Great Plains Art Museum opening two exhibitions of Indigenous art

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Great Plains Art Museum opening two exhibitions of Indigenous art

Excerpt of “Gentleness is a Strength” by Sarah Rowe
Courtesy photo
Excerpt of "Gentleness is a Strength" by Sarah Rowe

This spring, the Great Plains Art Museum is hosting two exhibitions that reflect the museum’s continued focus on Indigenous art of the Great Plains.

First, the museum is hosting Omaha-based artist Sarah Rowe as the 2022 Elizabeth Rubendall Artist in Residence. She is a multimedia artist of Lakota and Ponca descent whose work opens cross-cultural dialogues by utilizing methods of painting, casting, fiber arts, performance and Native American ceremony in unconventional ways. Her work is participatory, a call to action and reimagines traditional Native American symbology to fit the narrative of today’s global landscape. A solo exhibition of Rowe’s new and recent artwork, “Star Body, Star Breath,” is on view through Aug. 6.

During her residency, Rowe will create an artwork that will become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the artist in the lower-level Elizabeth Rubendall Artist-in-Residence Studio and Education Lab from April 5-16 during normal museum hours. Since its inception in 2006, the Elizabeth Rubendall Foundation has funded the Artist-in-Residence Program, which allows museum visitors and school groups to witness an artist in action.

The museum will also revive its “Contemporary Indigeneity” juried exhibition, which will continue as a biennial event. For the 2022 exhibition, Indigenous artists submitted work that addressed any theme relevant to the contemporary Indigenous experience on the Great Plains. This call to artists received an impressive number of submissions, which were reviewed by a panel of Native American art professionals who assessed the works based on aesthetic merit and contribution to the field of contemporary Indigenous art.

The works selected for “Contemporary Indigeneity 2022” come from 28 artists living across the Great Plains and beyond. They creatively utilize a variety of artistic media, ranging from painting to metalwork to beadwork. The exhibition opens April 1 with a juror talk at 4 p.m., followed by a First Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. It is on view through Aug. 20. The juror talk will be livestreamed here.

Sponsors for “Contemporary Indigeneity 2022” are: The Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation, Humanities Nebraska and Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Lincoln Community Foundation, BNSF Railway, Union Bank and Trust and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Research Council and Faculty Senate Convocations Committee.

The Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St., is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Learn more.

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