August 24, 2016

'Contemporary Indigeneity' to open Sept. 2

Detail of "Honoring Modern Unidentified" by Gina Adams, 2015, encaustic and oil on ceramic
Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo
Detail of "Honoring Modern Unidentified" by Gina Adams, 2015, encaustic and oil on ceramic

The Great Plains Art Museum will open the exhibition “Contemporary Indigeneity: Spiritual Borderlands” on Sept. 2 with a First Friday Artwalk reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Contemporary Indigeneity” is a biennial exhibition started in 2012 to highlight the artistic contributions of Native artists who reside in the Great Plains or make art about the contemporary Native experience in the region. In 2016, Native artists were invited to submit artworks that incorporated their interpretations of sovereignty, spiritual connections to the land and cultural identity within the boundaries of the Great Plains.

The submitted works were reviewed by a panel of curators and judged on aesthetic and technical merit as well as the relevant interpretation of the designated theme. Selected works represent a diverse range of artistic media ranging from jewelry to quilts to abstract paintings.

The jurors for the 2016 exhibition, selected for their knowledge of and connections to the contemporary Native art community, include: Netha Cloeter, director of education and social engagement, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota; Heather Ahtone, James T. Bialac Associate Curator of Native American and non-western art, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma; and Jill Ahlberg Yohe, assistant curator of Native American art, Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Events related to the exhibition include:

  • Sept. 2, 5 to 7 p.m.: First Friday opening reception, with free food and drink.

  • Oct. 7, 5 to 7 p.m.: First Friday event with gallery talk and free food and drink. Katrina Jagodinsky, Harold and Esther Edgerton Assistant Professor of history at the University of Nebraska, will deliver the talk “A Brief History of American Religious Freedom and Persecution.”

  • Nov. 3, 7 p.m.: A juror panel discussion will provide insight on the selection process and address topics regarding contemporary Native art.

  • Nov. 4, 5 to 7 p.m.: First Friday opening reception for “Glimpses of the Southwest: Native American Art from the Permanent Collection and Pottery from the Norman and Bernice Harris Collection from the University of Nebraska State Museum.” A meet-and-greet reception with Chickasaw classical composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate will take place, followed by the premiere performance of Tate’s “Standing Bear: A Ponca Indian Cantata” at the Johnny Carson Theater, 12th and R streets. The performance is a free, ticketed event through the Hildegard Center for the Arts.

The museum also will open the exhibition “Ten Years of Elizabeth Rubendall Artists in Residence” on Sept. 2. Since 2006, the Elizabeth Rubendall Foundation has funded the artist-in-residence program in which an artist creates a work on-site, allowing visitors to see the art-making process. This exhibition will display all of the work created in the museum for the past 10 years of the program.

The Great Plains Art Museum is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sundays (closed Mondays, holiday weekends and between exhibitions). Admission is always free. For more information on the “Contemporary Indigeneity” exhibition, click here.

"Lady Justice" by Bunky Echo-Hawk, 2015, acrylic on canvas
Courtesy photo
"Lady Justice" by Bunky Echo-Hawk, 2015, acrylic on canvas

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Assistant Director and Communications Coordinator, Center for Great Plains Studies

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