Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now opens October 6! Contemporary Indigenous art comes front and center as the gallery is filled with exquisite colors, images of community and joy, and thought-provoking moments of reflection.
The exhibition features over 80 artworks from the 1950s to today, including paintings, photography, video, sculptures, performance art, and more, all created by Indigenous US and Canadian artists. Spend some time with artworks by an artist who creates social critiques through basket weaving, three sisters who challenge heavy topics with humor and heart, an artist who created a large-scale mural based on her Northwest Arkansas environmental experience, plus many more.
Throughout the run of Art for a New Understanding, you’ll have the chance to meet several artists featured in the exhibition!
Belmore’s work often brings attention to the continued colonialism that allows for conditions where so many disappeared Indigenous women go unnamed. Her works point to issues that plague Indigenous women in the twenty-first century, including a high number of cases of disappeared and murdered women.
Opening Exhibition Lecture
Friday, October 5, 7 to 8 pm
Enjoy an overview of the exhibition with Curator Candice Hopkins, Crystal Bridges Curator Mindy Besaw, and Manuela Well-Off-Man, Chief Curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, followed by a discussion with Belmore on topics of social justice, equality, and her artworks.
For Art for a New Understanding, Athena LaTocha visited northwest Arkansas and immersed herself in the area’s natural environment. The result is a work specific to the region, both the lush topography of the Ozarks as well as what the land has seen over time—including Native removal through Northwest Arkansas. LaTocha’s landscapes are not literal representations; rather, they reflect her personal experiences of places where she spends time.
Discover the Grounds
Saturday, October 6, 10 to 11 am
Join the artist for an outdoor discussion on the local Ozark terrain.
Adult Workshop » Painting Nature
Saturday, October 6, 1 to 5 pm
Choose natural materials to add to a large abstract work of art, creating marks that are both intentional and tell a story.
Anna Tsouhlarakis aims to reclaim Native identity in her work, depicting images of Native Americans in non-stereotypical ways, and, by embracing media such as video, breaking with the perception of Native American art as based only in tradition. Her video work Let’s Dance!, featured in the exhibition, not only reflects the artist’s own understanding of her identity but speaks to constant negotiations between peoples, cultures, and individuals.
Video! Reclaiming Native Identity
Friday, October 12, 7 to 8 pm
This evening weaves together Anna’s video vignettes in a unique live discussion by the artist to reclaim Native identity with a fresh vocabulary.
Adult Workshop » Sculpture
Sunday, October 14, 1 to 5 pm
Tsouhlarakis will lead this introductory sculptural workshop featuring recycled and foraged items.
At the end of October, learn from artist Yatika Fields who has completed murals as large as one hundred fifty feet long and forty feet high in cities such as Portland, Oregon; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; and Santa Fe. Fields grew up in Tahlequah, in northeastern Oklahoma, whose nature and landscape continues to influence his work today. While attending the Art Institute of Boston and living in New York, Fields became interested in graffiti aesthetics. For Art for a New Understanding, Fields has painted a large-scale, site-specific mural in downtown Bentonville.
Adult Workshop » Painting
Sunday, October 28, 1 to 5 pm
Fields will lead this high-color painting workshop inspired by public art aesthetics. You’ll create your own large canvas, filled with vibrant colors and patterns.
*Fields will also be at Halloween in the Hollow on October 27, creating a live painting in reaction to the energy of the party.
Linklater is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice incorporates elements of choreography, dance, performance, video art, film, and writing. She explores the complexity of Indigenous life today through themes such as personal memory, historical memory, Indigenous women’s experiences, and ways of passing on knowledge.
Performance Lab » Translating Native Language
Friday, November 9, 7 to 8:30 pm
Linklater explores translating the native language into powerful live readings punctuated by short performances and video.
*Linklater will also be at Art Night Out on November 10 for an in-gallery dance performance!
Community and connectedness are at the heart of Watt’s work. Companion Species (Ferocious Mother and Canis Familiaris) (2017) was created with the help of more than two hundred participants in sewing circles hosted by Watt and the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University outside Chicago, which commissioned the piece. The large-scale textile, measuring nine feet tall, comprises more than seventy-five pieces of reclaimed wool blankets with different embroidered words. When the pieces are connected, words play off one another, like “wild” and “legacy,” inspiring new conversations and thoughts.
Equity Sewing Circle with Artist Marie Watt
Friday, November 9, 11 am to 3 pm
Join Watt in a “sewing circle” event, bringing the community together in artmaking and conversation.
For more than forty years, Spiderwoman Theater has challenged stereotypes, fought prejudice, and championed feminism, using the tools of humor, history, and heart. Founded in 1975 by sisters Lisa Mayo, Gloria Miguel, and Muriel Miguel, it is also the oldest continually running women’s theater company in North America. Bridging Native American cultural art forms of storytelling, dance, and music, with the practice of contemporary Western theater, the troupe calls their technique “story weaving”; their name comes from the Hopi Spiderwoman, who made a loom and then taught the people to weave.
Spotlight Talk » Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective
Friday, December 14, 7 to 8 pm
Miguel will share her fascinating journey from the streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn to her pioneering contributions to the current feminist and Indigenous theater movements in the United States, Canada and around the world.
All ages are invited to Art Night Out on Saturday, November 10! Explore Indigenous arts today from the powerful perspective of Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now. Tickets are on sale now!
$10 ($8/members), FREE to ages 18 and under.