Allan Houser/Katsina Dolls Sunday, Jul 25 2010 

Heard Museum

Heard Museum

The Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix offers free admission on Saturdays during July, a sure way to bring a crowd.  This unique museum dedicated to Native American art and culture currently has two special exhibits well worth a visit.  “Allan Houser: Tradition to Abstraction” features the remarkable work of a great Native American artist.  Allan Houser, born to Sam and Blossom Haozous in 1914 while they lived in Oklahoma, can claim mastery in two art forms, two dimensional painting and three dimensional sculpture.  Houser’s 1970 oil on canvas, “When Meat Was Plentiful,” dramatically shows movement through the  stylized buffalo chased by a rider on a galloping horse whose hoofs are turning up rocks, and with simple lines showing the sky and wind.  Likewise, Houser dramthe Fred atically shows a racing horse through its sculpted forward facing head and mane blowing in the wind.  Two years before his death in 1994, Houser received the National Medal of Arts by President George H. W. Bush.

“Hopi Katsina Dolls: 100 Years of Carving” guides us to an understanding of the Hopi carvers and their worldview expressed through this medium.  Through this exhibit and a guided tour of the regular collection which included stops at the Goldwater-Kibbey Collection and the Fred Harvey Collection of katsinas, we learned that katsina dolls were gifts to Hopi infants and girls.  Made from cottonwood roots, the dolls represented the Hopi spirit world.  Some artists are capable of representing meticulous detailed clothing and jewelry that flies into the air and swirls around the body.  During our tour we also learned about the Hopi wedding ceremony.  In this matriarchal society the male relatives of the groom weave not only the wedding dress of the bride but also her funeral garment.  There is much to be learned about this culture, but it was good to have this introduction.  The Heard Museum deserves to be visited regularly.

White Spar Sunday, Jul 11 2010 

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed

On July 4th we parked near the White Spar Campground, hiking part of Trail 396 and circling back on Trail 61.  Part of our hike was on the southern portion of the Prescott Circle Trail.  This pleasant walk through ponderosa pine forest had little elevation change.  We encountered only a few bicyclers.  Clumps of bright orange butterfly weeds dotted the side of the trail after we crossed a creek.  Later in the day we visited the Prescott Resort for dinner.  After finding out that they were out of duck, chicken, and filet minion, we nevertheless found items on the menu that were available.   Later, from their gazebo we viewed the fireworks at Pioneer Park.  A local birthday celebration.

Frontier Days Parade Saturday, Jul 10 2010 

Frontier Days Parade

Frontier Days Parade

Prescott hosted a parade with 139 units that started at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 3rd and continued for more than two hours.  After successfully finding a parking spot, we walked to Whiskey Row where the bars were festively decorated for the Fourth of July celebration.  Rows of lawn chairs filled every available space on the Courthouse side of the street.  We ended up in a great spot on the corner of Cortez and Goodwin which was actually near the starting point of the parade.  Unlike Bellevue, Iowa, the many horses displayed their riders and pulled wagons without incident.  The bucket and shovel brigades, however, kept busy.  While there were only a few bands, politicians, including Governor Jan Brewer, were well represented.  It was interesting to see what businesses sponsored floats.  The youngsters in front of us gathered lots of candy from those distributing treats.  What appeared to be Prescott cheerleaders carried signs identifying several of the parade units, but surely there aren’t that many cheerleaders.  It was fun to experience this popular parade.