Wyoming Arts Council

Mentoring Project Grants Awarded

The Wyoming Arts Council has awarded four new Mentoring Project Grants for 2018. Established in 2005 as part of the Arts Council’s ongoing effort to increase support and recognition of Wyoming’s rich cultural arts and traditions, these grants are designed to support the transmission of traditional and folk art skills through the natural process of in-person, hands-on instruction. A master artist selects a worthy apprentice to mentor over time in order to advance the skills of the student from proficient to excellent.

Janelle Fletcher represented the WAC Board as the selection panel chair. Panelists Josh Chrysler (South Dakota state folklorist), Leslie Kedelty (former Wyoming Travel & Tourism cultural heritage specialist) and Anne Pryor (former Wisconsin state folklorist) reviewed and scored the requests.

The WAC Board approved the panel’s recommendations on November 2, 2017 in Lander. The following awardees have been approved for 2018:

Raphealita Stump will recieve funds to teach her daughter Rapheala (both of Crowheart) the art of Eastern Shoshone doll making. The student will learn how to craft the body out of sticks, wool and leather and create miniature outfits representing a variety of men’s and women’s traditional clothing and regalia. Doll making is a dying art and the master’s health and age creates a sense of urgency for this project.

Raphaelita Stump learned to make dolls wearing traditional Eastern Shoshone clothes when she was a small child.

Daniel Roberts of Belgrade MT will receive funds to teach Miss V, the Gypsy Cowbelle of Thermopolis, the art of instrument making. The student will learn specific woodworking techniques required for making two piece (neck and body) instruments. Miss V has made over 40 one-piece plank banjos. This project would allow her to refine her skills and assist her in developing instrument building workshops as part of her educational program offerings. Both artists are highly skilled and presented a thorough description of their qualifications and project.

Banjo and case, Miss V currently makes banjos using out of coffee can and single piece of wood. Her mentoring project will give her additional skills in instrument building.

David Osmundsen will receive funds to teach Michael Landseidel (both of Buffalo) the art of blacksmithing. The student will learn both decorative and functional techniques by completing a 16”x24” window grill utilizing multiple traditional techniques including scrolling, punching, drawing down and leaf work.

Iris Gate, David Osmundsen’s ornamental metal work is well known in Johnson County and beyond.

Darrell Lone Bear will receive funds to teach his son Koleton Lone Bear (both of Ft. Washakie) the art of making rawhide and wood hand drums in the Northern Arapaho and family tradition. The student will learn the tone of various hides, the selection of wood for the rings and the technique to create a drum that is both functional and beautiful.

Darrell Lone Bear demonstrates the art of making a hand drum at the Big Horn Folk Festive in August 2017. Image by Jeb Schenk

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