Lois Chichinoff Thadei

Art + Aviation at Fort Vancouver with Lois Chichinoff Thadei

Join the Friends of Fort Vancouver and the National Park Service for an afternoon of art and aviation from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18. Lois Chichinoff Thadei is a bush pilot and aviation mechanic who learned from Clark County’s own Wally Olson at Evergreen Airport. To receive her pilot’s wheel rating and learn to dope and fabric old aircraft, Thadei commuted between Ketchikan, Alaska, and Vancouver on a pontoon plane via Seattle. Thadei will give a special presentation at 2 p.m.

Thadei, born into a Tlingit and Haida community in Southeast Alaska, is also an artist who comes from a family of Native Alaskan artists. Her work responds to a seasonal cycle as different materials become available. In the winter, she fires pottery in her home, creates stained and fused glass work, and weaves Ravenstail baskets using cedar bark and grasses. She also creates jewelry from sterling silver, glass, copper, jasper, sapphire and ruby. In the summer, she harvests and cures native grasses in the traditional method, creates and fires raku, and makes hand-built pottery.

Please join us for a memorable afternoon as Thadei shares reminiscences of learning to fly, journeying across the Northwest, and creating art that expresses and celebrates her heritage. The event will take place at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd. in Vancouver.

Above image: detail from “Frog Calls a Meeting to Order,” acid-etched cast glass by Lois Chichinoff Thadei, created in collaboration with Lillian Pitt and Fred Lauth, Sr.