Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now

October 6, 2018, through January 7, 2019

Contemporary Indigenous art comes front and center in Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now—a new, free exhibition organized by Crystal Bridges. Discover new stories as today’s Indigenous artists fill the gallery 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 Shan Goshorn, an artist who creates social critiques through basket weaving, Spiderwoman Theater, three sisters who challenge heavy topics with humor and heart, Athena LaTocha, an artist who created a large-scale mural based on her Northwest Arkansas environmental experience, plus many more.

Broaden your definition of contemporary art with a new understanding of Indigenous art. Free tickets available now.

Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now is organized by Crystal Bridges, and curated by independent curator Candice Hopkins (Tlingit, citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation), Crystal Bridges Curator of American Art, Mindy Besaw, and Manuela Well-Off-Man, Chief Curator at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The exhibition will be on view at Crystal Bridges in the fall of 2018 before traveling to major museums in the United States and Europe. The exhibition will be accompanied by a multi-author catalog that will offer a comprehensive consideration of contemporary Native North American art and feature new essays by art historians, cultural critics, and artists as well as excerpts from key texts from the last 50 years of scholarship and criticism.

Admission sponsored by The Christy and John Mack Foundation.  There is no fee to visit this exhibition.

Sponsored by Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, National Endowment for the Humanities, Bass Pro Shops, National Endowment for the Arts, ConAgra Brands, Arkansas Humanities Council, Becky and Bob Alexander, Frank and Pat Bailey, Randy and Valorie Lawson / Lawco Energy Group, Kyle, Maury and Finn Peterson, The Sotheby’s Prize, and James and Emily Bost.

This exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was recognized as part of the inaugural Sotheby’s Prize with a commendation that applauds the breadth and depth of ambitious exhibition research for Art for a New Understanding. The Sotheby’s Prize jury believes this exhibition will be a turning point in our understanding of this field.

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James Lavadour (Walla Walla, b. 1951), Shake, 2014, Oil on panel, Each panel: 28 x 32 x 2 in. Overall: 63 x 110 x 20 in.