Native Indian Exhibit Captures Public Attention

On the opening night of “Catching Shadows: Tintype Portraits of Native Indians on Maryland’s Eastern Shore” there was a waiting list. “Absolutely unprecedented in our organization’s history, and we’ve been around since 1977” said Queen Anne’s County Arts Council executive director Darcey Schoeninger. “In the first week of sending out announcements, we had half of the seats filled. By the second week, we had to start the waiting list. It’s a good problem to have, but then again, we hated to turn anyone away.”

One hundred and fifty guests filled the Council’s auditorium on April 23 for a panel discussion with the Chief’s of the Accohannock (Rudy Laughing Otter Hall), Assateague (Chief Larry Medicine Cat Smack) and Nause Waiwash (Chief Sewell Winterhawk Fitzhugh) Tribes, the photographer Anne Nielsen, oral historian Marc Dykeman, and art historian Donald McColl. Unfortunately the Pocomoke Chief John End of Trail Howard was unable to attend the event. Topics ranged from the process of creating the tintype portraiture to the daily life and concerns of contemporary Native Indians. Following the discussion led by Centreville resident Margo Tilghman, a reception was held and guests were able to purchase unframed prints of Ms. Nielsen’s work.

On exhibit through May 29, the show includes audio recordings taken by Dykeman of the portrait subjects. Visitors can see the exhibit during the Arts Council’s regular office hours, Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Because classes and other events also take place in the gallery area, it is recommended that you call 410.758.2520 before your visit. This effort is supported by Maryland State Arts Council’s Maryland Traditions grant, the Maryland Humanities Council, the Chaney Foundation, and PNC Bank. Free.

The Queen Anne’s County Arts Council, Inc., is a non-profit organization committed to promoting, expanding and sustaining the arts.  Visit us on the web at