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Tulalip exhibit explores colors

New exhibit at Hibulb Cultural Center opened on July 16 and is designed for kids and their parents


Christopher Andersson

Teegan Juvenal, left, and grandfather Eric Bahl color at one of the activities at the Hibulb Cultural Center's new "Vibrant Colors" exhibit on July 15.

A new exhibit, designed for kids and parents, is now open at the Hibulb Cultural Center in Tulalip and explores colors and how the Tulalip Tribes have used them in the past.

"Vibrant Beauty: Colors of Our Collection" looks into some basic color concepts such as the color wheel, as well as how those colors have been used in the past.

The exhibit opened on July 16 and is scheduled to be at the center until February 2017.

The exhibit is about "the historic, social and artistic uses," said Tessa Campbell, senior curator for the center.

Local Tulalip artists have also contributed to the project and talk about what color means to them at the exhibit.

Ty Juvenal, a Tulalip tribal artist, added much of the artwork to the walls for the exhibit.

"Color is like emotions," he said, and added that feelings and the colors we use are linked in our mind.

Tulalip tribal artist Jason Gobin said that color adds to "what you feel in a piece."

In addition to the history of color, Gobin said he liked how his daughter experienced the exhibit.

"The interaction that she is having with the exhibit is really the focal point. Looking at how the children react to the colors," he said.

The exhibit is meant to be enjoyable for kindergarten through third-grade kids, and features 12 interactive activities, which range from touch screen demonstrations to hands-on activities and Lushootseed language activities.

"We're very proud of this new exhibit, not just because it's beautiful and we did it all in-house, but because it caters to kids," said Mytyl Hernandez, marketing, member and public relations coordinator for the center.

"The kids after us are going to be responsible for keeping those cultural fires burning," she said.

Campbell said it makes for a great family outing.

"There's things for adults and kids. Adults can learn about the historical use of color and they'll enjoy looking at the artifacts, and the kids can do activities and they can learn and reflect on color together," she said.

Visitors can learn about the historical use of color from the Tulalip Tribes which helps with "teaching history, and the things that have happened over the years," said Gobin.

The primary colors used to be red and black "because of the resources that were available in pre-contact times," said Campbell.

Christopher Andersson

Audrey Patrick explores the color wheel on a touch pad at one of the interactive parts of the Hibulb Cultural Center's new "Vibrant Colors" exhibit on July 15.

Through the introduction of more materials and techniques "[tribal artists'] use of the color has evolved over the last 100 years," she said.

The idea for the exhibit came from a tour coordinator at the center who saw a similar exhibit that focused on color elsewhere.

"A lot of our collection stays in the back and never gets exhibited, so we've always wanted to come up with a creative way we could exhibit a lot of our collections," said Campbell, so a color-focused exhibit would provide a good reason to feature some of those pieces.

The exhibit was also put together entirely by Tulalip Tribal community members, with help from many departments in the Tulalip Tribes.

"We developed it all in-house," said Campbell. "That really makes it our story that we can tell and share."


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