July 03, 2010

Native art continues from past to present

Native exhibits to stress a continuum

By Carol BerryWhen Denver Art Museum’s Native exhibits re-open to the public Jan. 23, 2011, they will present art across time rather than in blocs representing “historical” versus “contemporary” periods.

The exhibits will show that Native artists did not die out in the 1800s and then re-emerge recently, but that they have been living and creating continuously from prehistoric times until today using materials and techniques that have evolved as cultures have changed.

It’s an approach that views art by Natives as “art” rather than necessarily as “artifact” or even as solely “Indian art” in the narrowest definition.
Comment:  I imagine some museums are taking this approach already. If they aren't, they probably should be.

For more on the subject, see Contemporary Art at Coconino Center and Pop Art at Heard Museum.

Below:  "The Things I Have to Do to Maintain Myself, 1994, Roxanne Swentzell, sculptor, Santa Clara Pueblo, is a work that probably will remain in the artist-centric exhibits that will constitute the new Native Arts exhibit opening in January 2011." (Carol Berry)

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