Museum exhibits vibrant work of Umatilla artist
The vibrant, colorful artwork of Umatilla artist Ellen Taylor opens Thursday, April 8 in a new exhibit, "Sacred Reflections" at The Museum at Warm Springs.
"I wanted to bring Ellen Taylor's work here to inspire and share a different art perspective from an artist of one of our sister tribes, Umatilla," said Exhibits Coordinator Natalie Kirk.
"Sacred Reflections: The Art of Umatilla Artist Ellen Taylor" will be on display at the museum through Saturday, May 29 and features 42 pieces of art. Some pieces are for sale while others are on loan from various collectors. The exhibit includes Taylor's prints, painted rocking horses, painted cowboy hats, acrylic work on canvas, painted buckskin jackets, a beaded cradle board and other media.
Kirk, who has been The Museum at Warm Springs exhibits coordinator for 24 years, was visiting the Tamastslikt Cultural Center in Pendleton a couple years ago. Taylor's art was on display in the changing gallery.
"I was floored by the vibrant colors, beautifully painted images and hats. I thought, 'We have to host this, more people need to see this!'" Kirk said. "Ellen is a Native contemporary artist, and I encourage everyone to witness this one-of-a-kind exhibit."
Taylor is a contemporary Indigenous artist and a member of Cayuse-Umatilla-Walla Walla Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton. She has been painting since she was in grade school. Taylor has said that her art "comes from visions, feelings, life experiences, death, turmoil, new birth, illness, relationships and the history of life."
Taylor is known for the innovative way that her ideas are realized on canvas with each coming from a different place in her heart yet woven together in perfect harmony. Taylor has described her art as "Picasso meets Native American type of contemporary art in Andy Warhol's living room type of thing."
Taylor says, "The perfect balance comes from finding the time to create, articulate and harmonize these ideas onto canvas, in an otherwise busy life."
The Museum at Warm Springs typically plans two special exhibitions each year, often in the spring and summer during the Pi-Ume-Sha celebrations when the museum gets many visitors. The Museum at Warm Springs Executive Director Elizabeth Woody said the 2020 special exhibits were rescheduled for this year.
The museum has sold Taylor's T-shirts, prints and posters in the gift shop, and Woody said they sell out quickly. The gift shop also carries an exclusive Ellen Taylor exhibition T-shirt.
"For 28 years, The Museum at Warm Springs has been proud to showcase the work of artists not only from the Warm Springs community but also artists of regional and national renown," Woody said. "Ellen's innovation is phenomenal, and the way her ideas hit the canvas is like no other. Visitors can expect to experience the incredible outpouring of Ellen's creativity and be inspired by her immense talent."
The art of Umatilla artist Ellen Taylor will be on display at The Museum at Warm Springs April 8 through May 29.
Address: 2189 Highway 26, Warm Springs
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Admission: $7 for adults; $6 for seniors age 60-plus; $4.50 for students age 13-18; and $3.50 for children ages 5-12. Group rates available.
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