SOURCE: Booth Museum of Western Art; Craig Bergsgaard Studios; Olympus Films LLC

Booth Western Art Museum hosts sculptor Craig Bergsgaard and filmmaker Donald Vasicek

December 18, 2009 01:14 ET

Sand Creek Massacre Remembered in Sculpture and Film at Georgia's Booth Western Art Museum

Sand Creek Massacre Depicted by Sculptor Craig Bergsgaard and Filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek: Artists to Share Interpretations of the Bloody 1864 Incident

CARTERSVILLE, GA--(Marketwire - December 18, 2009) - On January 21, 2010, the Booth Western Art Museum, in Cartersville, Georgia, will host a sculpture unveiling and film screening featuring sculptor Craig Bergsgaard and award-winning writer/filmmaker Don Vasicek. These two prominent Colorado artists each independently chose to portray the tragic events of an 1864 skirmish between the United States and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes on Sand Creek near Eads, Colorado.

Bloody Sand Creek

The confrontation, now known as the Sand Creek Massacre, resulted in the loss of life for over 400 Native Americans, mostly women, small children, physically-challenged, and tribal elders. Accounts of the incident reveal that the Cheyenne and Arapaho were unprovoked and virtually unarmed at the time of the attack.

Museum Program

Bergsgaard and Vasicek will be on hand at the Booth Museum for a screening of an abridged version of Vasicek's film, followed by an unveiling of Bergsgaard's sculpture Memorare, Sand Creek 1864. The unique bronze sculpture is being donated to the Booth Museum permanent collection by an anonymous donor. Afterward, museum director Seth Hopkins will moderate a panel discussion with the two artists.


Even today, a discussion of the Sand Creek Massacre yields as many questions as answers. One topic commonly encountered is the controversy inherent in characterizing a United States military battle as a "massacre." Both artists are circumspect on the issue, freely admitting that their artistic interpretation is an opinion meant to inspire discussion and increased perception.

"My thoughts on Sand Creek are not the final word on the tragedy; it is only one perspective of five differing views I've encountered during my research," says Vasicek. "But, however you characterize the events of that day 145 years ago, I hope my film will act as a gateway to conversations about how we as humans can treat each other with greater understanding and respect. We will learn how from the Cheyenne and Arapaho descendants of Sand Creek, who power the film's story via their oral histories."

Bergsgaard concurs. "Although I personally find it hard to see Sand Creek as anything but a tremendous wrong perpetrated against the Cheyenne and Arapaho people, my goal is not to evangelize," the sculptor says. "I want my sculpture to increase awareness -- and to prevent the further tragedy of forgetting what we have learned as a nation."

Museum Program Details

Booth Museum Sculpture Unveiling, Film Screening and Panel Discussion with Craig Bergsgaard and Donald Vasicek

Thursday, January 21, 2010
7:00 - 8:00 pm
Admission: $10; free to museum members

About the Booth Museum

The Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is located in Cartersville, Georgia, 40 miles north of Atlanta. This 120,000 square foot Museum opened in August 2003 with main galleries featuring contemporary Western American art. The Booth houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art in America. Other galleries feature Civil War art, Presidential portraits and letters, Western movie posters, Western illustration, and Sagebrush Ranch is an interactive gallery where children of all ages can learn about art and Western America.

About Craig Bergsgaard

Craig Bergsgaard is a self-taught sculptor, who began creating bronzes in 1990 after decades of creating custom handmade furniture. A native of Minnesota, today Craig and his wife JoAnn make their home near the artist enclave of Loveland, Colorado. He also maintains a studio presence annually in Scottsdale from January through March.

Craig has participated in over 100 juried art shows and exhibits, and his work is installed in Castle Rock, Colorado; Fountain Hills, Arizona; Spring Grove, Minnesota; and Rochester, Minnesota.

About Donald L. Vasicek

Donald L. Vasicek, owner of Olympus Films+, LLC, is in the process of securing funds to develop a feature length documentary on the Sand Creek Massacre titled, "Ghosts of Sand Creek." The full-length film will be narrated by actor Peter Coyote ("E.T.," "Erin Brockovich"), Academy Award winner Richard Lerner ("A Story of Healing"), director of photography, and five Emmy-award winners have also agreed to work on the project.

Don is a writer, screenwriter, director, producer and actor. His credits include "Warriors of Virtue," "Die Hard II," "Faces," "Father Dowling," "The Mystery Crash of Flight 1501."

Contact Information

  • For More Information Contact:
    Seth Hopkins
    Booth Museum Director
    (770) 387-1300

    Craig Bergsgaard Studios
    (720) 312-4498

    Don Vasicek
    (303) 903-2103