The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts presents the exhibition “Ancestors Known and Unknown,” by the celebrated Native American artist Lillian Pitt, from May 7 to 28 in the Runyan Gallery at the Newport Visual Arts Center.

Pitt will show her multi-media works, monoprints, clay masks and ceramic, steel and cast glass sculptures. The Runyan Gallery will be open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., with a soft opening on May 7, from noon to 4 p.m.

Pitt is a Pacific Northwest Native American artist whose ancestors lived in and near the Columbia River Gorge. The focus of her work is on creating contemporary fine art pieces that delight contemporary art lovers, and at the same time, hone the history and legends of her people. Pitt was born and raised on the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon and is a descendent of Wasco, Yakama and Warm Springs people. She currently resides in Portland.

“My focus in this exhibition is honoring my ancestors in many media, giving me the opportunity to learn more about myself and my skills,” Pitt said.

Pitt’s work has been exhibited and reviewed regionally, nationally and internationally, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions. Her awards include the 2007 Earle A. Chiles Award for Lifetime Achievement and the 1990 Governor’s Award of the Oregon Arts Commission.

“Native American arts of the Columbia River and related Plateau regions are unique in many ways from the arts of Native peoples elsewhere in North America,” Pitt said. “But not many people are aware that there was tremendous diversity from one region to the another. The differences include, among other things, the types of baskets, materials and design that were created.”

Pitt’s work is in numerous museum collections, including the National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.), the Portland Art Museum and the Burke Museum at the University of Washington. More information on the artist’s work can be found at www.lillianpitt.com.

“We are pleased to host Lillian Pitt at the Newport Visual Arts Center,” OCCA VAC director Tom Webb said. “She is a good friend to Newport and the Oregon coast.”

The Newport Visual Arts Center adheres to all health and safety protocols provided by the governor’s office as well as the city of Newport. All visitors to the VAC are encouraged, though not required, to wear proper masks.

The Oregon Coast Council for the Arts manages the Newport Visual Arts Center and the Newport Performing Arts Center, and serves as the regional arts council for Oregon’s seven coastal counties.

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