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Artist’s Reception and Newark Earthworks Events Honor Native American Culture

​​​​More than 75 works focusing on the rich culture of the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians by Potawatomi artist, illustrator, and educator Candi Wesaw are currently featured in the LeFevre Hall Art Gallery. Eighteen elders of the Pokagon Band travelled to Newark from southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana to attend the Gallery Opening on Sunday, October 12. Candi Wesaw is from Hartford, Michigan, and is deeply connected to her community, culture, heritage, and the arts. She works in multiple mediums and formats, many of which are on display in the exhibit. Drawings depict tribal rituals of the past, while photographs show how her tribe continues these ​traditions in modern day Michigan and Indiana.  “The Shwatso Shkote Collection, or “Prophecy of the Eight Fires,” was an especially moving collection; showing where the Potawatomi have come from and the possibility that we all may be fated to disappear if we choose to over-rely on technology to solve our human problems,” stated Josh Robison, student participant. He added: “The entire day was very educational and moving; it helped me to better understand the struggles that Native peoples have gone through in this country.”  Wesaw and other citizens of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indian Nation also attended an Open House earlier in the day at the Newark Octagon Earthworks as guests of the Newark Earthworks Center (NEC), an official center of the university. The NEC hosts Octagon Open Houses regularly on the four days each year when the public is allowed full access to the site. Open Houses included guided tours of the Octagon Earthworks, American Indian crafts and other activities. The Newark Earthworks Center strives to protect and preserve Ohio’s ancient earthworks and recognize Native American Indian achievements, past and present, through public education projects. Candi Wesaw’s art exhibit is a perfect example of such recognition.  The artist’s exhibit at LeFevre Hall Art Gallery will continue through December 8th and is open during all regular campus hours.  For more information and photos of the event, click here. For more information about the art exhibit, contact John N. Low, JD, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies, at low.89@osu.edu. For more information about the Octagon Earthworks including upcoming events, contact the Newark Earthworks Center at earthworks@osu.edu.