Native American art treasures on display this summer in Culver

In honor of the community-wide observation of the Woodcraft Camp’s centennial this summer, the Crisp Visual Arts Center, located on the campus of Culver Academies, is opening to the public a special exhibition of Native American-related artworks from the Culver collection.

Spanning the early 1800s to the recent present, the collection includes original sculpture, paintings, photographs, art prints, and textiles, both by and about Native Americans. Included are photo portraits of the Indians who came to Culver to teach at the Woodcraft Camp, such as the Blackfoot Chief Bull, along with biographies of each.

The beloved Sculpture, “Appeal to the Great Spirit” (seen at left) by American artist Cyrus Dallin, which for decades adorned the campus’ lakeshore, is also part of the exhibit, as are hand-made Native pieces from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The exhibit, which is dedicated to longtime Indian Lore “Chief” Dick Zimmerman will be open to the public each Sunday in July (7, 14, 21, 28) and Aug. 4, during which Bob Nowalk of the Visual Arts department will give guided tours.

The Crisp Center is located along Academy Road east of the Eppley Auditorium.

Other special events to which the public is invited as part of the community-wide celebration of Culver's Woodcraft Camp centennial include:

Special Council Fire programs each Saturday evening as follows.

July 7: "Nanibojou" (the puppet show: how dance came to the Indians); July 14: "Pilgramage to Lake Maxinkuckee" (the three principal tribes in the Culver area); July 20: "Totem of the Beaver" (the centennial pageant -- to be held on the Academies football field, a special Friday night performance starting at 9:15 p.m. with awards followed by the show. The story tells about how the ideals of our Indian heritage were transferred to Woodcraft. It's suggested the audience arrive at 9 p.m.); July 28: "The Little White Beaver Saga" (combines three short shows into one: how Little White Beaver is of service to his tribe).

All Council Fires start at 9 p.m. Parking is available at the lot near the intersection of State Roads 10 and 117, or adjacent to Culver Academies' tennis complex.

The celebration culminates the weekend of July 20 with the centennial pageant, the Lake Fest parade, when longtime Woodcraft Indian Lore director Dick Zimmerman will be parade marshal and 100 Council Fire dancers will perform during the parade, and on Saturday from 8 to 9 p.m., the Summer Schools Garrison Parade (at the Riding Hall terrace).
A special exhibit on the famous founders of the camp, and on its history overall, is on displa ythis summer at the Culver Academies Museum & Gift Shop, 102 S. Main Street in downtown Culver.