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Native American Art Seen By Contemporary Eyes

WASHINGTON  -- A major new exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC highlights its young but rich collection of contemporary Native American art. "Vantage Point"features significant works by 25 established and emerging artists from across the United States and Canada and fromColombia, in media ranging from paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture to video projection and mixed-media installation. These provocative, insightful and moving works explore memory, history, the significance of place for Native communities and the continuing relevance of cultural traditions. The exhibition comes on the heels of the critically acclaimed "Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort." It will remain on view through Aug. 7, 2011.

Exhibition highlights include Kay WalkingStick's (Cherokee) landmark "Chief Joseph" series, an elegy for the Nez Perce chief and his followers who resisted forced removal from their homeland to a distant reservation. Of the 36 acrylic-, wax- and ink-on-canvas panels in the series, 27 are included in the exhibition. Her work has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and San Diego Museum of Art among other institutions.

In his mixed-media installation works, Alan Michelson (Mohawk) addresses North American history, geography and identity. "Mespat," a video piece projected on a screen of white turkey feathers, recalls the displaced Lenape people who once lived along the banks of the now heavily polluted Newtown Creek in New York City. Michelson has exhibited world-wide including at Oi Futuro Cultural Center in Rio de Janeiro (2007), and Whitney Museum of American Art (1991).

The artists featured in the exhibition include: Margarete Bagshaw (Santa Clara Pueblo), Rick Bartow (Wiyot), Joane Cardinal-Schubert (Blackfoot [Blood]), Lorenzo Clayton (Navajo), Rosalie Favell (Cree/Metis), Joe Feddersen (Colville Confederated Tribes [Okanagan/Lakes]), Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Band Choctaw/Cherokee), Carlos Jacanamijoy (Inga), James Lavadour(Walla Walla), Truman Lowe (Ho-Chunk), Judith Lowry (Hammawi Band Pit River/Mountain Maidu/Washo/Scottish-Irish/Australian), James Luna (Puyukitchum [Luiseno]), Mario Martinez (Pascua Yaqui), Alan Michelson (Mohawk), Douglas Miles (San Carlos Apache/Akimel O'odham), Kent Monkman (Cree), Nadia Myre (Algonquin), Nora Naranjo-Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo), Catherine Nelson-Rodriguez (Luiseno/Wailaki/Choctaw), Shelley Niro (Bay of Quinte Mohawk), Kay WalkingStick(Cherokee), Star Wallowing Bull (Minnesota White Earth Band of Chippewa), Marie Watt (Seneca), Emmi Whitehorse (Navajo) and Will Wilson (Dine).



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