The National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder, Rancho San Rafael, Reno, NV.
Episode 113 of KNPB‘s show Arteffects, which aired on April 29, included a feature on Basque art with the Center’s own Joseba Zulaika speaking about Basque immigration, Nestor Basterretxea’s Monument to the Basque Sheepherder in Reno’s San Rafael Park and Orreaga in the UNR library (be sure to check out the blog tomorrow, Friday, May 6, for a feature on Basterretxea), the history and development of the CBS as well as the arborglyphs or tree carvings made by Basque sheepherders and the importance of art in the Basque Country in general as a key part of its cultural legacy. The show also featured Kelly Reis, Executive Director of the Sparks Museum & Cultural Center, discussing the temporary exhibit titled “Hidden in Plain Sight: The Basques,” covered in an earlier post.
Check out the show (with the report on Basque art at approx. 19m 30s) here.
Basque tree carvings.
If you’re interested in Basque art, check out Beyond Guernica and the Guggenheim: Art and Politics from a Comparative Perspective, edited by Zoe Bray.
See also Speaking Through the Aspens: Basque Tree Carvings in California and Nevada, by Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe. And check out Joxe’s site dedicated to this fascinating piece of Basque-American social and cultural history here.
February 5: The new temporary exhibit Hidden in Plain Sight: The Basques opened in the Sparks Museum and Cultural Center.
Communal work patterns defined Old World Basque culture
The exhibit tells of the unique origins, language and history of the Basque people, along with their contributions throughout history. It illustrates the strong cultural connection the Basques in the United States have with their homeland. Covering every part of the Basque culture from immigration to music and dance, boarding houses to mythology and famous Basques, this exhibit is not one to miss. Learn about the unique Basque language, unlike any other language in the world, understand the reasons that Basques were so successful in the sheepherding industry, and explore reasons for their perseverance throughout history. Former Governor of Nevada, Paul Laxalt even makes an appearance among the many influential Basques throughout history.
If you live in Northern Nevada, or if you’re planning on visiting the Reno-Sparks area this spring, don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to see one of the best ever exhibits of Basque culture! For more information click here.
The classic image of the New World Basque experience
See a report on the opening of this great new exhibit by KOLO-TV here.
Old World traditions preserved in the New World
The Museum will also include a free Basque Lecture Series this Spring featuring speakers from the Center. On March 26 at 2:00 pm Xabier Irujo will present “The Bombing of Gernika” (more details here) while on April 2 at 2:00 pm Sandra Ott will talk about “Creating a Basque American Identity” (more details here).
The preschool Boiseko Ikastola, the only ikastola or Basque-language school outside the Basque Country, has just moved to a new location and celebrated this in a grand opening ceremony on July 20. On the opening, and the ikastola more generally, see the report by Boise’s KTVB Channel 7 here. Zorionak from everyone at the Center to Boiseko Ikastola!
For more on ikastolas and the Basque education system in general, see Equality, Equity, and Diversity: Educational Solutions in the Basque Country, edited by Alfonso Unceta and Concepción Medrano, available free to download here.
As a warm-up for the impending celebrations to be held at Jaialdi 2015, Boise TV station KTVB, Channel 7, has been spending time in the Basque Country as part of its Live Tour feature. The tour also features a blog about the experiences of reporters Xanti Alcelay, Brian Holmes, and Mark Johnson.
Basque Live Tour Web Header, from KTVB.com
The reports cover multiple aspects of Basque culture, with a special emphasis on links between Old and New World Basques and a general focus on significant aspects of Basque popular culture such as gastronomy and sports.
Check out the report on how efforts are being made in both the Basque Country and via Basque Studies at Boise State University to promote the Basque language here. And see how one young man of joint Basque and American heritage is aspiring to make the grade as a professional soccer player with renowned team Athletic Bilbao here.
If you’re interested in reading more about some of the topics covered in the Live Tour, the CBS publishes books on many of these same subjects. For example, in Basque Pelota: A Ritual, an Aesthetic, Olatz González Abrisketa offers the most in-depth study to date in English of this traditional sport, focusing on the extent to which it is embedded within Basque cultural values.