History center opens new exhibit

Beaded Native American items are pictured. The opening reception for the Heritage Crafts exhibit was held at the Marquette Regional History Center on Wednesday. The special display will run until Sept. 26. (Journal photo by Jaymie Depew)

MARQUETTE — The opening reception of the Marquette Regional History Center’s Heritage Crafts exhibit was held recently.

Dan Truckey, director of Northern Michigan University’s Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center, discussed a brief history of immigration in the U.P., traditions brought with them and how they impacted the region.

“Immigration has always been timely in the United States,” he said. “Our economy is based on the backs of immigrants and always has been right up to today. What we don’t think about is people bring things with them and that’s what this is all about.”

Truckey showcased timelines of when many ethnic groups first arrived to the U.P. including Native Americans, Europeans, Scandinavians and so forth. Each group impacted the area with their culture, he said, which includes the foods that they ate and ways of living.

Truckey said immigration to the U.P. hasn’t ended, as he noted several NMU professors and employees who moved to the area from China, Peru and Tanzania. Another prominent figure who moved here, he said, is Aoy LaChapelle, who owns the Rice Paddy and is from Thailand.

The history center’s exhibit showcases a variety of traditional crafts. Topics include: hair art, Norwegian fiber arts, beading, miniatures, wood burning, bookbinding, paper cutting, Potawatomi-carved wooden spoons, Finnish bird carving, Ojibway quill art, and seed saving.

Beth Gruber, research librarian at MRHC, said the artifacts along with materials available in the MRHC’s library allow people to see through a window of time.

Along with the special exhibit, the history center will also host a series of craft workshops and special programming throughout the year.

≤ Carving a Wooden Spoon Workshop, May 18, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

≤ Beading in Circles Workshop, June 3 and 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

≤ The Art and Practice of Seed Saving Workshop, June 19, 6-7:30 p.m.

≤ Miniature Art Workshop, June 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

≤ Annual Cemetery Walking Tour, June 25, 1-6 p.m.

≤ Wiigwaas Workshop, July 27, 10-2 p.m.

≤ Hands On! Art and History Day Camp, Aug. 19-23, 10 a.m.-noon

≤ Pyrography: Woodburning Workshop, Sept.14, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

≤ Finnish Bird Carving Workshop, Sept. 28, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

≤ Exposed-Stitch Bookbinding Workshop, Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

≤ Scherenschnitte Workshop, Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

All workshops will take place at the MRHC located at 145 W. Spring St. Visit marquettehistory.org for more information on these events, or call 906-226-3571 to register.

This Heritage Crafts exhibit and workshop series was made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal .net.