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Breathing Life Into History: Contemporary Native American Art from the Collection


Pulling from traditions passed down from generation to generation, contemporary Native American artists, especially in the last quarter century, have produced an impressive body of work in diverse media. Unique in their dual-identity, living in the present day but integrating ancient cultural and spiritual ideas, the featured artists’ abilities to either weave their heritage into contemporary contexts through medium and imagery, or continue using traditional methods in a modern world, speaks to their self-expression. Influences seen throughout the works include textiles, nature, rituals and storytelling, and identity and politics. Indigenous artists have, and continue to, create with their cultural knowledge, reinterpret tradition, and engage with current topics.

Examples of artists in this exhibition include mixed-media artist Jeffrey Gibson, master printmaker Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, glass sculptor Tony Jojola, and ceramicist Maria Martinez.

This exhibition is supported by the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Hayner Foundation.

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