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Sioux Pottery picked to display pieces at the White House

The President’s COVID diagnosis kept the art in South Dakota, rather than in the presence of Trump and the First Lady.
The President’s COVID diagnosis kept the art in South Dakota, rather than in the presence of Trump and the First Lady.
The President’s COVID diagnosis kept the art in South Dakota, rather than in the presence of Trump and the First Lady.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 6:07 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The coronavirus has canceled events of all types, including one that would have put Native American art in the White House.

Starting in 1958, a physician’s wife, Sioux Pottery, highlights western South Dakota’s culture through clay masterpieces. Around 20 clay pieces and other Native American crafts were supposed to be shown at this year’s Made in America event at the White House, highlighting American made products from each of the 50 states. That event might not be happening right now, due to President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, the owners say it’s still an honor to be chosen.

“We were completely surprised when they originally contacted us, in fact, we weren’t even sure that it was a legitimate program, we just got an email and a phone call,” said Rob Hammerquist, the owner of Sioux Pottery. “So, we verified it through Senator Thune’s office and got excited to go.”

Hammerquist selected pieces that showcase local talent and scenes.

“We were sending in a variety of our pottery in different colors with different types of artwork representing different artists along with some Native craft times, beaded items that we get from the local artists,” said Hammerquist. “We had some with eagles, some with buffaloes, and then we used mostly our red clay, which is actually dug right here in the Black Hills.”

But the President’s positive COVID diagnosis kept Hammerquist and the art in South Dakota, rather than in the presence of Trump and the First Lady.

“We were very disappointed,” said Hammerquist. “I mean we understood the whole program was President Trump’s and him coming down with the COVID virus forced them to cancel it.”

Hammerquist was told the Oct. 5 event is just postponed but hasn’t yet heard anything about a rescheduled date.

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