Bunky Echo-Hawk Paints Living ICONS
New series of paintings features Native leaders
What do John Echohawk (co-founder of the Native American Rights Fund), Sherman Alexie (author, poet, and filmmaker), and Q’orianka Kilcher (star of Terrence Malick’s The New World) have in common? They’re all “living icons” in Bunky Echo-Hawk’s latest series of topical paintings now on display in Denver.
In “Living ICONS,” Echo-Hawk (Pawnee/Yakama) has chosen to illustrate Indian Country’s living leaders, artists, and innovators in his usual vibrant style.
When asked to name notable Native Americans, explains Echo-Hawk in his artistic statement, “People conjure up names of leaders who lived 150 years ago. … Coincidentally, 150 years ago, killing Indians was public policy. It’s damaging that the most accepted contemporary view of Native Americans is from this era, and speaks volumes about the American collective mentality.
“The people I chose as subjects are people I admire for their leadership, innovation, success, and their role in combating colonialism in their own ways,” continues Echo-Hawk. “I aim to shift the mirror a bit to reflect our society and culture in a contemporary light. Perhaps, 150 years from now, these individuals will be mentioned as notable heroes.”
The icons include longtime activists (e.g., Wilma Mankiller, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Gary Farmer), today’s movers and shakers (e.g., Chris Eyre, Adam Beach, and Victor Rocha), and rising young stars (e.g., Jenni Monet, Ryan Redcorn, and Quese Imc).
“Living ICONS” opened October 9 at the Native American Trading Company in Denver, where it will run through the end of October. It’s sponsored by the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management as part of its 4th Annual Indigenous Film & Arts Festival. After that, the show will head to Front Range Community College’s Visual and Performing Arts Gallery in Westminster, Colorado, where it will appear November 1-15.
For more information on “Living ICONS,” visit Bunky Echo-Hawk on MySpace.
Note: I wrote this press release. The reason is because the exhibit includes Victor Rocha, my boss at PECHANGA.net.