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posted: 11/21/2013 2:45 PM

Elgin artist curates exhibit for Native American History Month

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Submitted by Side Street Studio Arts

In celebration of Native American History Month, Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court in Elgin, presents "A Celebration of Native American History," guest curated by Elgin artist Mary Holat. The exhibit runs through Nov. 30. A Kid's Day Event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. There is a $5 suggested donation.

A member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the Michigan native is best known for her "Spirit People" pottery creations. Holat began her creative journey into pottery over a decade ago at a community studio shortly before retiring from a 25-year career in social work. She credits her growth in pottery to teachers whom have provided her not only with good instruction but valuable feedback and encouragement along the way. Most recently, she received personal tutorials in pottery while staying in a pueblo near Sante Fe, N.M.

Her work with her "Spirit People" theme emerged from her deep felt desire to express her Native American culture and heritage in the visual arts. Her work at the pueblo with her teacher has brought her closer to the Earth from which she has learned the art of locating, harvesting and refining clay from the source to use in her pottery work. Her love of Mother Earth shows up quite well in her works of art. She uses carved antlers, pine cones, shells, leaves, and sage to create depth and texture within her pottery designs.

Currently residing in Elgin, Holat exhibits regionally throughout the Fox Valley and currently has pieces displayed at the Bahwating Art Gallery in Saulte Sainte Marie. She includes kiln and traditionally fired "Spirit People", coiled pots, plates, bowls and small dishes in her collection.

Side Street Studio Arts was founded in 2013 by Tanner Melvin and Erin Rehberg as an outlet for the artists of Elgin, and is currently under the direction of Amanda Harris, Melvin, and Rehberg. Its mission is to provide an accessible space encouraging all aspects of the artistic process from creation to curation. For details, visit or call (847) 429-2276.

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