SHERDS: April 2018

It’s been a busy first quarter! Despite ongoing construction, interest in Museum programming has surged in the past six months. Over 100 people attended “Fun with Clay”, making it the most popular Museum workshop ever! We also organized our first bird photography competition. Select photos from the contest will be displayed online and in the Jack Bell Hall from April 24 to May 20.

Click the link below the read the latest edition of SHERDS. This issue contains, among other things, the latest on construction, program highlights and information about the Museum’s 2018 Travel Study Program. And as always, follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest news. Enjoy!

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Museum director to lead tour of world’s most remote country

By Marcus Holland-Moritz -, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Idabel, OK (March 29, 2018)—Museum of the Red River Director Henry Moy will lead a tour of New Zealand from September 21 to October 2, 2018, as part of the Museum’s annual travel study program. The program is capped at 15 attendees. The tour includes excursions to the nation’s most famous natural and man-made wonders. The cost of the program is $5,199. (A single supplement is available for an additional $1,099.)  A deposit of $1,000 is due by May 21. The fee includes room, airfare (from Houston), some meals, and all sightseeing fees associated with the nine-day itinerary. When asked about the tour, Moy noted that the weather should be exceptionally pleasant and that “the trip promises to have something great for everyone!”

New Zealand is a collection of approximately 600 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Due to its remoteness, New Zealand was one of the last landmasses settled by humans. As a result, the islands developed a distinct form of plant and animal life unlike any other. New Zealand’s varied topography has served as the backdrop for several movies, including the Lord of the Rings series, Avatar, and The Last Samurai. New Zealand also has an extremely vibrant arts and entertainment scene, much of which is influenced by the islands’ indigenous people, the Māori. For more information about the program (including registration forms) call (580) 286 – 3616 or click on the links below.

<<Registration Brochure and Form>>

<<Detailed Itinerary>>

[Pictured: By Marcus Holland-Moritz –, CC BY-SA 2.0,]

2018 Kite Festival scheduled for April 14

Kite Fest attendees creating handmade kites

Idabel, OK (March 23, 2018)—This year’s Mary H. Herron Memorial Kite Festival (Kite Fest) is scheduled for April 14, from 10 am to 3 pm. The festival will be held at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, located at 1000 NW Haskell Pl. in Idabel. The event is free and open to the public. The festival will start with a kite-building workshop at 10:00 am, led by Christina Eastep, an educator at the Museum of the Red River. Participants can fly their kites after lunch, from 1:00 pm to 3:00. The afternoon session may be canceled in the event of rain.

Kite Fest was founded by Mary H. Herron, a former Museum Director, Curator and avid kite-flyer. The festival is one of the Museum’s most popular events, with last year’s festival attracting 80 amateur kite-makers. Eastep attributes part of its success to the Idabel Minority Action Committee (IMAC), which cosponsors the event. She stated, “their help allows me to focus on teaching the kids.” She went on to say that “the kids love it” and it is one of her “favorite events.”

The history of kites stretches back to at least 400 BC in China. Kites have been used by military leaders, scientists, fishermen and the occasional estranged lover for a variety of purposes. George Pocock, a 19th century inventor, even designed a mode of transportation involving several large kites and a carriage. Although the usefulness of kites has diminished since the invention of the airplane, kites are still used around the world for a variety of scientific and artistic purposes. They also remain a popular recreational activity—especially in Asian and South American countries.


“Fun with Paint Day” scheduled for March 24

Families making clay pots at the Museum's Fun with Clay Day

Idabel, OK (March 12, 2018)—The Museum of the Red River will hold a beginner-level painting workshop for families on March 24. Parents and children will learn and utilize basic painting techniques. They’ll also get a chance to paint images that are often associated with ethnographic art like animals and basic geometric shapes. Parents may stop by with their children anytime between 10 AM and 3 PM. Fun with Paint is free and sponsored by the McCurtain County Art Club. All supplies are provided.

Most of the Museum’s collections are made up of ethnographic art—cultural objects from native American, African, and Oceanic groups. Unlike fine art, ethnographic art is or was often used in everyday life. Until recently, it was not seen as “real” art by the mainstream art world. However, that changed in the 20th century with the help of famous artists like Pablo Picasso. In fact, the geometric shapes and exaggerated features that characterize modern art have their roots in ethnographic art.

Attendees can draw inspiration from the Museum’s exhibits for their paintings. Among its current exhibits is the Seven-States Biennial Exhibition. The show is made up of forty-four works of art from contemporary artists in Oklahoma and the surrounding states. Seven-States Biennial will close on March 25 with an Artists Reception from 1 PM to 4 PM. The public is invited to attend.

[Pictured: Families at the Museum’s Fun with Clay Day]


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