The Smithsonians National Museum of the American Indian
announces the eight recipients of the 2009 Visual and Expressive Arts program. The museums award program offers support to a wide range of arts activities with the goal of increasing knowledge, understanding and appreciation of contemporary Native American arts.
The National Museum of the American Indian is dedicated to supporting the artistic traditions and modern expressions of Native peoples, said museum director Kevin Gover (Pawnee/Comanche). We are pleased to host the Visual and Expressive Arts program while broadening the visibility and highlighting the diversity of Native Americans involved in the contemporary arts.
Awards are made in two funding areas, the visual arts and the expressive arts. Visual arts awards support exhibitions and installations of contemporary Native American art, as well as publications and critical writing. The expressive arts category supports the creation and presentation of new works with an emphasis on collaboration.
The Visual Art award recipients are Diane Glancy, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Monique Mojica and JudyLee Oliva.
(Cherokee) a playwright from Shawnee Mission, Kan. along with costumer Christina Wright and director Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) will explore the history of Native education through language and costume. Drawing in part on knowledge gained by visiting the National Museum of the American Indians collection, they will create a touring performance piece designed to help Native students face the difficulties of the education process.
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre
based in Toronto, Ontario, and headed by artistic director Santee Smith (Mohawk), will collaborate with composer Barbara Croall (Odawa) to create chamber ensemble music for a new 60-minute dance piece titled, TransMigration. Funding will also be used for final modifications to sets, costumes and lighting design.
(Kuna/Rappahannock) an actor/playwright from Toronto, Ontario, whose work, Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way which is a cross-disciplinary performance project rooted in the story narrative of mola art and the pictographs that notate Kuna healing chants. The collaborators include visual artist DeLeon Kantule (Kuna) and costume designer/textile artist Erika Iserhoff (Cree), who will spend one week in the Kuna collection at the National Museum of the American Indian as a major step toward creating a new theatrical production.
(Chickasaw Nation) from Choctaw, Okla. will collaborate with flutist/composer/engineer Jan Seiden to create new music for a revised edition of her play, Te Ata. Playing on more than 30 different Native flutes and drawing on her expertise as a producer/sound engineer, Seiden will work with Oliva to compose and record music and sound effects to accompany the play eliminating the need for orchestra, and grounding the play in a more Native tradition. The result will make touring of the production more feasible.
The Expressive Arts recipients are the School of Advance Research, the Visible Arts Society/DBA Grunt Gallery, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.
School of Advance Research
, Indian Arts Research Center based in Santa Fe, N.M. will be working on the publication, Art, Gender and Community: Contemporary Native Women Artists that is drawn from three seminars with 11 Native women artists held in 2007 and 2008. The publication will document their exploratory dialogue on their roles as women and community members, the role of art in their lives and will feature new work created in response to the seminars. Essayists include Lara Evans (Cherokee), Sherry Farrell Racette (Timiskaming), Cynthia Chavez Lamar (San Felipe/Navajo) and Gloria Emerson (Navajo).
Visible Arts Society/DBA Grunt Gallery
based in Vancouver, British Columbia has a publication, Beat Nation: Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture, which will explore elements of hip hop and youth culture in artworks by Native artists in the U. S. and Canada reflecting the growing influence of urban cultures on traditional communities. It will focus on fusions between the traditional and post-modern in the music, visual art and culture from these communities, reflecting the realities of a new generation. Edited by Tania Willard (Secwepemc), the publication will include work by Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit), Sonny Assu (Laich-kwil-tach), Jackson 2 Bears (Mohawk), Bracken Hanuse Corlett (Oweekano), Andrew Dexel (Nklapamux), Kevin Burton (Cree), Cheryl LHirondelle (Cree), Larrissa Healy (Cree), Bunky Echo-Hawk (Yakama/Pawnee) and Thomas Ryan Red Corn (Osage).
The University of Wisconsin
in Madison, Wis. is collaborating with the University of CaFoscari (Venice, Italy) on the exhibition, Rendezvoused, that will open at the Venice Biennale 53rd International Arts Exhibition June 5, 2009. The term rendezvous, with historic roots in colonial fur trade parlance, refers to a contemporary movement in which living history re-enactors gather to engage in a fantasy interpretation of American Indian life. The exhibition, curated by Nancy Mithlo (Apache), will address the transfer of cultural capital and question the significance of restoration through the work of painter Andrea Carlson (Anishnaabe descent) and photographer Tom Jones (Ho-Chunk). The artists and curator will act as observers and commentators on invented histories.
The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles
in San Jose, Calif. has an exhibition, Navajo Weaving in the Present Tense: The Art of Lucy and Ellen Begay that will be the first retrospective exhibition for Lucy Begay (Navajo) and her daughter, Ellen Begay (Navajo). Drawn primarily from the private collection of Gary Beaudoin, the exhibition will feature over 20 artworks woven over the past 20 years. Though their work is strongly rooted in and inspired by the Burntwater Navajo weaving style, which utilizes vegetal dyes and was developed in the Wide Ruins area of Arizona, mid-20th century, their work is visually commanding, sophisticated and features complex fiber art.
Eight awards totaling $60,000 will support artists and cultural collaborations from Canada to Santa Fe, N.M. The museum received 34 applications requesting a total of nearly $405,119. The award recipients were selected by a panel of museum staff and outside experts in the contemporary arts field.