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The New and the Old Together: American Trails Grand Opening

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Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk brings in the spring and also new, stunning art. It’s a day to explore artwork that’s new or old, as well as support local galleries.

The Art Walk on Friday, April 7, welcomed a new art gallery with old and new pieces, called American Trails. The new art gallery showcases multiple artifacts and artwork from Native American cultures. The gallery received a blessing from Benson Langford at its grand opening, followed by live music by flautist Gary Burrows.

“The gallery is a showcase of the indigenous cultures of the Americas,” says Gallery Manager Shane Bloodworth. “We have cedar carvings and handmade silver jewelry from Canada, many of the North American tribes are represented in historic and contemporary ways, and we have wood carvings, weavings, and pottery from all over Mexico. We also have one South American basket and hope to continue to delve into that area as we move forward.”

Along with historical artifacts, the gallery also contains current pieces of art representing the native culture, such as Farrell Cockrum’s acrylic paintings, Chimney Butte’s stone jewelry, and watercolor paintings by Pam Stoehsler.

Cockrum’s acrylic painting depicts a Native American chief dressed in a rainbow of colors and sunglasses, representing the colorful culture. A featured eagle mask deepens the rich and broad culture. The light blue and brownish-red paint, not to mention the feathers, make the mask almost come alive. The gallery doesn’t only specialize in displaying art and artifacts, but also offers free appraisals.

Bloodworth adds, “We have three shelves of Mata Ortiz that are all made from contemporary artists from Northern Mexico. All the Zapaotec weavings are new. All the Toadlena Navajo weavings are also contemporary.” While the gallery is based around several historical cultures, the newer objects and pieces reflect on cultures that aren’t extinct, but rather still celebrated today.

“We hope that we can show people that all of these artists represent cultures that are alive and well,” says Bloodworth. “A lot of times people think of Native artists and cultures as being something from the past. These artists are here to show that the old ways are alive and well.”


American Trails

250 East Main St, Ashland

Monday – Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm


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