A new exhibit showcasing modern Native American art is on display through July 27 at the Great Plains Art Museum. The exhibit, “Contemporary Indigeneity: The New Art of the Great Plains,” includes a special First Friday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. June 6.
A blind jury of Plains researchers, conservationists, artists and museum workers chose more than 40 pieces of art that examine current Native American life and culture for inclusion in the show. Works chosen include sculpture, textiles, paint, crafts and more.
“The exhibition tells the story of both contemporary artists exploring new ways to represent the plains culture and old traditions that continue to be linked to the pulse of the Great Plains,” said Alexandra Alberda, exhibition coordinator. “These works both analyze and celebrate current culture and development in the area.
“These contemporary artists blur the lines between past and present while some works go further to warn us of a future not far off. But, what is strongest in these works is their link to the land and the people that continue to make the Great Plains their home.”
During the June 6 reception, awarding juror Jaune Quick-to-See Smith will choose several pieces for $5,000 in prizes. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for a “Viewer’s Choice” award. Selected artists may also be considered for solo exhibitions at the Great Plains Art Museum and other museums.
Smith will also deliver a lecture at 5:30 p.m. June 5 at the Sheldon Museum of Art. Smith employs humor and references to pre-contact Native American life to comment on contemporary social issues. Her work, “Grasp Tight the Old Ways,” is on view in the Sheldon exhibition, “Painting from the Collection of the Sheldon Museum of Art.”
A member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai nations, she is an internationally known artist, curator, lecturer, printmaker and professor who has participated in more than 100 solo exhibitions in her 40 years as an artist.
The First Friday reception at the Great Plains Art Museum will feature Native American food from the UNITE student group and a short talk by Smith. Another exhibit in the lower-level gallery, “Cinematic Framing of the West,” also celebrates its opening during the event. That exhibit examines elements of Western film shown through the lens of the museum’s permanent collection.
The Great Plains Art Museum is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1:30-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free.
For more information on the exhibit, click here.