story by Chris Reeder Young | photos by Chris & Blake Meador
Candace Hopkins presents “Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now” as an opportunity for audiences to witness a range of multi-generational, U.S and Canadian indigenous art mediums. Hopkins notes that most indigenous art has been largely presented as “primitive” and placed on the “parameters of museum landscapes” and the curation and display of this art has occurred without indigenous input and leadership. This moving exhibition “provides museums and universities with the art history that Americans are ready for” while decolonizing museum spaces. Visitors will learn more about indigenous social and cultural experiences such as trans-culturalism, forced migration, decolonization, land rights, shadow histories, cultural agency, artistic sovereignty, two-spiritedness, language, and expressions of freedom. These narratives are shared through textiles, photography, videos, sculptures and more. Hopkins shares that this exhibition has “shaped the absence of native art through its presence” and generates reflective power in “collective understanding to address polarizations” and stereotypes surrounding indigenous art, history and culture.
I asked the curator if there was explicit notes or nods to LGBT expression in the exhibit, she said “yes” and directed me to Kent Monkman. I saw one of his pieces (gilded frame, large, oil painting, very bold). This is some work from another exhibit that I thought you’d both share. Candace mentioned it for me to look up.