CGAIE teaching artist, Katie Basile is currently collaborating with Haley Harkema's Hood River Valley High School freshman English students to create an interview-based documentary film. The students have interviewed five native artists including Lillian Pitt, Pat Courtney Gold, Terry Courtney, Bridgette Whipple and Toma Villa to explore how place has influenced their work as artists.

Anthony, one of few native students at HRVHS and Toma Villa had an instant connection. While on a visit to the Celilo Falls site on the Columbia River, they traded fishing stories. 

​The students who worked with Toma not only interviewed him, but they had the chance to learn about his work as an artist. Toma often combines three-dimensional lettering into his large-scale murals. The students eagerly followed his instruction and developed their own letters using techniques Toma shared with them.

​This project is possible due to our private donors, a grant from The Confluence Project, Gifts From Our Ancestors and The Hood River Cultural Trust.