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Thorne Art Gallery Presents Native American Art Lectures

KEENE, N.H. 10/6/04 - Native American art and culture will be explored in four lectures scheduled in October and November at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College.

These lectures, part of a semester-long focus on Native American culture, complement three American Indian art exhibitions at the Thorne Gallery.

Suzanne Deats, a Fort Worth-based sculptor and arts writer, will present a slide lecture on Native American art on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. in the gallery’s conference room. Seating is limited for the lecture so people will be seated on a first-come first-served basis.

“I was present and connected when the first great wave of Native American contemporary artists burst forth in the mid-1970s,” explains Deats, who made friends with many Native American artists as her own art career progressed.

Deats, who has written or edited a dozen art books and hundreds of art-related articles in various publications, holds a degree in fine arts from the University of New Mexico. She has had several solo sculpture exhibitions and has been a juror for the Santa Fe Art Festival. Today, her writing consumes most of her time and she is listed in Who’s Who in America in 2004.

Deats will speak about contemporary Native American art and artists including Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, whose work is on exhibit at the Thorne, during a reception on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the gallery. Prior to her talk, at 6 p.m. Tom Doyle, a lecturer at Keene State’s Mason Library, will guide a walk through an exhibit of Native American dolls collected by his aunt and other Public Health Service nurses working on Indian reservations during the 1950s. Doyle is curator of the exhibit, “Mid-Century Traditions: Native American Dolls from the 1950s.” The reception, which will run from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., opens the doll exhibit and a photography exhibit on contemporary Sioux people and their sacred sites.

John Hitchcock, an artist and assistant professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will provide an overview of the three Native American art exhibits at the Thorne on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in the gallery. Hitchcock, who is affiliated with the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, is an active artist who has presented international, national, and regional exhibitions. His current artworks depict personal, social, and political views that are a blend of printmaking, digital imaging, video, and installation. Hitchcock holds a master of fine arts degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock and a bachelor of fine arts from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla.

Hitchcock and Deats are being brought to campus through a Keene State College Alumni Association grant to make education components of the Thorne exhibits available to KSC students. Deats, will speak about Native American art and culture to several classes during her residency at Keene State, Oct. 12-16. Hitchcock also will speak to classes during his stay on campus Nov. 18 and 19.

These public lectures and classroom presentations complement three exhibits celebrating Native American Culture open through Dec. 5 at the Thorne Gallery.

“Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Made in America” is an exhibition of drawing, printmaking, painting, and mixed media installation that examines American Indian life in contrast to the consumerism of American society.

“Vision Quest: Men, Women, and Sacred Sites of the Sioux Nation,” is a photography exhibit by Don Doll, S.J., professor of journalism at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., that looks at contemporary Sioux people who have chosen to carry the traditions and culture of their people to future generations.

“Mid-Century Traditions: Native American Dolls from the 1950s” is an exhibit of 24 dolls handcrafted by Native Americans living on reservations throughout the United States. The dolls are part of the Doyle Collection of Native American Dolls, on loan from the Robbins Museum of Archaeology in Middleborough, Mass.

The lectures, reception, and exhibits are free and open to the public. The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. It is closed Nov. 11 for Veterans Day and Nov. 24-28 for the Thanksgiving break.

The gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. To request accommodations for a disability, please call the gallery at least two weeks before your visit. For information, call 603-358-2720 or visit

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