TLS Annual Gathering

2020 Featured Speakers

Our Featured Speakers for the 2020 Annual Gathering

Kirk Astroth 
The Elusive and Enigmatic Labyrinth Glyphs of the American Southwest
A distinctive, ancient labyrinth image has been found at a handful of sites in the American Southwest—on the Hopi mesas and scratched into the plaster inside the central room of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. How did such an image come to be in the American Southwest and why is it so rare?

Kirk Astroth grew up in Utah, and spent a lot of time in southern Utah hiking into slot canyons to see ancient habitation sites and rock art. He became fascinated with southwest archaeology and works to contribute to our knowledge of the cultures that lived here before European contact. As a graduate student in the University of Arizona School of Anthropology, Kirk is pursuing an advanced degree in applied archaeology. He has done volunteer work with Archaeology Southwest, Sacred Sites Research, Inc., and works as a volunteer in the Arizona State Museum Conservation Lab where he is X-raying over 2,000 sandals.

Kirk is a former AZ Site Steward and former board member with the Arizona Archaeological & Historical Society, and serves on the Tucson Festival of Books Author Committee with responsibilities for recruiting science authors. He also volunteers with Humane Borders and helps distribute water out in the west deserts for migrants. Additionally, Kirk is a professional mountain bike guide and a board member with the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclisits. 

Agnes Barmettler
Stories of the Hopi
Agnes Barmettler grew up with her eight siblings in Engelberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Engelberg, Canton of Obwalden, Switzerland, where her parents ran the monastery cheese factory. She earned her Matura in 1965 at the Gymnasium Ingenbohl. The following year, she began studying medicine. After graduating, she attended the General Business School in Basel and received her artistic training there. 

At an exhibition in Schaffhausen, Agnes met Rosmarie Schmid, with whom she researched symbols and signs of labyrinths. In 1987 Agnes co-founded the Labyrinth International project, a transitional project of placing labyrinths in public spaces specifically to support women. Agnes designed the logo for this organization. 

Agnes worked several times with the Hopi in Arizona and 1989, together with Anka Schmid and Hopi elder James Danaqyumtewa, she produced the documentary Techqua Ikachi, Land - My Life, which won the Kantons Solothurn Culture Award in 1990, was shown in the Sundance Film Festival Competition, and in 1992 at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

In 1991 Agnes and Rosmarie Schmid won the compettion to transform a former military barracks in Zurich into a community garden space in the form of a labyrinth. In 1997, she created the art video Labyrinth Projections with Anka Schmid for the Festival of Arts in Lucerne. Today Agnes works as a freelance visual artist.