Sunday, January 30, 2011

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program

It's once again time to apply for grants to the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program through the ND Council for the Arts. Each year this program allows master craft persons to pass on their knowledge and skills to apprentices wishing to learn traditional skills. Grants are available for up to $2500. Over the years, grants have been made available to artists in the following crafts: Dakotah storytelling, Vietnamese embroidery, Czech Easter egg decorating, Armenian copper bas relief work, blacksmithing, saddle construction, German-Russian willow basketry, Hidatsa quillwork, Sudanese music, Norwegian Hardanger embroidery.  For more information on the program, follow these links. 

I've had the opportunity to participate in this programs as an apprentice twice in the past. Both times, I was learning saddle making skills from a local saddle maker, Rex Cook. Rex has participated many times in the program helping eager apprentices learn the art of making a saddle. Rex now serves on the Board of Directors of the ND Council for the Arts and just this past year was inducted into the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Several other states have similar programs to the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. You can find out what your state may offer by doing a Google search.  

Below are the saddles that I made through this program  under the supervision of Rex Cook.

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