There's a bit of surprise in looking down at the ground and spying something out of the ordinary. There is more than a bit of wonder when one picks that something up and finds evidence of a life that came before. In the case of Indian artifacts, that life could have been there...on the very spot where one is standing...hundreds, and even thousands, of years before. That sense of wonder is at the heart of "Traces in Time", the current exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton. On display through the end of August, the exhibit showcases found and accumulated artifacts primarily from the collections of two men: Jack Ruzicka of Marble Rock and Frank Peters of New Hampton.
By opening a window to the past and defining the life of our ancestors, the exhibit reveals that, while the methods and tools of the ancients are very different from those of the 21st century, the motivations are much the same. Arrowheads, bows, arrows and fishing utensils speak about an existence maintained by hunting. Axes, scrapers, grinding stones and celts provide insight into the labors of everyday living. Beaded articles and game pieces express the appreciation of beauty and playfulness of the native culture while ceremonial pipes and effigy figures exemplify the human yearning to find meaning in life and explanation in a complex world.
The accumulation of these traces in time indicates yet another theme...our impulse to preserve the story of our past and delight in the beauty of that which is man-made...a compulsion that is at the heart of collecting.
An open house reception for Ruzicka and Peters, as well as all collectors, is slated for Sunday, July 29, from 1:30 - 3:30 pm at the Cultural Center. Everyone is invited to attend, take in the exhibit and share their stories of collecting.
The Carnegie Cultural Center is located at 7 N. Water Avenue, New Hampton. Its hours are noon to 6 pm on Wed., Thurs, and Fri.; 10 am to 4 pm Sat.; 1 to 4 pm Sun.; or anytime by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Center at 641-394-2354.
PHOTO: artifacts from the collections of Jack Ruzicka (L) and Frank Peters are on display at the Carnegie Cultural Center