Saturday, November 01, 2014

"Shwiqhiq Pi mun" (Frog and Moon) will at last find its place at Clatsop Community College.  It will be unveiled just before the College Board meeting, Tuesday, April 9, at 5:30pm, in the upper entry to Columbia Hall, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria.

Last fall this unique piece of artwork was presented to the Clatsop Community College Board of Directors at one of their monthly meetings.   "Chinook Power Board Showing Frog and Moon" first came to Clatsop Community College as part of the Pacific Rim Art Exhibit:  Emergence from Place--Neo-Traditional Indigenous Art held a year ago at the College's Art Center Gallery.

The Chinook Power Board is a panel hand carved from red and yellow cedar.  The artist is Greg Robinson, a Chinook Tribal Member.  It is modeled after traditional panels that leaned against longhouses as a gesture of welcoming, an expression of family identity and spiritual protection.  If one looks closely at the piece one will see two frogs on top carefully holding another anthropomorphic figure in their mouth.

Several community members who saw the art a year ago felt the piece belonged at Clatsop Community College and helped raise enough money to purchase Robinson's work as a way for the College to honor the Chinook Nation that included the Clatsop Tribe. They were some of the earliest inhabitants of the Lower Columbia Basin and still maintain a tribal presence here with a local tribal office in Bay Center, Washington.  Frog and Moon will hang in Columbia Hall where it will look to the river as a symbolic gesture toward the original inhabitants of the mouth of the Columbia.

The college and community members, who contributed funds to purchase this work and its accompanying plaque, feel confident that "Chinook Power Board Showing Frog and Moon" will be welcoming, show reverence and reciprocity, and remind us to honor our ancestors.

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