“All My Relations: A Seneca History” Opens September 27 at Mitchell Museum

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Presented by Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Collaboration with Rosy Simas (Seneca)

September 17, 2014—The Mitchell Museum is pleased to announce its latest  exhibit opening, “All My Relations: A Seneca History” in collaboration  with visual artist and dancer Rosy Simas (Seneca). The exhibit will  introduce the history of the Seneca culture through milestones in the  lives of Ms. Simas and her relations. It will display traditional and  modern Seneca artifacts, which over the span of generations, represent  the intimate themes of loss, connection and resilience by Ms. Simas and  her tribal connection.

The exhibit opens on Saturday, September 27. A curator tour will take  place at 11 am, followed by an artist talk with Rosy Simas at 2:00 pm  entitled “Transforming a Family History into Dance.” The talk is $10 for  members and $12 for non-members. Call (847) 475-1030 or visit  www.mitchellmuseum.org for more information.

The recorded maternal lineage of Ms. Simas extends back to Cornplanter  (1750-1836), the distinct War Chief of the Seneca tribe during the time  the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 (a land treaty) was signed by George  Washington. Materials from Simas’ grandmother tell of growing up on the  reservation, attending boarding school, relocation to urban centers, and  the American Indian Movement. Historical maps and unique artifacts  including a Seneca basket made by famous artist Nettie Watt will be on  display. Video segments highlight the Seneca thirty-year protest to keep  Cornplanter’s land from the flooding of the Kinzua Dam erected 50 years  ago. The loss of the land during this part of Ms. Simas’ story evolved  into her artistic modern dance now touring the United States.

“This installation is the first I have ever made,” said Ms. Simas. “I am  primarily a dance maker. My work investigates how culture, history, home  and identity are stored in the body and can be expressed in movement.”

On Thursday, October 16-Saturday October 18 at 8:00 pm, Ms. Simas will  perform “We Wait in the Darkness” presented by The Dance Center at  Columbia College in Chicago. The performance is in correlation to the  Mitchell Museum exhibit, and is based on her Seneca heritage and the  ways ancestry, homeland, culture and history are stored in the body and  expressed in movement. Discount tickets are available for visitors that  attend both the exhibit at the museum and The Dance Center performance.  For more information about “We Wait in the Darkness,” please visit  colum.edu/dancecenterpresents

The Mitchell Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the country  that focuses exclusively on the art, history and culture of American  Indian and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada.  In 2012, The Mitchell Museum was named “Best Museum of The North Shore:  Up and Comer” by Make it Better magazine, won the Superior award by the  Illinois Association of Museums and was named a national finalist by the  American Association of State and Local History award program.

For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian,  visit www.mitchellmuseum.org or call 847-475-1030. The museum is open  Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,  Friday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission  is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and Free for  Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.
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