit’s reception, which featured several short films by Native American filmmaker Bently Spang and a live demonstration of detailed wood carving by Great Bend resident Bob Button, whose Navajo blanket collection will line the walls of the gallery until Feb. 20.

"I don’t know which one’s my favorite," Button said as a small crowd gathered around his table to watch him in action. Dimly lit by his small desk lamp, Button looked over his glasses and pointed at a large, proud-looking hawk. "But the one that caused me the most concern was the red-tailed hawk."

The bird, also known as the chickenhawk, took him more than 140 hours to complete, as he forms each feather by hand.

"They look so real," said 6-year-old Jeri Bierbrodt of Ellinwood. "They’re so cool."

In keeping with the Native American theme, and as an additional element to the current exhibit, Barton Community College will present a free lecture and American Indian flute concert by Grammy and Emmy award nominated Native American performer John Two-Hawks. The lecture is set for 2 p.m., and the concert will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 at the Crest Theater, 1905 Lakin Ave. The Great Bend Tribune is co-sponsoring the event.

Shafer Gallery will also host the Native Witness Lecture Series from noon to 12:50 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Jan. 31 through Feb. 14. These brown bag sessions will be hosted by Barnes with the final presentation being presented by Barton Community College’s history instructor Linda McCaffery.

Native witness lecture series topics:

• Jan. 31 – Bill and Bently: A Study in Art and Native Identity

• Feb. 2 - Alone With Ghosts: Art Making in the Native American Worldview

• Feb. 7 - The Kiowa 7: The Origins of Native Style

• Feb. 9 - Contemporary Trends in Native American Art

• Feb. 14 - Journey is Vision (Presented by Linda McCaffery)