Lillian Pitt: Spirits Keep Whistling Me Home

Lillian Pitt is a highly regarded Native American artist whose ceramics, mixed media sculptures, and installations celebrate the rich cultural traditions of the Columbia River people. A major exhibition of her work, Lillian Pitt: Spirits Keep Whistling Me Home, will open on Jan. 24 and continue through March 20 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

Pitt's work brings to life the legends and values of the Columbia River people, especially the women who preceded her. Although her chosen medium is ceramics, she finds additional opportunities through printmaking, installations, and mixed media pieces. Included in the exhibition are ceramic masks, totems, bronze sculptures, and mixed media installations that span a 20-year period.

Born in Warm Springs, Or., in 1943, Pitt moved to Portland after high school, where she enjoyed a successful career as a hairdresser. When back problems forced her to change careers in the early 1980s, she enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College, where she took her first ceramics class. Since that time, she has emerged as a major regional artist and arts advocate.

In addition to the works on display, the exhibition features a text panel, artist statement, labels, and a major exhibition catalogue that chronicles the artist's career over the past 20 years. As a special feature, artist and curator Saralyn Hilde will discuss the work of Lillian Pitt on Friday, Jan. 23 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Museum. Admission is free. A preview reception will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. in the lobby and galleries downstairs.

Lillian Pitt: Spirits Keep Whistling Me Home has been supported by an endowment gift from The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, through their Spirit Mountain Community Fund.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Sunday and Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free and admission is free on Tuesdays.

For further information, please call John Olbrantz 503/370-6854.