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Those taking the traditional backrest workshop included David Dragonfly, Joanne Cadotte, Linley Logan, Darrell Norman, Kobe Rides At The Door, Elsie Rides At The Door, Shirley Weatherwax and Ayuthea Cisneros.

The back room at the Museum of the Plains Indian was a hothouse of activity the week of May 20 as Linley Logan - Director of the Northwest Heritage Program located at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA - conducted a traditional backrest workshop. He set up the workshop with David Dragonfly of the Museum and reached out to four students - the capacity of the “Demonstrating Artist” studio - through Joanne Cadotte whose learning the craft was featured in the April 17 issue of the Glacier Reporter.

Logan explained his program is in the first year of the third three-year cycle of grants that funds the Artist in Residence workshops. Up until this year, the workshops have all been conducted in Oregon and Washington, but Montana and Idaho have been added this year. Then, when Logan’s contact at Salish Kootenai College didn’t pan out, he contacted Dragonfly who he’d met at an exhibition at the Institute of American Indian Art in 2015, to set up last month’s event.

Joanne Cadotte assisted at the workshop, as well as Darrell Norman who observed and offered his insights. The four students included Ayuthea Cisneros, Shirley D. Weatherwax and Kobe and Elsie Rides At The Door, each patiently learning the lengthy process of shaping the willows and bringing everything together to create a work of art.

While Logan’s visit to the Museum of the Plains Indian was his program’s first in Montana, he was uncertain about returning to the Museum of the Plains Indian in the near future. He explained funding for his program must take care of obligations in Washington and Oregon, and there are other reservations in Montana and Idaho he would also like to serve.

In any event, the four students learned their craft over the course of a week, and each one is available for sales and special orders. Ayuthea Cisneros may be reached at 917-725-6838; Shirley D. Weatherwax can be contacted at 

shirleydean2017@gmail.com or leave a message at 406-338-2248; Elsie Rides At The Door may be reached at 406-260-3623, 406-338-2902 or LCRATD83@gmail.com; Kobe Rides At The Door can be contacted at 20KobeMO@ bps.k12.mt.us; and Joanne Cadotte can be reached at joanneecadotte@gmail.com.

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