December 26, 2008

Art exhibit on Minn. statehood

Art:  History lesson

Minnesota's 150th birthday is viewed through American Indian eyes in a show at Ancient Traders Gallery.What:  Paintings, drawings and other art on themes of Minnesota history by more than a dozen contemporary American Indian artists.

Review:  Inspired by the 150th anniversary of Minnesota statehood, "States" asserts the primacy of Indians in Minnesota, recalls broken treaties and the bitter hanging of 38 Indians at Mankato in 1862. A valuable counterpoint to official sesquicentennial celebrations, the show is more educational than confrontational, with flashes of ironic humor and quiet dignity.
Below:  Jonathan Thunder's "Every Day is a New Day."

I presume this is an example of the nonconfrontational art. The execution is okay, but it's the concept that stands out: a Native in traditional clothing set a modern setting. The message is the perennial one that Indians are still here and they've brought their beliefs and traditions with them. In other words, that they're part of two worlds.

For more on the subject, see Natives Protest Minn. Sesquicentennial.

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