Weaver Kujuuhl Evelyn Vanderhoop was invited to the port city of Thessaloniki, Greece to present workshops and a lecture in conjunction with the travelling exhibition Haida: Life, Spirit, Art, being held at the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
Kujuuhl traveled with Dr. Leslie Tepper, Ethnologist and Curator at the Canadian Museum of History who curated the exhibition with the Haida Gwaii Museum and Robert Davidson.
The objects on display were chosen from the collections of the McCord Museum and the Canadian Museum of History and is a result of years of planning which began with Robert Davidson selecting objects from the McCord Museum’s Haida collection. Basketry and appliqued ceremonial garments from the McCord Museum and Canadian Museum of History were recently added to the original selection.
“I was honored to make a presentation on the art of the Haida and thrilled to explore the Greek culture, food and early remnants of their amazing history,” said Kujuuhl. “And, it was all experienced with the superb generosity of the Greek people!”
Kujuuhl and Dr. Tepper presented two lectures at the museum. Dr. Tepper’s was titled Haida – Creating a Contemporary Exhibition and Kujuuhl spoke to creating contemporary identity through traditional knowledge.
The duo also conducted a workshop with fifteen school children who had traveled from outside of Thessaloniki. Kujuuhl walked the group through the exhibit and with the help of a translator talked about the use of the objects and following the tour, masks and cordage were created by the children. Canada’s Honorary Consul in Thessaloniki , Pantelis G. Petmezas, also attended the workshop and lectures the previous evening.
Museum Director, Dr. Polyxeni Adam-Veleni, said that response to the exhibit is very positive with about 30,000 people attending over five months.
Following their lectures and workshops at Thessaloniki, Kujuuhl and Dr. Tepper travelled to Athens where they presented to the Canadian Institute with Ambassador of Canada to Greece, Keith Morrill and his wife Jane, in attendance.
Kujuuhl travel was sponsored by the Embassy of Canada, the Canadian Institute in Greece, and the Canadian Museum of History. The complex overseas travel arrangements and on-the-ground support were facilitated by Zoe Delibasis, Political & Public Affairs Officer at Global Affairs Canada.