Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum will host two events Feb. 18, the day before the facility closes for up to three months for renovations.
From 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., two Hopi Laguna Pueblo artists will tell stories and demonstrate their artwork.
Ray Jose, a Southwestern Puebloan Kachina carver, will present his sculptures made from Rio Grande driftwood. He has been creating artwork from the material for 40 years, and his creations are cherished by collectors and shown in galleries.
He made his first carving at age 14 of the Rain Goddess “Kaukachin Mana.”
“I create to tell stories, to share not only my talents, but my culture as well,” Jose said in a news release.
Jose’s daughter, Trinity Apache, will also give a presentation on her beadwork art and tell traditional stories.
At 2 p.m., Ed Kabotie, CANM’s 2023 artist-in-residence, will present a multimedia event about the history of Colorado from an Indigenous perspective with music, visuals and the spoken word. Special emphasis will be on the legacy of the Puebloan people in Southwest Colorado.
Presentations are free with a Federal Lands Pass or normal museum admission of $7 for adults 16 and up.
The renovation will stabilize the 35-year-old floor structures to prevent further settling and keep the floor durable and easier to maintain.
“Crews will be working hard to make much-needed repairs to our Visitor Center and Museum,” said Ray O’Neil, manager of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, said in a news release. “We thank you for your patience.”
The paved Escalante Trail at the museum to visit Dominguez and Escalante Pueblos will remain open during the construction time, as are all monument trails.
Monument officials are asking visitors to hold off on using trails that have muddy conditions to prevent damage. The popular Sand Canyon and Rock Creek Trails are muddy from recent snowstorms.
“Hiking during periods when the landscape is saturated with moisture can cause unwanted erosion within our trail corridors and lead to widening of the trail, resulting in a loss of delicate plant life and biological soil,” the monument stated in a news release. “When conditions do improve, please remember to stay on trail.”
Maps and brochures directing visitors to the Monument are available at the Visitor Center and Museum parking lot kiosk, Dolores Public Lands Office and Colorado Welcome Center in Cortez. Visitor Services and information may be available by calling (970) 882-5600.